In customer relationship management (CRM), a virtual agent (sometimes called an intelligent virtual agent, virtual rep or v-rep) is a chatterbot program that serves as an online customer service representative for an organization. Because virtual agents have a human appearance and respond appropriately to customer questions, they lend automated interactions a semblance of personal service. Combining artificial intelligence (AI) with a graphical representation, virtual agents are increasingly used in CRM to help people perform tasks such as locating information or placing orders and making reservations.
Customer response to the use of virtual agents has been largely positive...
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This was first published in October 2006