Let’s work together – Sovran AI’s virtual agents offer hope to contact centres hit by pandemic security concerns

Unrivalled voice-powered experience securely handles millions of calls a day as human call agents work from home

Tech company Sovran AI are calling for a rethink of the virtual agent’s reputation as Covid-19 has highlighted the data security challenge of home working. Sovran have proved that their voice-powered automation – VPA© – works effectively as an integrated digital colleague. Their virtual agents get to work when a human hero call handler is resting, on holiday, sick or retraining; quite apart from being able to handle sensitive data such as payment and bank details securely during a pandemic.

In the long term, Sovran AI see their Voice-Powered Automation© as the saviour of both the employee and the customer experience, as it frees human agents to be reskilled for more uplifting tasks. Employee experience as a catalyst for business success is highlighted by Matt Egol and Sujay Saha in their latest ‘Strategy and Business’ article: ‘ROX³ Boosting returns on leadership, customer and employee experience’. It is a view supported by the magazine’s editor-in-chief Art Kleiner:  Higher emotional engagement amongst employees is directly linked to higher customer engagement.

The next generation of virtual agent from Sovran AI is vastly different to the traditional voicebot which has been built on-machine learning. As a cognitive ‘hybrid’, it has been developed by linguistic experts who study speech patterns in hundreds of calls. Sovran’s VPA© can be incentivised for excellent customer experience, so it can detect a frustrated customer from speech patterns and react appropriately, making it an essential element of any business continuity plan. The cherry on the cake is that this revolutionary ‘intelligent’ virtual agent requires no capex.

Sovran’s enterprise-grade voice solution is performing consistently higher in real deployments than any rival before. While the adoption of AI is seen as inevitable, Sovran insist it does not have to cost human jobs.

Clive Elleforde, Sovran’s chief revenue officer, said: “Our intelligent voicebots can take payments and handle sensitive data securely and in an engaging manner, leaving their human colleagues to rest or upskill. During these extraordinary times, these virtual agents may well save the call centre model from extinction as human call agents work from home with poor internet connection and all the data security issues that entails”.

Existing customers at Sky, Cisco and Octotelematics, Fagron and Alitalia report the following results:

  • Average call times halved, providing more throughput and no queues
  • 81 percent automation, giving human agents more time to learn new skills
  • Unlimited calls per day, eliminating spikes in volume
  • First Call Resolution (FCR) rates up by 60 percent
  • Additional dialogues can be developed within days for a consistent customer journey
  • The voicebot can identify frustrated customers and transfer them to human call handlers, without additional and frustrating security checks
  • The Sovran virtual agent can differentiate number sequences such as dates, timings and phone details by the way callers express them.
  • Sovran voice solutions can integrate within days with Cisco Webex™, Whatsapp, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Google Calendar and email platforms to ensure seamless customer interactions.

Evani Montechesi, Sky’s service director, says the voicebot is now helping her company deliver consistently higher customer satisfaction levels: “Sky’s virtual voice agent has managed to halve the service time“, she said.

Customers such as Sky are making these gains without capital spend. Sovran is also able to deliver its solution at speed; its build times are ten times faster than the industry average.

Sovran’s Clive Elleforde said: “Our goal is to mimic real human conversation – and do it faster. We’ve proved we can deploy a final solution for our clients in less time than our competitors can even deliver a prototype”.

The search for a human-like virtual agent solution started many years ago, with tech pouring millions into research.

Now, the pandemic has raised the stakes again. There has been a spike in customer calls across utilities, health, insurance, retail, and banking. These sectors are looking for a fast, effective, and tailored solution.  And this search will continue as business adapts to a more connected post-COVID world.

Elleforde added: “Our enterprise-grade voicebots are a game-changer for a broad range of sectors. They can speak multiple languages, so we are also looking to expand Sovran into many new countries, as the importance of customer and employee experience are recognised as a crucial element to success”.


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