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Virtually Speaking

What the Government Gets Right in Customer Service

Posted by Peter Sowards on Mar 7, 2016 2:40:59 PM


Nextgov recently ran a great article covering Next IT’s work with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is worth a read if you want to learn more about how Intelligent Virtual Assistants solve some of the most complex challenges in government.

While USCIS is not the first government organization to deploy an IVA, they’re a great example of how much IVAs have evolved over the past decade. One of our earliest implementations was SGT STAR with the U.S. Army. SGT STAR started as a desktop-only IVA, but evolved over the years to reach mobile and is now the first IVA to answer questions on Facebook. Both of these IVAs represent not just the best in government innovation, but the power of continuous improvement.

Emma started with English and focused on refining her English-based language model during the first phase of deployment. As the article states:

“Emma’s language-processing skills have continued to improve since she was launched in late 2015, and her human overseers proudly report that she can answer approximately 90 percent of the questions customers – internal or external – pose.”

Next up is Spanish, and she’ll continue to learn languages from there.

Whether you’re a business or a government agency, there’s an important lesson to be learned from both of these IVAs. When it comes to customer experience, there’s no silver bullet. If you design the rollout for continuous iteration and improvement the path to success is much clearer.

USCIS took that approach with Emma and the result is an unparalleled service experience that eases the complexity of immigration. Now that’s innovation.

Topics: Conversational AI, Customer service, Business, Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA)