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Virtual Agent

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Virtual Agent

ServiceNow® Virtual Agent is a conversational bot platform for providing user assistance through conversations within a messaging interface. Use ServiceNow® Virtual Agent to build bots and design bot conversations that help your users quickly obtain information, make decisions, and perform common work tasks.

Watch this eight-minute video for an introduction to the Virtual Agent platform.

Components

The Virtual Agent platform includes the following components:

Virtual Agent conversational (client) interface
With Virtual Agent, your users interact with a chatbot or live agent through various messaging services. Your users can use the web-based Virtual Agent interface available for Service Portal and Apple iOS and Google Android environments. They can use the Virtual Agent interface for third-party messaging applications through the ServiceNow integrations for Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Virtual Agent Designer
Use Virtual Agent Designer to develop, test, and deploy bot conversations that assist your users with common issues or self-service tasks. Virtual Agent Designer is a graphic tool for building the dialog flows of bot conversations, called topics. A topic defines the dialog exchanged between a virtual agent and user to accomplish a specific goal or resolve an issue.

Predefined topics are available for Customer Service Management, HR Service Delivery, and IT Service Management.

Live Agent handoff
Give users the option to switch to a human agent for assistance during bot conversations. Virtual Agent is integrated with the Live Agent module to offer a seamless transfer from a bot conversation to a live agent. With Live Agent, you specify the agent chat queues to be used, including the chat interactions transferred from a virtual agent to a human agent. Your users can request a live agent transfer at any time during a chatbot conversation. You can also initiate a live agent transfer through custom conversation flows that you build.

Benefits

Implementing a virtual agent to handle common requests and tasks enables your users to get immediate help, day or night. Providing your virtual agent on channels familiar to your users, such as third-party messaging apps, offers a convenient way for them to get work done quickly. A virtual agent can also offer personalized customer experiences by applying and remembering user information during the conversation.

Typical Tier 2 support tasks that can be accomplished with virtual agents include:
  • Answering FAQs
  • Providing tutorial ("how to") information
  • Querying or updating records, for example to get status on cases or incidents
  • Gathering data, such as attachments, for the live agent
  • Performing diagnostics
  • Resolving multi-step problems

Automating these support tasks with a virtual agent frees your support agents to focus on more complex user issues and enables you to scale your support organization accordingly.

Conversational interface

The Virtual Agent conversational interface captures an automated messaging session between the virtual agent and user. The interface uses the Service Portal web widget, which can be configured for custom service portals. The widget is available in the CSM, HR Service Delivery, and ITSM Service Portals.

Figure 1. Simple conversation example - web interface
Elements of a virtual agent conversation (welcome message, top selection message, user and bot responses, and closing message)
A simple conversation typically includes the following elements:
  • Default welcome message from the bot, followed by the first prompt for the conversation. The initial prompt asks the user to type a question, which generally includes a keyword to trigger the appropriate conversation or to choose from a list of available topics.
  • User response to the first prompt. In this example, the user chooses the topic for opening an IT incident.
  • Series of prompts, acknowledgements, and responses exchanged between the bot and the user until the user's goal is reached or task completed. Different rich controls can be used in bot prompts, for example, choice lists with buttons or a carousel of images to select an item.
  • Closing message to end the conversation.

Conversation options

The conversational interface offers your users several options to manage the conversation. Users can leave the current conversation and start a new one, or contact support to get access to a live agent for immediate assistance.

Figure 2. Live agent transfer example
Example Virtual Agent chat window after live agent transfer

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