VirtuOz, a provider of intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) for online marketing, sales, and support, today announced that Kaspersky Lab, a developer of secure content and threat management solutions, has expanded the use of virtual agent support into the United States and Canada with the launch of Sasha, an IVA powered by VirtuOz.
The new Sasha virtual agent personality is modeled after a European counterpart program that has been supporting Kaspersky Lab&'s customer service in Germany since 2010 and the United Kingdom and France since earlier this month. Sasha incorporates minor changes to accommodate cultural norms and best practices in North America, as well as unique business processes.
Live on Kaspersky Lab's U.S. and Canadian Web sites since June 27, Sasha was deployed in 60 days and is trained to effectively resolve customer issues across 100 topics, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Our goal with Sasha is to provide customers quick, accurate, any-time online assistance that requires the least amount of user effort. She allows us to differentiate our customer experience by moving past the limitations of the call center," saids David Mello, vice president of support services at Kaspersky Lab, North America, in a statement. "We selected VirtuOz not only due to the success of our European virtual agents but also because of its proven track record with large-scale enterprise deployments and domain expertise. They have not disappointed during the development and deployment of Sasha, acting as a long-term business partner, not just a vendor, and adding best-practice expertise that positions Sasha to achieve our business goals."
With European counterpart Lena providing 80 percent to 90 percent first contact resolution to customer inquiries, Kaspersky Lab expects similar results with Sasha. While Sasha's primary mission is customer and technical support, she also gathers details on customer needs and product feedback for future enhancements. Additionally, she helps qualify customers for complementary products and services, increasing online subscription rates and improving customer satisfaction.
"Kaspersky Lab is visionary in its adoption of virtual agents, redefining how it engages today's online customer in a digital relationship," said Eric Anderson, senior vice president of sales at VirtuOz, in the statement. "Since its initial support deployment in Germany in 2010, they have aggressively expanded the application of VirtuOz virtual agents across the entire customer engagement lifecycle as well as geographically, positioning Kaspersky as a category leader. Companies looking to move to provide superior customer service in today's always-on world should look to emulate Kaspersky's success."