Automobiles News

United Services Automobile Association – InsuranceNewsNet


2022 JUL 27 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Daily News — From Alexandria, Virginia, NewsRx journalists report that a patent by the inventors Gallagher, Jeffrey William (San Antonio, TX, US), Jamison, Andrew P. (San Antonio, TX, US), Knight, Brett (San Antonio, TX, US), Leggett, Justin (Bulverde, TX, US), filed on August 31, 2020, was published online on July 5, 2022.

The patent’s assignee for patent number 11379182 is United Services Automobile Association (San Antonio, Texas, United States).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “Many companies depend on interactive voice response (IVR) systems, representatives, websites, or mobile applications to provide service to their customers or potential customers. Each have their strengths and weaknesses-there may be a wait time for a representative and it may not be the correct representative, an IVR may not have the right selection for the customer, and the website or the mobile application may not have all the detailed information needed for the customer’s particular situation.”

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “Mobile applications, websites, and other resources have made it easy for users to “self-service,” that is, users can look at a website or application to find the answer to a question or to take an action, as opposed to calling an organization for information or to request an action. In many cases, users would rather self-service than call. However, users can become frustrated if, while navigating a website or an application, they are not able to locate the functionality or information they desire. If users then decide to call the organization, they may be frustrated before the call even begins. When callers are frustrated before calling an organization, or become frustrated with an interactive voice response (“IVR”) system, callers tend to state the word “representative” in hopes of being taken out of the IVR flow and being connected to a human who can help them more immediately. This situation creates a dilemma for companies. On the one hand, companies do not want frustrated callers to be forced to listen to an IVR; on the other hand, companies do not like the inefficiency of directing users to a representative who is not knowledgeable in the area for which the user is calling. From the company’s perspective, it is much more efficient to have users find the answer via the website or application or to determine what the caller is calling about and direct the caller to the appropriate representative directly (i.e., without needing to transfer the call).

“Embodiments described herein provide a conversational virtual assistant that assists users by providing, in a conversational manner via a device, the help or answers that users are looking for on the website or an application, as well as by performing actions that users request (e.g., canceling a credit card, replacing a credit card, performing a transfer). Moreover, the conversational virtual assistant uses personal information about the user, along with contact center information, to provide a personalized, real-time contact menu with options for the user.

“This disclosure describes authentication systems and methods designed to increase the efficiency of communications between a user and an organization. Various embodiments may provide one or more of the following technological improvements: (1) improved accuracy in identifying user questions or navigational issues; (2) increased efficiency in directing a caller, resulting in a shorter call time; (3) real-time or near real-time assistance including actions via a conversational virtual assistant; and (4) an efficient manner of determining contact options with real-time personalized information and creation of a contact option menu that is adaptable to multiple channels, including mobile applications and websites.

“In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the present disclosure. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art upon reading the disclosure that embodiments may be practiced without some of these specific details.

“Moreover, the techniques introduced here can be embodied as special-purpose hardware (e.g., circuitry), as programmable circuitry appropriately programmed with software and/or firmware, or as a combination of special-purpose and programmable circuitry. Hence, embodiments may include a machine-readable medium having stored thereon instructions that may be used to program a computer (or other electronic devices) to perform a process. The machine-readable medium may include, but is not limited to, floppy diskettes, optical discs, compact disc read-only memories (CD-ROMs), magneto-optical discs, read-only memories (ROMs), random-access memories (RAMs), erasable programmable read-only memories (EPROMs), electrically erasable programmable read-only memories (EEPROMs), magnetic or optical cards, flash memory, or other types of machine-readable media suitable for storing electronic instructions.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. A method comprising: receiving, via a network, a request for assistance from a device associated with a user; causing a virtual assistant to launch on the device; determining at least one potential subject of the request based on information associated with the user; creating a contact menu with options including: a wait time for receiving assistance via a call representative for the at least one potential subject of the request, and a wait time for receiving assistance to take an action via the conversational virtual assistant; determining a recommendation for one of the options based on A) the wait time for receiving assistance via the call representative, B) the wait time for receiving assistance via the conversational virtual assistant, C) contact center information associated with the call representative, and D) the at least one potential subject of the request; causing the contact menu to be displayed on the device via the conversational virtual assistant, wherein the displaying of the contact menu includes an indication of the recommendation; and receiving an indication of a selection of one of the options.

“2. The method of claim 1, wherein the information associated with the user includes indicia of products or services A) purchased by the user or B) determined as candidate products or services to be purchased by the user.

“3. The method of claim 1: wherein the indication of the selection is received as an indication of a verbal command received via the device; and wherein the method further comprises: processing a version of the verbal command; and executing operations based on the verbal command.

