• February 17, 2012

European Travel Site Uses Intelligent Virtual Agent to Deliver Personalized Support Through Facebook

VirtuOz, a provider of intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) for online marketing, sales, and support, earlier this week launched VirtuOz IVAs for Facebook. In addition, the company announced that Voyages-sncf.com, a European travel Web site, has deployed Lea on its corporate Facebook page as part of its online customer engagement strategy to increase customer satisfaction and boost favorable wall posts and recommendations.

With Econsultancy reporting that less than 5 percent of questions asked on corporate Facebook pages are answered, the travel agency has leapfrogged the competition by providing a virtual agent that not only directly answers customer questions, but also can channel issues back to live agents to achieve 100 percent customer resolution.

The news comes on the heels of a recent study conducted by Zendesk that found that 62 percent of consumers have used social media for customer support, with the most active users in the retail, telecommunications and travel/hospitality industries(ii). The same study found that Facebook is the largest social media vehicle for consumers to interact with businesses, having 3 times the volume of other leading social media venues combined.

"Originally considered marketing's domain, social media is becoming an important customer engagement channel across all functions, including sales and support. Listening and monitoring social networks is no longer sufficient," said Pam Kostka, chief marketing officer of VirtuOz, in a statement. "Deploying an IVA on a corporate Facebook page helps companies move beyond passive social service to active social service. Through the IVA for Facebook, companies can quickly respond in a personalized way to customer requests, comments, or inquiries and provide service through one of the world's most popular points of entry to the Web for 800 million-plus active users."

With the availability of the IVA for Facebook, companies can now use VirtuOz intelligent virtual agents to provide 24/7 support and service over any Web channel: mobile device, Web site, or social networking site. The IVA for Facebook is a complement to existing self-service and human-assisted channels, including contact centers and live chat.

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