Virtual Agents, hype or business genius?

Is this 1995 all over again?

Early adopters of the World Wide Web were primarily university-based scientific departments or physics laboratories. The world only starting paying attention in 1992 when new generations of web browsers joined the Nexus WYSIWYG HTML editor.

Who knew that Clifford Stoll – a famous US astronomer and author – would regret his dismissal of the hype around the internet and its future. Constantly evolving, today, almost 4 Billion people access the web daily. It has become such an integral part of our everyday life, that some would say we can’t live without it.

Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Agents? Bah!

Just like in 1995, this year has seen AI, and in particular Chatbots and Virtual Agents take the crown for creating hype and excitement.

Views on the maturity of this type of technology as shown in Gartner’s Hype Cycle might have many businesses wondering if they should wait to invest or not at all, especially since predictions of Virtual Agent technology’s game-changing potential have been circulating since 1995.

The truth is that text analysis and natural language processing are getting better all the time. The list of queries that can be answered, and tasks resolved without human interaction, is growing.

Automation is not coming, it’s already here.

Back to the future

Self-serving answers when they need assistance is not a new concept anymore, in fact customers expect seamless customer experiences across desktop, mobile and social channels. This is not news to businesses either and most will have incorporated – or are looking to integrate – a powerful intelligent FAQ system into their customer service/experience strategy.

So, what’s the deal with Virtual Agents?

Virtual Agents are not only upping the personalisation stakes. Virtual Agents, when deployed correctly, with a set of specific goals, can generate leads, increase sales, and grow a business in a big way, and this is only the beginning!

The question is, are you a Clifford Stoll or would you like to find out more about all this “hype”?