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Six Questions to Ask When Choosing a Virtual Agent

Companies are turning to automated customer service as a way to increase efficiency and improve their customer experience. Many have seen impressive reductions in service cost, live agent handle time, and call escalations.

So how do you decide which virtual agent is right for you? Here are a few factors to consider:

1. How are simultaneous calls answered?

A question you will want to ask potential providers is, “how does your solution handle simultaneous calls?” Many providers limit the number of concurrent calls answered by the number of subscriber lines. If more customers call in than lines are free, they either get a busy signal, are thrown to voicemail, put into a queue, or ring the front desk. 

Most companies who choose AI-powered virtual agents do so to avoid overloading staff and to improve customer service. With Skye from Tyme Global (TG), all calls are answered with zero wait time, and there are no limits on the number of simultaneous calls. TG also offers live remote agents to handle escalations, further reducing the number of calls transferred to your front desk.

2. How are failovers handled?

AI operators may be “intelligent,” but they are far from perfect. Another question to ask is “what happens when the virtual agent doesn’t understand what the caller is saying?” A bad connection, a thick accent, or even just the wording of a question can trip up even the best of today’s AIs. So what happens next?

When callers are not understood by the AI they may get dumped into a hold queue, sent to voicemail, or transferred to the front desk. The caller’s issue may be resolved in the moment, but how do you keep that error from happening again? Find out how fail-overs are handled.

Tyme Global’s Skye keeps a transcript of every call. If the call is transferred to a live TG agent they will see the transcript immediately. This allows the agent to see what the caller was trying to accomplish. Regardless of where you want the call routed, a copy of the transcript is also automatically sent to the tech team for review and the system is then updated.

3. How easy is it to make updates?

Regardless of how errors are tracked, it is also important to understand how (and how quickly) they will be resolved.

In the above example, a caller is misheard and transferred to a live agent. With Skye, a transcript of the call is immediately sent to IT. Changes and updates happen right away. It’s a simple matter of updating a database. 

Some providers use human recordings for their AI. While these recordings sound very human, any significant changes require working with the company and voice actor to record a new word or phrase. Skye uses the best natural language processing available to provide human-sounding responses in real-time. When selecting the right AI for you, consider what is most important to your customer journey: easy corrections or a more human-sounding voice.

4. What happens when a caller needs an operator?

We’ve all been there. The IVR is just not able to help us. We have a very specific question that needs human intervention. What happens when a caller asks for an agent? It is important to understand this part of the caller journey. Do they go on hold waiting for your front desk? If all lines are busy do they end up in voicemail?

With Skye, you decide exactly how agent requests are handled. You can have Tyme Global operators take escalations, have them routed to the front desk, or a combination of both to minimize wait time. As with failovers, whenever a caller asks for an operator a transcript is sent for review.

5. Does it integrate with your systems?

Any AI-powered agent can only do what it is told. It can only interact with whatever data it is provided. So will your new virtual agent be able to tell what room a guest is in? Can it send a request to the valet? Dispatch a maintenance request or order coffee? Before you sign on, be sure you find out if and how your virtual agent integrates with your PMS. 

Skye does more than just answer FAQs. It can do all of the above and more. A checked-in guest is greeted by name and can request towels directly through Skye. 

6. How much does a virtual agent cost?

There are many different pricing models out there. Some include technical support, others do not. Some charge per line, per minute, or per call. Knowing how many calls per day/week/month you receive on average can help when considering which provider will work best for your company.

Skye’s pricing is tiered by usage. The per minute call or per message text rate goes down with each tier. Voice and text/sms usage is calculated separately. Each bracket of minutes/texts are charged incrementally so you’re never penalized for using more minutes. Technical support is always free.

Why settle for limitations? Skye offers all the functionality of leading AI Virtual Agents and more with unlimited simultaneous calls, zero wait times, and the ability to add integrated live agents to your package either as a fail-over or customer option. Only pay for minutes/texts used with free technical support. 


Learn more at skye.ai or book a demo today.

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