CRM’s ‘Automated Virtual Agents’: Coming Soon to an Office Near You – Toolbox

"Automated Virtual Agents" available in a wide variety of forms and called artificial humans by some developers are coming soon to your company.

But how will these intelligent bots interact with your customers, sales agents and executives?

How will they fit in with your sales-focused customer relationship management platform?

And how will they likely affect your companys overall prospects?

Automated Virtual Assistants and their cousins, so-called Intelligent Assistants, count amongthe growing universe of bots that will be deployed to supplement your CRM platform and other work.

Early-generation examples include Google Now, Amazon Echo, Cortana, Siri, BlackBerry Assistant, and a host of others. Tech companies are spending billions of dollars annually on virtual assistants an estimated $2 billion globally in 2019 alone, up from $600 million in 2016.

The sales pitch from technologists is that inserting robots in the workplace can free humans to perform high-value tasks where their involvement is more of a requisite. The bots which do not create personnel problems, demand high salaries and bonuses or insist on benefits can look after the rest.

Early-stage work with bots in CRM platforms focused on addressing frequent customer questions and routing other queries to humans. Since then, more sophisticated interfaces have been deployed, and some bots are now filling out forms and addressing more sophisticated technical problems with products or services.

This situation has allowed managers to use several different bots to deal with common tasks, saving the business thousands of man-hours and dollars which can be channeled elsewhere. Despite the high costs of development, with some bigger firms helping out with development from scratch, bots are saving businesses a lot of money.

There's also the additional level of efficiency the bots can bring, acting as an interface between the customer and the CRM and staying on the job 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Customer trends are also driving the uptake of the virtual assistants. Some customers prefer to interact with companies via bots or online and younger workers seem more comfortable with it.

Much of the technology has been tailored or simply set up to meet specific needs. Most companies using virtual assistants have also tended to place them in 'silos' the bots don't interact with each other although they may feed data back to a centralized CRM platform.

Choosing this level of automation is an important and increasingly necessary decision for a company. Much will be determined by what your existing technology stack looks like and which platforms you're using at the core of your CRM operations.

From there it is worth consulting the team involved in your day-to-day call center operations and direct customer interaction because your customers will provide the best feedback for your automated workplace, its virtues and its flaws.

Key takeaways:

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CRM's 'Automated Virtual Agents': Coming Soon to an Office Near You - Toolbox

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