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Sharpen Agent Focus with Microsoft Power Virtual Agent

By Ruston Eads | November 26, 2019

Microsoft Power Virtual Agent adds automated chat capability for handling front-line interactions which are often in the form of routine questions related to your business. Think of Microsoft Power Virtual Agent as a chat bot capable of handling repetitive questions that often impede your human agents’ productivity during the course of a day.

For chat-focused customer service agents time is often spent answering questions whose answers are likely available on their company’s main website or support-related websites. Questions related to store hours and password resets are good examples. While these questions are important and should be addressed in a timely manner, the answers are usually known by all customer service agents (no specialization or advanced training is required) and are often available in an FAQ or knowledge base. Offloading questions such as these to a chat bot will remove the burden from your human agents and allow them to spend this added time on non-routine and complex problems. For questions that your chat bot can’t answer, the conversation can be handed-off to a human agent for resolution.

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Setup

Microsoft Power Virtual Agent allows for quick setup using a no-code graphical interface, allowing your bot to be created in minimal time. Bot conversations can be created based on user input and experience, or templates can be used to aid in the setup process.

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Continuous Improvement

Microsoft Power Virtual Agent provides analytics so managers can view overall chat bot performance. Topics that routinely require human intervention are displayed and action can be taken accordingly. Your chat bot will also learn from its history and offer recommendations based on past performance.

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Impact

For Customer Service managers, expect a change in not only how your chat-focused team works but also be prepared for a possible shift in performance metrics. While the overall # of chats resolved or cases closed may decrease per human agent, due to offloading the routine chats to Microsoft Power Virtual Agent, your agent performance metrics will increase in accuracy since more of their time will be spent solving the more difficult and often time-consuming issues. Additional areas of impact might include:

  1. Onboarding – less training required for the bot-focused topics and more training dedicated to complex issues

  2. Ongoing training – as analytics are consumed and more routine questions are offloaded to the chat bot, advanced agent training has the potential to occur sooner and the training topics may focus on issues involving a higher level of complexity.

Wrap-Up

Microsoft Power Virtual Agent has the potential to transform workloads for customer service-based organizations. By assigning routine requests and inquiries to a chat bot, your human agents will have more time to focus on complex and challenging issues and thereby provide a higher level of support, which should also lead to the most important output of all – a better customer experience.

About Ruston Eads

With almost 15 years of experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365, Ruston is a CRM enthusiast with a demonstrated history of accomplishments in business development, pre-sales, project management and consulting.

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