Microsoft Power Virtual Agents

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents

For businesses to stay competitive in the age of Amazon and instant live chat support, they must offer quick & accessible customer service options.

Virtual chatbot agents have become an increasingly popular way for organisations to provide 24/7 support to their users. In fact, Tidio found that 62% of consumers would prefer to use an automated chatbot rather than wait for a human agent to respond to their query.

Indeed, chatbots are the most convenient service channel for simple, quick questions. Instant responses from an automated agent are a key advantage for businesses when consumers feel comfortable handling issues without a human agent.

Despite the clear benefits of using a virtual service bot, only 19% of businesses have added chatbots to their sites. That is where Microsoft Power Virtual Agents comes in. This tool allows you to effortless add and configure sophisticated, AI-powered bots to your customer service workflow.

What is Microsoft Power Virtual Agents? How has Power Virtual Agents revolutionised chatbots? Why should you use this tool to implement your no-code automated customer service system?

Chatbots in the Past: Slow, unreliable, and “dumb”

The adoption of customer service chatbots – up until a few years ago – had been slow. Why? Many service bot solutions were slow and unreliable – and did not allow customers to write queries as they would naturally say them.

Instead, legacy chatbots required very specific search keywords to function – and essentially acted as a glorified search engine for your knowledge base.

For these reasons – in 2017 – only 34% of consumers were comfortable with using AI chatbots for online retail, dropping to 10-15% for car insurance and government services.

Since then, however, chatbot providers have continually improved their AI algorithms to get better at parsing and interacting with natural language. Microsoft’s AI Labs finetuned their Conversational AI to better hold conversations and support interactions. In fact, it is this very AI that powers Microsoft Power Virtual Agents.

Now, at least 80% of consumers have used an AI chatbot at least once – and a further 87% believe that chatbots are effective in resolving their queries.

What is Microsoft Power Virtual Agents?

Power Virtual Agents – or PVA – is a tool created by Microsoft that lets you create AI-powered chatbots for customer service applications.

With this platform, businesses can easily create, test, and publish powerful bots for responding to simple answers to common questions or even resolving complex issues through conversations.

These virtual agents are powered by the Azure Bot Framework. With this, customers can interact with these bots through a variety of touchpoints, including:

  • Company websites
  • Mobile apps
  • Facebook & Messenger
  • Microsoft Teams
  • WhatsApp
  • and more!

What impact do Power Virtual Agents have on businesses? How is this wonderful tool revolutionizing the chatbot industry?

Forrester found that PVA chatbots cut the time it takes to handle customer support requests by 50%. Enterprises that use this platform regularly saw an ROI of 200%+!

On average – in the first three years of using PVA – businesses save:

  • $512K through timesaving on customer-facing tickets
  • $489K through saving time on internal support tickets
  • $1.0M by avoiding the need to hire and train additional customer support representatives

Key Benefits of PVA: Why should you consider Microsoft Power Virtual Agents?

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents empowers businesses to create intelligent conversational bots to handle their customer service requirements. Here are some key benefits of the platform:

  • No-code/low-code virtual agent development: Creating chatbots with PVA is incredibly straightforward. This platform allows you to build and configure your conversational agents using an intuitive GUI – no coding required!
    • This quality does indeed lead to benefits for your business – as PVA reduces the effort it takes to build and maintain virtual agents by 80%.
  • Deploy chatbots in multiple languages and locations: To serve a diverse customer base – both in the UK and worldwide – you will need to provide customer support in a range of languages. Currently, bots will be able to understand and converse in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Chinese – although a single bot can only understand one language at a time.
  • Reduce operational costs: Power Agents’ chatbots help you streamline your customer support costs. Forrester found that the average business using PVA avoided hiring eight additional employees.
  • Increased scalability: When businesses grow rapidly, their customer service departments can become a stumbling block. By automating this process, businesses can seamlessly scale up (and, indeed down) resources depending on the current demands and needs of the business.
  • Track KPIs and effectiveness through detailed analytics: PVA automatically tracks critical KPIs to help you judge the effectiveness of your virtual agent fleet and even help identify future bot topics. The platform will even use self-learning AI to continuously improve your bots for you.

Looking to implement this in your business?

Power Virtual Agents offer businesses a unique opportunity to scale their customer service capacity whilst also improving the customer experience by providing quick, instant responses.

Consumers love AI chatbots for answering simple questions and getting help fast. We expect that consumers will become more comfortable with virtual support agents as conversational AI continues to improve.

Looking to implement AI conversational chatbots into your business and improve your customer service experience? Working with an MSP like Care Computers can help simplify the process.

Power Virtual Agents integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Microsoft Power Apps platform. Getting these integrations right can seriously improve the efficiency of your entire enterprise platform. In no time at all, we can have your chatbots up and running and connected through multiple channels and applications.

Contact us today and see how we can kick-start your AI chatbot transformation!