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Continued progress in reinventing the relationship between people and technology.

Better together: The optimal partnership between virtual and human-powered customer service

In this installment of our “Learn and grow smarter” series, we zoom in on how Nuance enables its virtual assistant Nina to continuously learn from live chat interactions and chat agent help so that it can provide a customer experience that balances self-serve with the human touch.
Enhanced Customer service experiences with chatbots and live chat

“Human interactions are declining with the rise of digital channels and will become a rarity and more valuable. Therefore, if you can apply human interaction at a defining moment for a customer, it will have a far greater impact.” (Gartner)

The new generation of smart virtual assistants is redefining digital commerce and customer care as enterprises seek to provide an engaging customer experience using natural language understanding, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to reduce the workload for brands. This new hype regarding conversational commerce enables brands to let the virtual assistant answer the load of repetitive and fairly simple inquiries from the user, thus leading to lower contact center costs and higher revenue as customers reach a purchase decision more quickly or develop a stronger loyalty to the brand.

Bots have the potential for driving a real-time, one-to-one interaction that is highly intelligent and conversational, thus delivering a more efficient experience for customers. (Mobile Marketer) But what if the bot can’t help us and the user is stuck in an endless loop of “I don’t understand the question. Please rephrase it so I can answer it.”?


If we want virtual assistance to succeed, the technology needs to be combined with real human knowledge in order to deliver an experience that balances self-service with empathy

Nuance blends the powerful targeting, NLU routing and agent-to-consumer communication technologies with the industry’s leading virtual assistant technology (Nina) to help brands target, engage and converse with consumers in a more cost-effective way at the time that customers need assistance with their self-service experience. The virtual assistant engine utilizes existing live chat transcripts to create the human-like dialogue with a “smart” virtual assistant that’s able to understand the intent of an inquiry and provide answers quickly and accurately to guide the consumer the right way. The power of Nina resides in the fact that the live chat agent and bot collaborate, improving knowledge and accuracy over time. Furthermore, if the virtual assistant is not certain of what the answer should be, a live agent can take over to continue the conversation and provide the right answers.

In addition to breathing life into traditional virtual assistance by empowering it with features that bring the human side of customer assistance into the self-service experience, Nina leverages the Nuance omni-channel customer engagement platform to provide the best in virtual assistance:


Serving the right digital interaction to the right visitor at the right time

Nuance targeting engine chooses between live agent, guides or virtual assistant, based on user behavior, profile and page, on a per conversation basis to serve the right digital interaction to the right visitor at the right time.


Integrated interaction design

Nina & live chat integrate into the same elegant, floating, engagement window and are supported across multiple devices such as desktop, tablet, mobile browsers, and messaging apps.


Seamless escalation to chat without losing context of the conversation

If the consumer or Nina itself want to escalate to a live chat agent, the transfer happens seamlessly inside the same engagement window for the consumer, including a data pass of the transcript and all important information to the live agent.


Higher agent productivity

Nina is trained based on existing live chat transcripts and is set up to answer simple questions reducing the overall agent handle time and boosting agent productivity. And over time, the live chat agent becomes a robot trainer and makes the virtual agent better at answering questions and understanding content.


Integrated reporting dashboard

Analytics from live chat and virtual assistant conversations can be used to measure and continuously optimize key metrics along the funnel – from the business rules to the automated conversation to the live chat engagement – to provide interactions leading to increased revenue, reduced costs and higher customer satisfaction.

The ultimate goal of Nina is to deliver intelligent automated conversations leading consumers to self-serve. But Nuance understands the need for human involvement to reach that goal or to give the customer what he needs when self-service doesn’t.

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Marina Kalika

About Marina Kalika

Marina Kalika is Senior Director of Marketing, responsible for the Enterprise Product Portfolio and Industry Solutions Marketing at Nuance Communications. Prior to Nuance acquisition of TouchCommerce, Marina was responsible for all product marketing at TouchCommerce. She has over 25 years of leadership experience in the hi-tech industry at various corporations, managing every aspect of the product and customer life cycle: from industry research, and requirements gathering to product development and marketing, all the way through to sales and customer support. Marina’s passion is in translating product features and functions into a succinct marketing message that customers can appreciate and consume.