A Virtual Assistant is a remote assistant designed to provide creative, administrative, technical, and ad-hoc support services for businesses or individuals. The industry is booming and expected to reach US$ 30 billion by the end of 2026, mainly driven by transitioning companies to an online presence and the shift in people working from home. Business owners and corporates also recognize the value of scale and outsourcing to a virtual assistant. There’s no doubt that this market will create the next multibillion-dollar marketspace. The following reasons predominantly support the rise of the market:
- Reduce overhead costs by cutting taxes, benefits, employee wages, or office expenses.
- Scalability by allowing businesses to adapt to and grow- without any glitches or constant updates.
- Increased efficiency by providing freedom to companies to focus on more significant priorities.
- Availability of virtual assistants when you need them.
Virtual assistants are software that reads your email to schedule meetings, manages social media, plays music on-demand, navigates the internet, and many more.
- Enterprises are building virtual assistants using a conversational interface capable of using voice technology and natural language processing to address customer requests. Features associated with are integrated with mobile and computer applications to provide a superior experience to customers.
- They are supported with a mechanism of predictive analytics, which ensures that the database is updated after every customer interaction. The virtual assistant accesses the database to improve customer responses based on past customer interactions.
- Businesses are deploying voice-based virtual assistants as an extension to their departments such as customer support, marketing, etc. These assistants provide customers with a burden-free product purchasing process, requesting information, registering a service request, etc.
- Many companies are increasingly using virtual Assistants to sell services through cross-selling and upselling. They help identify customer patterns and preferences, thereby offering relevant services to the new customers.
Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA)
The IVA is machine learning and AI-powered software that allows customers to quickly complete tasks and find relevant information based on previous conversations, location, and personal data. Intelligent virtual assistant platforms utilize natural language processing to understand spoken words and the text similar to humans.
Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, IBM’s Watson, and Microsoft’s Cortana are the best known intelligent virtual agent applications to provide customer service. IVAs provide an essential service layer for many companies. Through quick and successful customer resolution, a smart assistant offers a better customer experience than traditional chatbots. They also reduce the volume of customers who need to speak with an operator while still having a positive user experience.
Intelligent virtual assistants are deployed across various industries, including healthcare, automotive, retail, e-commerce grocery, among others to help customers and employees. The application of IVAs includes accelerating online sales, collections and contact centers, and customer relations support.
The global intelligent virtual assistant market is likely to grow considerably owing to the business advantages associated with it. According to RationalStat, AI-enabled virtual assistants could save nearly 30 billion customer service hours and revenues worth US$ 8 billion. Large, Mid, and small-sized enterprises will continue to experiment with chatbots and virtual assistants as they look to balance better customer service with operating margins.
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Co-founder and Director at RationalStat
Ujjwal is a thought leader and recognized expert in the market research and consulting field. He is the co-founder at RationalStat, a leading global market research & procurement intelligence firm with 10+ years of industry expertise.