Top Tips for Implementing a Virtual Assistant or Agent

man having virtual meeting

Are you considering using a virtual assistant or virtual agent to assist in your business operations? Virtual assistant technology can offer multiple benefits to a busy and complex organisation, improving productivity, processes, and reducing risk.

Virtual assistant technology can assist a business to provide comprehensive support to staff and create an enhanced customer experience. They use the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to extract information, collect data and process requests. A virtual assistant can be used by a business in place of a live agent to answer questions, make recommendations and engage with customers and clients.

Businesses who want to take advantage of the possibilities offered by a virtual assistant need to plan ahead and carefully consider the best way to implement this new facet to your operations. This includes identifying the specific areas that a virtual assistant will work in, creating a process system for clear communication of tasks and parameters, and choosing the virtual assistance technology that will work best for your organisation.

Advantages of Using a Virtual Assistant

Using a virtual agent or assistant offers a myriad of advantages to a modern business, especially one with a remote or geographically spread out workforce. Virtual assistants can work twenty-four-seven, can ease the workload for live agents and employees, and can enhance the customer experience.

Many companies that utilise virtual assistants experience an increase in productivity. Because virtual assistants can assist in time consuming tasks (such as scheduling appointments, answering frequently asked questions, and updating databases), they free up employees for more important things.

Virtual assistants offer your business more flexibility, removing the need for a large live agent workforce. Additionally, many virtual assistance technology services allow you to upscale based on your requirements.

In addition to working with customers to answer questions and make recommendations, virtual assistant technology can be utilised in the IT space to automate frequent tasks such as system updates and bug fixes.

Finally, virtual assistants reduce costs and risks to businesses. Taking on new employees is a risk, especially when you are uncertain if growth is going to continue. Virtual assistants allow businesses to grow without taking on new salaried employees. They cost less to a business than a live agent but can achieve the same level of productivity.

Uses for Virtual Assistant Technology

There are many ways that virtual assistant technology can be utilised by businesses to deliver personalised experiences to their customers.

Self service

Virtual assistants use advanced natural language processing technology to communicate effective with customers 24/7. It provides the sensation of talking with a “real” person, and allows them to quickly answer questions and solve issues.

Live chat

Live chat allows virtual assistant technology to gain context from the conversation and provide smart responses that assist customers.

First contact resolution

By funnelling customer queries to a virtual agent first, first contact resolution rates can increase and customers can feel satisfied that their issue was solved quickly and effectively.

Social media

Virtual agent technology can integrate with any social media channel, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs and community forums. Posts can be liked and shared without the need for live agent time and resources.

Tips for Implementing a Virtual Assistant

If your business is ready to implement a virtual assistant, follow these key steps for beginning the process and working productively with a virtual assistant.

Identify the areas you require assistance with

The first step to working successfully with a virtual assistant is to have clear parameters around what the technology will be used for. Businesses should clearly outline tasks and objectives for the virtual agent and only implement it in these specific areas. This will help to determine if activities are best suited to a virtual assistant or a live employee.

Create a process management system

A process management system allows the team to track projects, check in, consider issues and troubleshoot problems. This system can be enhanced with the quality data and information collected by virtual assistant technology.

Choose a project owner

Having a single person or team responsible for the implementation of your virtual assistant technology will allow your business to have a ‘single source of truth’ when it comes to using the new software. This project owner should be accountable for the implementation and ongoing use of the virtual assistant technology, including any trouble-shooting along the way.

Train live agents

Live agents can work seamlessly with the support of virtual assistant technology. A comprehensive training program can assist for employees to quickly learn the best way to take advantage of the software and to use it to improve their own processes. Virtual agents are designed to make work easier, more streamlined, and ultimately more satisfying for live agents.