Five reasons to upgrade your Five9 IVR to an IVA

As smart speakers and voice assistants become increasingly ubiquitous in our daily lives, customers are seeking more conversational self-service options when interacting with brands. Fortunately, Intelligent Virtual Agents are enabling businesses to satisfy the growing consumer demand for these types of experiences.

Intelligent Virtual Agents are automated, self-service applications that offer capabilities similar to those provided by human service and support agents. They just never rest or take a vacation—and they’re substantially cheaper. IVAs make appointments, reset passwords, look up orders, survey customers, process payments and answer all kinds of questions—over the phone, web or SMS.

Organizations that power their contact center with Five9’s Intelligent Cloud Contact Center now have a way to use IVAs to support and serve their customers. With Five9’s recent updates to its 3rd Party Transfer Module, calls now be transferred to Inference Intelligent Virtual Agents that use the latest speech-to-text, text-to-speech and natural language processing from Google, IBM Watson and other cloud-based conversational AI providers. This enables Five9 customers to easily build and deploy self-service applications that automate many more of the routine and repetitive tasks that are traditionally handled by live agents.

Here are five reasons to upgrade your Five9 IVR to an IVA.

1. Integration is easy.

Inference enables seamless integration with Five9’s Contact-Center-as-a-Service platform. Inbound calls continue to terminate at Five9, and call control is managed through Five9 IVR scripts. You can continue to use the functionality offered with your existing IVR scripts. When you want to pass call control to a virtual agent, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping a Third-Party Transfer Module into your IVR script.  You can pass call information to your virtual agent by selecting the “Send Data to Third Party” option.  For example, you might want to pass the caller’s phone number, or the number dialed to the virtual agent.

2. Human and machine work together to optimize customer engagement.

The virtual agent engages with your customer and provides a wide variety of self-service capabilities, using speech recognition and text-to-speech in hundreds of languages and a wide variety of voices. Even more powerful, virtual agents will be able to respond to open-ended prompts like “How can I help you today?” using natural language processing. This makes the user experience more conversational while enabling you to automate tasks that were previously too cumbersome to be handled using speech recognition.

Once the virtual agent has completed a task, information that it has collected can be passed back to Five9 IVR and the IVR script can continue to execute. For example, if the call needs to be passed to a live agent, the Five9 IVR can receive data that enables it to determine into which queue to place the call.  Five9 can then pass the call to an agent along with a screen pop that includes contextual information collected during the conversation with the virtual agent. Additionally, your contact center reports can contain “cradle to grave” reporting on the complete call flow, including handle time of both the virtual and live agent.

3. You can build and deploy self-service applications in minutes – no code required. 

Inference offers a suite of prepackaged self-service applications in our Task Library. You can use these applications as is, extend them or build your own from scratch. The Task Library also gives you access to applications for specific verticals such as healthcare, retail, hospitality, financial services and more.

4. Virtual agents can reduce your cost to serve.

Businesses that use Inference IVAs are enjoying incredible cost savings.

For example, an Inference state government customer uses virtual agents to process payments for all types of services, including renewing drivers’ licenses and paying fees. By automating payment processing, they have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars each month in labor costs while ensuring that payment processing complies with PCI-DSS regulations.

Another Inference customer offers health benefit enrollment through virtual agents and processes 350,000 calls per month. Automating enrollment enables them to scale up during busy open enrollment periods while lowering monthly labor costs by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 5. Virtual agents are the future of self-service.

Industry research is increasingly demonstrating the value of IVAs and the importance of incorporating them into service roadmaps. According to DMG Consulting, “Most companies that use VRUs or IVRs have not overhauled their solutions over the last five to 10 years, the period that has seen the greatest innovation and enhancement in the market… companies are encouraged and are often able to transition from any of these solutions directly to IVA… During the next three-to-five years, these solutions are expected to incorporate more advanced technology, which will position organizations to achieve their self-service goals at an even higher level.”

Want to learn more about upgrading your Five9 IVR to an IVA? Download our Five9 Solutions Guide. Or Stop by our session at the Five 9 CX Summit on Sept. 19 at 2:30 p.m., when Inference CEO Callan Schebella will demonstrate the power of IVAs live. Register here while space is available.

Allison Wilson