“4. The method of claim 3, wherein the verbal command is one of: a command to replace or cancel a stolen or lost payment instrument; a command to activate a new payment instrument; a command to transfer funds; a command to pay a bill; a command to order checks; a command to increase a withdrawal limit; or a command to view an insurance policy.

“5. The method of claim 1 further comprising: receiving an indication to undo the selection of one of the options, wherein a graphical indication of the selection is removed from a display of the conversational virtual assistant in response to the indication to undo the selection; and receiving an indication of a selection of a different one of the options.

“6. The method of claim 1, wherein the information associated with the user includes a listing of accounts that the user holds at an entity in control of the virtual assistant.

“7. The method of claim 1, wherein the options include options to speak with a targeted representative selected based on the targeted representative having a designation as knowledgeable in the at least one potential subject; and wherein the options to speak with the targeted representative include one or more of: an option to chat online with the targeted representative; an option to have a video conference with the targeted representative, or an option to have a phone conversation with the targeted representative.

“8. The method of claim 1, wherein the wait time for receiving assistance includes an estimated wait time.

“9. The method of claim 1, wherein the wait time for receiving assistance includes hours of operation.

“10. The method of claim 1, wherein the determining the at least one potential subject of the request includes: causing an initial, automatically determined subject of the request to be displayed to the user; and receiving an indication that the user verified that the initial subject of the request was correct.

“11. A computer-readable storage medium storing instructions that, when executed by a computing system, cause the computing system to perform a process comprising: receiving, via a network, a request for assistance from a device associated with a user; causing a virtual assistant to launch on the device; determining at least one potential subject of the request based on information associated with the user; creating a contact menu with options including: a wait time for receiving assistance via a call representative for the at least one potential subject of the request, and a wait time for receiving assistance to take an action via the conversational virtual assistant; determining a recommendation for one of the options based on A) the wait time for receiving assistance via the call representative, B) the wait time for receiving assistance via the conversational virtual assistant, C) contact center information associated with the call representative, and D) the at least one potential subject of the request; causing the contact menu to be displayed on the device via the conversational virtual assistant, wherein the displaying of the contact menu includes an indication of the recommendation; and receiving an indication of a selection of one of the options.

“12. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 11, wherein the information associated with the user includes indicia of products or services A) purchased by the user or B) determined as candidate products or services to be purchased by the user.

“13. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 11: wherein the indication of the selection is received as an indication of a verbal command received via the device; and wherein the method further comprises: processing a version of the verbal command; and executing operations based on the verbal command.

“14. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 13, wherein the verbal command is one of: a command to replace or cancel a stolen or lost payment instrument; a command to activate a new payment instrument; a command to transfer funds; a command to pay a bill; a command to order checks; a command to increase a withdrawal limit; or a command to view an insurance policy.

“15. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 11, wherein the process further comprises: receiving an indication to undo the selection of one of the options, wherein a graphical indication of the selection is removed from a display of the conversational virtual assistant in response to the indication to undo the selection; and receiving an indication of a selection of a different one of the options.

“16. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 11, wherein the information associated with the user includes a listing of accounts that the user holds at an entity in control of the virtual assistant.

“17. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 11, wherein the options include options to speak with a targeted representative selected based on the targeted representative having a designation as knowledgeable in the at least one potential subject; and wherein the options to speak with the targeted representative include one or more of: an option to chat online with the targeted representative; an option to have a video conference with the targeted representative, or an option to have a phone conversation with the targeted representative.

“18. A computing system comprising: one or more processors; and one or more memories storing instructions that, when executed by the one or more processors, cause the computing system to perform a process comprising: receiving, via a network, a request for assistance from a device associated with a user; causing a virtual assistant to launch on the device; determining at least one potential subject of the request based on information associated with the user; creating a contact menu with options including: a wait time for receiving assistance via a call representative for the at least one potential subject of the request, and a wait time for receiving assistance to take an action via the conversational virtual assistant; determining a recommendation for one of the options based on A) the wait time for receiving assistance via the call representative, B) the wait time for receiving assistance via the conversational virtual assistant, C) contact center information associated with the call representative, and D) the at least one potential subject of the request; causing the contact menu to be displayed on the device via the conversational virtual assistant, wherein the displaying of the contact menu includes an indication of the recommendation; and receiving an indication of a selection of one of the options.

“19. The computing system of claim 18, wherein the wait time for receiving assistance includes hours of operation.

“20. The computing system of claim 18, wherein the determining the at least one potential subject of the request includes: causing an initial, automatically determined subject of the request to be displayed to the user; and receiving an indication that the user verified that the initial subject of the request was correct.”

For additional information on this patent, see: Gallagher, Jeffrey William. Conversational virtual assistant. U.S. Patent Number 11379182, filed August 31, 2020, and published online on July 5, 2022. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=11379182.PN.&OS=PN/11379182RS=PN/11379182

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)





Source link