AI-Powered Virtual Agents for Payments, Collections, and More
Analyst Report: The AI-Powered Virtual Agent
By Frost & Sullivan
What Are Virtual Agents for Billing?
Virtual agents use conversational AI to automate conversations that live agents handle today, starting with voice then scaling the same solution to chat and text. They extend beyond the capabilities of touchtone IVR, directed dialog, and simple chatbots.
Billing is a great place to begin your contact center’s transformation to AI automation.
If customer service representatives are handling billing inquiries, your contact center can offload many or all of these calls to AI-powered virtual agents first, then scale the same solution to chat and text. These automated agents seamlessly integrate with your CRM and use natural language processing (NLP) to greet customers by name, review past transactions, identify banking information, securely accept credit card info, and much more - all the things a live agent does.
Virtual agents follow specific instructions that guide them in recognizing which billing calls & chats to automate and which to pass to live agents. These guidelines ensure that virtual agents automate only what they can and should be automating. For calls that are transferred to live agents, the AI also passes along all customer information and reason for transfer via CTA screen-pops.
Which Billing Calls/Chats Can be Automated Using Virtual Agents?
What is the Customer Experience Like with a Virtual Agent?
Scenario 1: Making a Payment
Juan has been a longtime caretaker for Ruth Finnegan, an elderly woman who receives medical supplies covered by Medicare. Ruth recently got a new prescription after a hip replacement, and as her caretaker, Juan is authorized to call the medical supplier to have it filled for her. At this point, he is comfortable speaking with the virtual agent because SmartAction makes the process simple and fast through HIPAA-compliant authentication.
Scenario 2: Something Else
Juan is the longtime caretaker for Ruth Finnegan, an elderly woman who receives medical supplies covered by Medicare. He is authorized to call her medical supplier for new prescriptions. At this point, he is comfortable speaking with the virtual agent because the HIPAA-compliant authentication process is simple and fast.
Scenario 3: Third Title
Cindy bought a home three years ago in an up-and-coming area. Since that time, luckily for Cindy, the market has shot up and her home is worth nearly double what she paid for it. However, with the value changing so significantly, it was recommended to her to check on her homeowners insurance policy and make sure she’s insured to value. She’s able to locate a policy verification phone number online, and she gives a call to get the details. This is a routine inquiry that is perfect for a well-designed virtual agent. Listen as Cindy goes through the process.
Which Billing Challenges Do Virtual Agents Help You Address?
- PCI Compliance to accept credit card information securely
- Collection processes that would be too expensive for live agents
- Complex payment scenarios like payment plans, without needing a live agent
- Streamlined payment process to make self-service easy
Sample Billing Conversation
Thank you for calling TV Warehouse. Calls are recorded for quality purposes.
Dynamic data is customized to your company’s name, or other companies you may represent.
To get started, we need to verify your account. Please tell me the last four digits of your social security number.
Account authentication can verify SSN, zip code, account number, or any other personal identification information you choose.
Six, four, four, one
If customer didn’t have this information for some reason, the virtual agent would ask to verify another piece of personal data in order to access the account.
Thanks Jennifer. In a few words, please tell me how I can assist you today.
Open-ended intent capture.
I want to check my account balance.
Virtual agent is listening for 7-10 intents depending on the business. These are usually the most common reasons customers call. Virtual agent fully automates 3-4 processes and transfers to agents for the others.
Your account balance is $508.28. Would you like to hear that again?
The virtual agent is jacked-in to the CRM via webservices and uses the authentication data from above to read out the correct balance.
Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Customer service rep please.
I understand you would like to speak to a customer advocate. In order to better serve you, please tell me the reason for your transfer.
Virtual agent is listening for words like “representative” and “live agent” so callers are never trapped in automation. But the virtual agent does gather one last piece of information about reason for transfer to populate the CTI screen-pop on the agent’s desktop.
I have questions about my account.
Even if this is something the virtual agent could have handled, which in this case it wouldn’t be, the caller would still be transferred.
Thank you. Please hold while I transfer you to a customer advocate. Thanks for calling TV Warehouse, have a great day.
Hi Jennifer, I see you checked your account balance and have questions about your account. How can I help you?
Seamless handoff from virtual agent to live agent creates an effortless customer experience.
Integrations – Billing
SmartAction integrates with every IVR, contact center platform, CRM, and payment gateway.
The most important integration for Billing is with your CRM.
Your IT team simply needs to expose APIs the SmartAction CX team, who will determine the best ways to connect to your data.
- Other Homegrown Systems
- USA ePay
- Vantiv / Element Payment Services
- Deutsche Bank
For the most human-centric AI design and implementation, choose SmartAction’s virtual agent solution.
Why Automate Billing Calls/Chats with SmartAction?
Learn more about SmartAction’s obsession with LIFE LESS HARD™