From Apple’s Siri to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) technology is big and getting bigger. SmartAction brings the concept of the thinking machine to interactive voice response (IVR) systems, the voice automation that many businesses use for customer service over the phone.

 

IVR with a Brain

The company, founded in 2009 and based in El Segundo, California, offers what it calls “IVR with a Brain,” or IVA—Intelligent Voice Automation.

SmartAction’s software is cloud-based and customizable. IVA is able to understand natural, conversational language and respond appropriately. In addition, the technology has long and short-term memory, so it can recall past conversations with a particular caller and update records accordingly, becoming more intelligent for future calls.

The artificial intelligence-powered software offers a variety of voice automation services for business owners, such as responding to WISMO (“where is my order?”) inquiries, performing employment verifications, scheduling and rescheduling appointments, and authenticating patients for insurance purposes.

 

Effortless Experience

Mike Vanca, SmartAction’s Senior Vice President of Operations, says the company aims to provide an effortless customer experience—which sounds like a great goal to us!

Partnering with AnswerConnect is part of the strategy. “We are a very high touch, customer service oriented company,” Vanca says, “and I wanted to keep that all the way through our support system.” Working with AnswerConnect, he says, “my customers always reach a live person, who in turn reaches a live SmartAction support group, for excellent customer service.”

SmartAction’s AI-based system and a team of live agents are complementary approaches to the effortless customer experience.

The software’s efficiency and capability make it a great choice for simple and complex tasks alike. And IVA’s ability to learn as it works means it will only become a more attractive option as it develops.

For situations that call for empathy, compassion, critical thinking, or persuasion, human beings may do better. But using IVA alongside customer service reps means the reps are free to focus on the calls where they can make the biggest contribution, while the “IVR with a brain” handles the rest.