Astute Solutions Receives Allowance on RealDialog(tm) Patent

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COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 5, 2008 – Leading the charge to help consumer-focused companies differentiate through service excellence, Astute Solutions (http://www.astutesolutions.com) today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Notice of Allowance for its RealDialog™ patent (U.S. patent application 10/076,963). The patent covers automated customer service via an intelligent virtual agent that is trained using customer-agent conversations.

Companies struggle with the customer support function and associated metrics. Human-assisted support has traditionally provided a higher quality of customer service than machine-assisted support, but it is far more expensive. Labor-related costs include high turnover rates, training expenditures, and rectifying human errors. To avoid these escalating expenditures, companies are opting to reduce costs by implementing self-service solutions. They are not, however, seeing the desired results, nor meeting customers’ needs (as evidenced in numerous analyst reports).

By delivering precise and accurate information in a high-quality, cost-effective manner, Astute Solutions’ RealDialog™ offers a true self-service solution. It is a Web-based conversational agent system for enterprise knowledge management and self-service that enables end users (Web site visitors, contact center agents, employees, or partners) to ask questions or enter comments as they choose – in their “natural” language. RealDialog engages users in productive, human-like conversations to deliver the specific information they need at a much lower cost than traditional support channels.

Through RealDialog’s self-learning capabilities, its ability to identify specific gaps in the knowledge base, and powerful non-technical authoring tool suite; Astute Solutions’ RealDialog customers have achieved information accuracy rates consistently exceeding 98 percent.

“Companies struggling to achieve service excellence against efficiency and cost measures are finding out the hard way that traditional key word search and FAQ solutions cannot meet their multi-channel needs,” said Astute Solutions’ President and CEO, Joseph Sanda. “At Astute Solutions, we have an innovative approach that provides dependable answers to end-user questions—no matter how they contact the company. The RealDialog patent validates our customer commitment.”

RealDialog also impacts an organization’s marketing and sales functions. It gives the company
control over the messages and content delivered across all channels. It can provide answers and guidance in the sales process, leading to a higher closure rate – particularly for complex products being sold to novice customers. Moreover, by capturing and analyzing word-for-word conversations, RealDialog provides powerful “voice of the customer” insight, which helps organizations identify opportunities, trends, and threats.
RealDialog’s key differentiators fall under four main areas:
• Natural Language Dialog based solution – It understands the meaning of words and can derive the intent behind user expressions and questions. This enables users to communicate in their “natural language,” and to receive highly specific and accurate, responses (text responses, documents at the paragraph level, multimedia files and more).
• Contextualized conversations/responses – The solution engages users in human-like “conversations” to deliver the best responses. It can “drill down” with clarifying questions when it needs more information from the user, and deliver answers in context of the conversation and specific situation. Moreover, it provides highly specific and personalized responses by retrieving and incorporating user- and product-specific information from CRM systems, customer databases, order and warranty systems and more.
• Learning capabilities – The RealDialog solution can analyze and categorize all users’ questions, “learn” to improve response accuracy, cluster and identify open gaps in the knowledge base, and provide the organization with valuable insight into trends and areas of opportunity.
• Authoring capabilities – Non-technical business users and subject matter experts are able to easily update the knowledge base for greater efficiency and cost savings.

The RealDialog solution can be deployed for a variety of uses, including: Web self-service for customers, employees, and partners; intelligent search; knowledge management; contact center agent assist; email and chat response management; and “voice of the customer” analysis and reporting.
In addition to the areas outlined above, the solution has applications in many functions, organizations and industries, including facilitating e-commerce transactions, technical support, dealer and franchise support, and human resources support. It is highly scalable and capable of handling thousands of simultaneous conversations, enabling even the largest organizations to effectively handle major surges in contact volume.

Following the Notice of Allowance, the USPTO process resulting in final issuance of a patent involves several administrative steps. Astute Solutions anticipates it will be completed within a year.

About Astute Solutions
Through its award-winning contact center automation, customer relationship management and knowledge management solutions, Astute Solutions enables consumer-focused companies to differentiate through service excellence. Its ePowerCenter™ and RealDialogTM solutions solve day-to-day interaction challenges and enable high quality customer experiences across all touch points. These solutions optimize operations through immediate, actionable feedback, while meeting the complex technical requirements of the enterprise. Astute Solutions’ Global 1000 customers include: McDonald’s, British Airways, Levi Strauss & Co., L’Oreal USA, Scott’s, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Labs, and Dunkin’ Brands. For further details, visit http://www.astutesolutions.com/realdialog or call (877) 769-3750.

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Press Contact:
Linda Pitt
GAJ Services Inc.
TEL: 859.291.1005
[email protected]

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