Avoid Customer Confusion with Welcome Dialogues and Fallback Experiences for Intelligent Virtual Assistants

Intelligent virtual assistants can deliver superior experiences for your customers, agents, and contact center operations. Eventually, there will come a time when the Virtual Assistant will initiate a conversation but may encounter difficulties when it struggles to comprehend the customer’s message.

So, what do you do in these situations? 

This is where welcome dialogues and fallback experiences come into play.

What are Welcome Dialogues and Fallback Experiences?

The welcome dialogue plays a crucial role in creating a positive user experience with chatbots. By utilizing welcome dialogs effectively, businesses can set the tone for the conversation and make their customers feel valued and supported right from the start.

Imagine a scenario where a customer visits the Any Bank website and is greeted with a warm and personalized welcome message like, “Welcome to Any Bank online banking. How can we assist you today?” This simple and friendly interaction immediately establishes a sense of trust and encourages the customer to engage further with the virtual assistant.

Welcome dialogues can also be customized to cater to specific customer needs and preferences. For example, a virtual assistant on a travel website might greet users with a cheerful message like, “Hello, Ready to plan your dream vacation? Let’s get started!” This personalized approach not only grabs the user’s attention but also generates excitement and anticipation for the upcoming conversation.

In addition to setting a positive tone, welcome dialogues can also provide important information and guidance to users. A virtual assistant for a food delivery service might greet users with a message like, “Welcome to Foodie Express. How can we satisfy your cravings today? Browse our menu or ask for recommendations.” This not only welcomes the user but also provides clear instructions on how to navigate the website.

Consider the kind of first impression you want to create for your customer, employee, or agent

When it comes to interacting with a virtual assistant, the first impression is everything. It’s crucial that we create an experience that leaves a lasting positive impact on our users and customers. To achieve this, we need to carefully consider the voice of our brand. 

What do we want to communicate? What kind of experience are we aiming to provide? These questions hold great significance as they shape the foundation of our interaction with users and customers alike.

If you can provide a positive and functional encounter for users, they will keep coming back to use your virtual assistant. Remember, it all begins with a friendly welcome conversation. So make sure to put your best foot forward and create a welcoming atmosphere that will leave a lasting impression on your users.

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How to Create a Positive Experience when the Intelligent Virtual Assistant Doesn’t Understand the User

When it comes to designing an intelligent virtual assistant, there’s another important aspect we need to consider – the fallback experience. This is what happens when the virtual assistant doesn’t understand what the user is saying. In these situations, it’s crucial for the IVA to know how to proceed.

An intelligent virtual assistant can’t be perfect all the time. It’s not realistic because humans sometimes struggle to understand each other too. Mistakes happen for both humans and machines. However, if you create a backup plan that focuses on the user, you can still have a positive experience even if the virtual assistant doesn’t understand everything or misses some things.

Here’s a good example: Imagine a user asking a question and the virtual assistant not understanding. Let’s say they ask, “When will I get the refund in my account?” Now we need to determine how the virtual assistant should respond in this fallback scenario and what tone it should use. Maybe the virtual assistant could be apologetic and say something like, “I’m sorry, but I didn’t understand your question. Could you please rephrase it for me?”

That might be enough to deliver a good experience, but we can improve the user experience even more. The intelligent virtual assistant could have an idea of what the user is saying but it might not be completely sure. In that case, the virtual assistant can respond by suggesting a few possibilities and asking if any of them are correct.

We could provide options like buttons or a list, or simply allow the user to type or speak freely. Another option is to enhance the user’s experience by connecting them with a real person. If the virtual assistant doesn’t comprehend, you could consider designing the Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) in such a way that if the customer is misunderstood multiple times consecutively, then the call can automatically be transferred to a live agent.

The main objective of the fallback experience is to ensure that users do not become frustrated. If they do start feeling annoyed or upset, our aim is to lessen their frustration and provide them with an experience that they would gladly return to. It’s important to create a resilient experience that stands the test of time.

Intelligent virtual assistants are great for creating exceptional experiences for your customers and contact center operations. Even though there may be times when the virtual assistant has difficulty understanding a user, using tools like welcome dialogs and fallback experiences can be incredibly helpful.  Be sure to utilize these tools to ensure that the positive experience continues smoothly, without any interruption. 

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.