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Pegasystems’ new AI-powered Self-Service Advisor wants to be your informational concierge
The customer engagement platform’s new help solution uses its intelligence to provide context and save time.
Online self-service is great, in theory. In practice, it often means you’re spending way too much time trying to find the answer to your question.
Customer engagement platform Pegasystems is hoping to change that, with the launch today of its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Self-Service Advisor for desktop and mobile web sites.
Installed with a line of code, it tracks behavioral patterns of anonymous users and displays the kinds of links and info they may really want. For identified users — who are logged in or who have logged in previously and received a tracking cookie — it can also draw upon information in Pega’s customer relationship management (CRM) system.
For both kinds of users, material can also come from the Pega knowledge base, other parts of the site, or elsewhere.
When a customer on a supported site is looking in the help section, the Self-Service Advisor displays a box asking if assistance is needed. If the user clicks “yes,” textual info, video and other material is offered in a sequence on an overlaid screen, where user responses help to further define what info is needed. The overlaid screen updates its info, so that user action can take place right there.
The user is also given the option to engage in a live text chat conversation or to call the contact center. In both cases, the customer service agent is provided with contextual info that reflects the user’s online attempt to find an answer.
Pegasystems said that use cases could include a telco customer who is behind on payments and wants to find a better plan, or a banking customer with an unknown charge on her account.
Customer support, marketing and sales
Previously, Pegasystems’ focus has been on applications for sales, customer service and marketing that draw on its CRM, knowledge base and case management system. In 2015, it launched an AI-driven Decision Hub to support those efforts, and it’s now applying AI to online self-service.
Jeff Nicholson, VP of CRM product marketing, told me that, while elements from these offerings were previously made available to websites’ self-service — such as material from the knowledge base — this is Pega’s first full solution for site self-service.
Sites can use the Self-Service Advisor without using the company’s other products, although they would be required to at least employ Pega’s knowledge base manager.
Nicholson said that the Advisor offers a more complete solution if it is integrated with his company’s CRM, contact center and sales software. He also noted that, to his knowledge, the AI capability provides a more robust contextualization than other self-service solutions because of its ability to learn and infer what the user is really looking for.
Contextual self-service is increasingly becoming a blend of customer support, marketing and sales. AnswerDash, for instance, also provides contextual answers that offer what the platform thinks the user wants — as well as what other product or service they might be interested in buying.