A virtual assistant said: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand correctly, I’m still learning, can you write it another way?
Andrey Lujan December 20, 2021
I ask the Virtual Assistant: Are you really learning? Is someone helping you learn? Do your creators know how to teach you? Do they know what to teach you? I don't think you have learned yet that we, the users, are desperate to save time, avoid long physical lines or tedious minutes of waiting while a call center executive attends to us. When we contact you, we are really impatient.

Let me tell you a story of an experience with a virtual assistant.

Yesterday at 10 o'clock at night I had no TV service, just when there were no branches open, no call center available. And the only thing I found was a floating virtual assistant button, and I couldn't get through the maze of your training to avoid the dreaded "I'm sorry, I didn't understand correctly" sentence. And without being able to help me, you also give me no option to talk to a human who can understand me. You think my satisfaction is increased by just having a floating chat button, a cute name that has the letters "AI" and the best designed avatar.  I think I and many users expect your "AI" (Artificial Intelligence) to be really smart enough to be able to detect that we need to solve problems quickly. I must admit that when you understand me, I really solve my problems in seconds and not in minutes or hours! That's why I want to help you to solve more, and that your "I'm sorry, I didn't understand correctly" is not the sentence that makes you sadder for not being able to help a user with needs. I imagine you sad and overwhelmed, even a little frustrated for not being able to help more. And at the same time, eager to be helped. Help you to be a key player in increasing users' digital NPS, to be central to your company's cost-saving strategy, to make more users prefer to tell you what's wrong with them, and to increase your success rate.

If you can, tell your creators what you already know you should do:

  1. Always convey that you're a bot and not a human. Don't try to look like a human, because the differences are still noticeable.
  2. Teach me the best way to write you, so I can increase your assertiveness rate.
  3. Let me go back so I can ask you about something else. Don't expect me to just end up where you imagine, because I will most likely want to resolve other things.
  4. Don't try to be omnipresent. Surely there are places on digital sites where you simply do not help. It is better not to be in those cases, because I get frustrated and lose the desire to continue the journey.
  5. If you are not yet trained to solve some issues, give me the option to talk to a human. Relax, you've already solved many transactions and that's fine. But sometimes you have to make room for someone else.
  6. And if you can refer me to a human, don't be mean and share all the information. Don't make me waste time telling the whole story again.
  7. Finally, we both know you have all my data, you know what I wrote, at what time, you know if I have already entered other digital channels, even if I have gone to the branch or called the call center. I imagine you might know if I am a good and profitable customer, or my ARPU is higher or lower than average. Ask to look at metrics and statistics so you really learn.
How do I know all this? At NTT DATA we have a methodology that allows us to achieve virtual assistant assertiveness rates of 85% or higher. Our OKR methodology based on metrics and digital analytics, allows us to have a set of Performance, Experience and Business indicators to achieve ROI and increase profitable customer experience.
Our goals are ambitious

We have even set out to achieve in the next 6 months of the launch of a virtual assistant:

  • Obtain 85% NPS
  • Decrease Churn rate to 35%.
  • Decrease the rate of forced executive handovers to 30%.
  • Increase Bot accuracy to 85%.
  • Decrease false positive rate to 30%.
  • Increase case resolution by 85%.
  • Increase positive feedback percentage by 85%.
Let me help you not be embarrassed to say "I'm sorry, I didn't get it right, I'm still learning, can you write it differently?" You may be interested in: 5 steps to writing accurate virtual assistant scripts
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Digital transformation of traditional businesses
Andrey Lujan November 20, 2021
The digital transformation of traditional businesses has been a priority in recent years and has been challenged and even more relevant in recent times, because of the hyper-digitization necessary to sustain business due to the pandemic we are still experiencing. Digital transformation leaders have been invaded by an unprecedented demand for digitalization initiatives. This has involved different strategies for prioritizing and satisfying needs in a short period of time. It has undoubtedly put in value the structures and models of digital transformation adopted by each company.

All initiatives share at least one of the following drivers of digital transformation:

  • Increased customer experience
  • Internal efficiency
  • Increased digital conversion and digital onboarding of new customers. 
Therefore, we have seen how many companies have been convinced of the relevance of digital transformation for the survival of their business. For traditional companies, we have seen a dilemma for the survival of their business. Taking care of the market share of established companies among their traditional competitors and protecting their market from new entrants (mostly born-digital) has put digitalization initiatives on top priority.
We often see the user-centric digital product design model increasingly adopted, at least in intent.
 The user-centered digital product design model is nothing more than putting users' needs for a digital product first. While simple to say, executing it is very complex and requires a lot of discipline. To do this, Customer/User Experience experts use multiple tools to obtain insigth from users to define which are the main needs to prioritize in each of the strategic lines of the company. The change of mindset is very important, and I give a brief example. Lately we have seen an explosive increase in Digital Wallet solutions, mobile payments, QR payments. It seems simple to imagine that a Digital Wallets product requires a payment method enrollment functionality (like a credit card) and as that functionality those who think and design the product can define hundreds of other functionalities.
Now, the above reasoning is product-based and not user-centric.

Expanding the mindset and applying user-centered design we can imagine that the user wants is:

  • Looking for something you need to buy
  • The user will need to pay as quickly as possible.
  • They will want to pay as securely and reliably as possible.
With this mentality it is possible to detect needs that is not simply to enroll a means of payment. And thus, focus on what the user really needs to satisfy to build memorable digital products. We have seen how the production of new features of digital products has increased exponentially. And at the same time, we have seen how many of these features are not well received by users because they have been designed with a mindset focused on the product and not on the user. The increased budget invested in many new digital functionalities that do not fulfill the promise of improving any of the three digital drivers indicated at the beginning (Increased Experience, Efficiency, or Increased Conversion) is very high and the return on investment is often not achieved. In my opinion, not achieving the expected ROI of many of the new digital functionalities is due to not thinking, designing, and prioritizing the product focused on the user. But even more relevant is the overcoming of digital transformation leaders by the beastly functional competition between companies. That is, the prioritization of digital functionalities is not by product-centric prioritization, nor user-centric prioritization, but the prioritization of new digital functionalities is simply to match the new digital functionality that the competition has launched in the market. The competition between short-term objectives of cost reduction and market share growth and the incorporation of digital functionality just to match the competition overshadows the real needs of digital users and customers. Digital transformation leaders must advocate for positioning or repositioning the user-centric product design mindset in their teams. To provide an optimal experience in digital transformation, we invite you to learn about virtual assistants. Great experiences to transform your business
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