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Recently Creative Virtual Ltd was shortlisted for the Econsultancy Innovation Awards 2012 in the category of ‘Innovation in Customer & User Experience’ for their integration of O2 UK’s virtual agent Ask Lucy with Live Chat from LivePerson via a seamless handover process. Each year the Econsultancy Innovation Awards recognise the finest creative thinking, ideas and implementations that are changing the landscape of the digital industry. This year more than 450 companies submitted entries, and around 150 have been shortlisted across the 19 categories. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in London on 23 February 2012.

O2 UK first launched their Creative Virtual V-Person™, featuring animated avatar Lucy, in 2008 as an alternative and cost effective communication route for customer queries. By January 2010 Lucy had answered over one million questions on the O2 website. Both O2 and Creative Virtual saw even more potential to improve upon this implementation and, in 2011, collaborated with LivePerson to take O2’s online customer support one step further.

Creative Virtual’s finely tuned natural language technology allowed Lucy to answer a wide range of questions with a high degree of accuracy. However, for some more complex questions being posed by O2 customers online, it was determined that the option of Live Chat would provide a more personalised and complete customer service experience.

Together O2 and Creative Virtual identified trigger phrases and questions that might require escalation to Live Chat. When a user’s input matches one of these predetermined rules, Lucy offers the option of chatting with a customer service advisor. If the user chooses to do to this, handover to Live Chat is initiated and the standard virtual assistant template automatically updates to feature the Live Chat interface. The virtual agent alerts the LivePerson agent and provides a history of the conversation that has already taken place prior to the agent accepting the call. As soon as the live agent accepts the call, avatar Lucy exits the interface and a new male or female avatar enters depending on the gender of the live agent. The LivePerson interaction then takes place within this template. The conversation can also be handed over to Live Chat with an O2 Guru when the user needs individualised assistance with their mobile technology. A male or female O2 Guru avatar enters the interface to replace the previous avatar when this handover takes place. If the V-Person detects there is no LivePerson agent available (out-of-hours, engaged with other users, etc), Lucy offers alternative escalation options instead of Live Chat.

By integrating the two systems in this way the Live Chat conversation is able to continue within the same virtual assistant template offering the user a seamless experience. There is no need for the user to deal with multiple windows opening on the screen or go searching for additional support channels. The user also benefits from Lucy providing the live agent with a copy of the conversation, both questions asked and answers given, that has taken place prior to escalation to Live Chat. This transcript allows the LivePerson agent to have a better understanding of the user’s requirements without the user needing to repeat the conversation. All of these details make this integration of O2’s V-Person with Live Chat an innovative and unique advancement in the online customer service experience.

For more information about Ask Lucy and to view a video demonstration of this integration with Live Chat from LivePerson, please visit http://www.creativevirtual.com/o2-virtual-assistant.html.

About Creative Virtual Ltd:
Creative Virtual has over 10 years experience working with virtual assistant natural language web applications. In that time the company has built more than 100 solutions for brands including Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, ASDA, O2, Verizon and Intuit. The V-Person solution that they have evolved over these years, together with their delivery and on-going maintenance methodologies, make it one of the most compelling web self-service products in the world today.

More information about Creative Virtual and their V-Person solution can be found online at http://www.creativevirtual.com.

Published on: 12:10PM on 19th January 2012