Virtual Agent Maximizes Call Center’s Resources
Problem: MediaPower, which produces the MPDirect catalog, wanted to maximize live agent talk time and improve upselling strategies, all in a cost-efficient manner.
Solution: It installed the automated call center technology Virtual Human Agent from AIS.
Results: Cost per conversion rates went from $6 to $9 per call down to 60 cents. And the live agent outsold the call center agents in upselling offers.
Chris Homer, president of MediaPower, had two call-center problems to resolve.
First, he wanted to ensure that all customers had adequate access to call wrap-up data. Second, he wanted the call center to make upsell offers to every customer, no exceptions.
His goal was to solve both dilemmas in a cost-efficient, but still effective, manner. So last year, he turned to an automated virtual agent technology from Advanced Interactive Sciences (AIS; www.aisontheweb.com).
A Sales Environment
Portland, ME-based Media-Power sells health supplements and home products to distributors and other marketers. And its MPDirect catalog title sells similar products direct to consumers.
MediaPower’s call center agents work on commission. “It’s truly a sales environment,” says Homer. The challenge, then, was to automate some of the agents’ tasks to enable them to move on to the next callers. Plus, Homer recounts, “Like other direct marketers with call centers, we weren’t getting 100-percent compliance from agents on wrap-ups and upselling offers. The Virtual Human Agent system is a way to get that.”
The Virtual Human Agent is a voice-activated system that Homer uses on an outsourced basis from AIS. After a sale, MediaPower’s agents transfer callers to an 800 number that connects them to “Heather,” the virtual agent whose voice is oddly human-like. Heather offers wrap-up data such as order tracking and delivery information for the call. What’s more, it outsold MediaPower agents on upselling offers, according to AIS.