The global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has drastically changed the way of life for billions of people. Things are also far from normal, predictable, or regular for enterprises, including how they interact with their customers, who are likely asking questions about how the virus is affecting your business or organization.
Verint is experienced in providing solutions when your contact centre experiences a rush of customer requests related to out-of-the-ordinary circumstances. And we’re putting that experience to work right now, as our Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) solutions help contact centres quickly and accurately provide information about how their operations or services are affected by the virus.
Real-Time, Natural Language Support for Customers
One of our customers, Amtrak, has understandably been inundated with questions from customers who need to know about how train service has been affected and other changes to expect from the transportation giant going forward. We have updated their IVA, “Julie,” to be able to tackle Coronavirus related questions and get people the information they need.
Amtrak has used its IVA to direct people to a landing page that contains a wealth of information about service impacts, cancellation policies, as well as ongoing updates for this rapidly changing situation.
When dealing with an event that results in irregular requests from your customers, you can’t expect that people will find a landing page like this on their own. In Amtrak’s case, “Julie” directs customers with Coronavirus-related questions to that page in a personalized manner, but sticks around on screen to field any additional questions. We’ve also developed virus-specific experiences for the voice channel to help customers get the information they need when calling.
The result is timely, accurate customer service that strives to provide clarity in a time when the customer is likely experiencing no shortage of uncertainty in their lives.
Consumer Sentiment and Impact During the Pandemic
Through Conversation Insights, our machine learning augmented analysis suite, we’ve also been able to understand sentiment and the evolution of consumer questions, for example:
- Week 1: Consumer concern was focused on how the pandemic broadly impacts goods and services
- Week 2: Consumer concern was focused on specific items, travel routes, cancellations and impacts
- Week 3: Consumer concern was focused on virus hotspots and sanitizing practices
As consumer and employee questions shift and change, our customers have been able to support and update their IVA knowledge and understanding, as well as support other areas of their business.
Augmenting the Workforce with Conversational AI
Employees are also facing an unprecedented time as working remote, at home, is becoming a requirement. Digital channels and applications that may have gone unused are now being adopted and questions abound. HR policies for leave, sick time, working hours, and managing children that are also home due to the outbreak are leaving departments thin.
Verint customers with IVAs that support employees are taking advantage of deploying intents and language that support employee questions around-the-clock and in real time with the most relevant, up-to-date information and news about policies and impacts to the business. This enables the ability to support employees as they work through the challenges of working from home.
We Have Experience Supporting Irregular Operations
The Coronavirus outbreak isn’t the first time Verint solutions have been used to navigate an out-of-the-ordinary event. In 2010, the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted, sending an ash cloud into the sky for weeks, resulting in the cancellation of most flights to and from Europe.
During that event, Verint supported our travel customers by updating the language understanding and responses of their IVAs so that they were capable of handling the immediate skyrocket in queries related to the eruption. They also changed their IVR hold message to let customers know that they could go online and ask the IVA for specific, up-to-date information regarding the volcano’s impacts. The volume of customer queries was at times massive, considering the amount of flights, travel plans and other services disrupted by the eruption. But our IVAs were—and continue to be—built to handle requests at such a scale.
Automation Is Vital
In addition to Amtrak, Verint is currently working with other customers to update their IVAs so that they can help customers and employees navigate a world that’s been altered by this outbreak. This is as an important time as ever to be able to provide your customers with the information they need.
We’re here to help during this time of crisis. To learn more about how a Verint IVA can support your business as you balance self-service, assisted-service, and full-service to scale operations during this immediate need and the new future we face together, get in touch. Also, please join us for our on-demand educational series on “Adapting to Our New World,”.