noHold InstantSupport: Intelligent, Conversational, Virtual Agents
I wrote a while back about the return of the chat bot…only this time they work. But I completely overlooked an early entrant in the intelligent advisor space, noHold. Having just had an update briefing with Diego Ventura, noHold’s founder and CEO, I wanted to correct that oversight with some info on what’s new with noHold.
I first met Diego during my Giga Information Group days, and the last time I talked to them they were doing a lot of business with partner Salesforce.com, offering intelligent sales advisors to qualify leads online and pass info into Salesforce. And though the noHold suite now includes a Sales Advisor and a Marketing Advisor, the core DNA of the company is still customer service and technical support with InstantSupport.
noHold creates virtual agents based on Artificial Intelligence capable of answering questions online without human intervention (they even hold a patent on this–U.S. Patent No. 6,604,141 if you want to read the details). They claim to achieve high First Contact Resolution (FCR) rates due to being more Interactive and Diagnostic than other self-service solutions. Here’s a screenshot of noHold in action at Linksys.
Diego gave me a demo, and this is a very different take on the concept of virtual reps or avatars. InstantSupport engages you in a dialog, asking questions to drill down to the problem, and allows the customer to interrupt with any question, even questions unrelated to the diagnostic session. After answering the question, the system returns to the diagnostic steps where it left off. The interface and experience are very conversational; the dynamically created prompts are accurate, easy and even fun to use.
noHold boasts some very big name customers, and you can visit some of them and try out the tool. Here are a few:
- Microsoft – Instant Support, Click on Help Center and then Instant Support
- Cisco – Linksys, Click on Technical Support and then “Ask Linksys”
- Acer – Instant Support, Select your country, then click on the eSupport icon in the upper right hand corner
If you thought avatars and self-service advisors were just for non-technical consumer issues, think again. This approach engages the customer in a dialog, offering a much better experience than searching a knowledge base. And the system offers immediate escalation via email (or integrate with your click to call/chat) in case the question can’t be answered online.
Try out these live examples, and compare it to the customer experience on your self-service site. What percentage of your self-service issues could be resolved this way? Definitely worth thinking about.
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