What is a virtual agent?

A virtual agent is an AI-powered bot that is used in contact centers and call centers to provide automated customer service online. Virtual agents are also popularly known as virtual customer service agents.

What’s the difference between a virtual agent and chatbot?

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The terms virtual agents and chatbots are used interchangeably today, however they are not the same thing. Most importantly, there are many types of chatbots. The most basic chatbot usually offers solutions from a knowledge base and can execute simple rule-based flows. However, there are also AI-enabled chatbots that can play the role of an online customer service agent and engage in more complex workflows.

On the other hand, virtual agents are powered with artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep neural networks, and natural language understanding, and are thus capable of mimicking a human customer service agent. This technology enables a virtual agent to continuously learn from conversations, and provide responses that are attuned to your customers’ language. Virtual agents are also capable of understanding customer intent, providing personalized and accurate solutions, and troubleshooting customer issues.

What are the benefits of using a virtual agent?

How to choose a virtual agent software? 

With so many virtual agent platforms available in the market today, it might be difficult to select the best one for your team. Here are four features that you need to look out for to ensure that the solution you select is an optimal one: 

No-code builder

Solutions that offer a no-code bot builder help you launch and make changes to your virtual agent on an ongoing basis effortlessly, without having to depend on your internal tech or data science team each time you need to improve your virtual agent’s performance.

Omnichannel compatibility

Choosing a virtual agent software that is compatible with different messaging channels such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger is the key to providing a consistent experience across all channels. This allows you to design a single virtual agent and deploy the same across various channels, and eliminates the effort spent on creating bespoke solutions for every touchpoint.

AI and ML-powered

Artificial intelligence and machine learning enable virtual agents to continuously learn from customer conversations and improve the experience it delivers. The better the technology, the more human-like your virtual agents will sound.

Powerful integrations

If you want your virtual agent to automate resolutions for customer issues, then it’s important that you are able to integrate it with other necessary tools such as your customer service software, CRM, or billing software, etc. These integrations are vital to building robust workflows.

Why should you choose Freshdesk?

Launch a virtual agent quickly 

Freshdesk’s no-code workflow builder lets you design and launch your virtual agent in just a few days and without any external tech dependencies. You can build multiple decision trees, and automate resolutions for frequently reported issues and frequently asked questions. 

You can also deploy a single virtual agent solution across all messaging channels such as your mobile app, chat, and even across emerging channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Apple Business Chat to provide a consistent customer experience.

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Offer seamless customer service 

You can integrate your virtual agent with Freshdesk, or any customer service software that you use to track and manage customer conversations across channels from one screen. So, when you follow up with customers who had a poor experience interacting with your virtual agent, you’ll have all the context you need to offer a better solution.

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Increase your virtual agent’s capabilities

Build dynamic workflows by integrating your virtual agent with external third-party apps such as your CRM, order management or billing software. You can use custom Javascript code to further optimize your virtual agent’s capabilities. 

Freddy AI enables your virtual agent to follow the best conversation flow using data from external systems via APIs, and execute custom Javascript code based on user inputs.

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Improve your customer experience

Enable your customers to find solutions easily on a friendly conversational interface by interacting with a virtual agent that suggests to-the-point answers from your knowledge base and FAQs. Freshdesk’s virtual agent learns, and adapts to feedback using ML, and gracefully hands over complex issues to live agents. It also uses natural language processing to detect intent and triggers the most suitable branch of a workflow, thus improving the customer experience you deliver.

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Measure and improve performance

Proactively improve the experience your virtual agent delivers by periodically measuring and optimizing its performance. With Freshdesk, you can leverage out-of-the-box reports, and also build custom reports to identify areas of improvement and gain actionable insights on your virtual agent’s performance.

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What else do you get with Freshdesk’s virtual agent solution?

Effortless customization

Customize the look and feel of your virtual agent, and retain your brand's identity across all messaging channels.

Smart small talk

Add a human touch to conversations and engage your customers by engaging in small talk instead of scripted robotic answers.

Multilingual support

Set up end-to-end bot flows in the language your customers best understand to increase accessibility.