Nuance Communications: Nina is The Go-To Virtual Assistant

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Name of Organization / Company: Nuance Communications, North Sydney, NSW, Australia

Category: Award for Innovation in Business-to-Business Services

Entry Title: Nuance’s Nina is The Go-To Virtual Assistant


Four years ago Nuance launched Nina – the first virtual assistant (VA) for customer-service spanning speech and text capabilities across web and mobile channels. The state-of-the-art VA leverages Nuance’s leadership and expertise in voice, Natural Language Understanding (NLU), conversational dialogue and advanced resolution techniques to provide a compelling, multi-channel, automated experience for brands. A growing number of companies across the globe – Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, Jetstar, USAA and others – have reaped the benefits of Nina, elevating customer service through intelligent capabilities.

In 2017, Australian and New Zealand pizza lovers are becoming familiar with ‘DRU Assist’ which uses conversational AI to deliver superior customer-service across Domino’s mobile app and website. DRU engages customers in human-like conversation via text or speech recognition, enabling customers to place orders in record time. DRU can converse about menus, ingredients, store locations and operating hours. It also has a social side, engaging customers with a personality tailored to Domino’s brand.

2016 had also been a success with more companies deploying Nina, such as IP Australia and The Australian Taxation Office to name a few. Nuance also made significant advancements to the groundbreaking Nina platform.

In May 2016, Nuance introduced Nina for Messaging, enabling enterprises to engage customers via intelligent, two-way messaging on mobile devices. Tapping into Nuance’s proven NLU and conversational technologies, Nina for Messaging lowers investment and time risk for enterprises seeking to offer exceptional customer-service via conversational messaging within native mobile apps, through text messaging and in messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger. For the consumer, this means simply sending a message to intuitively find answers, seek resolution for complex problems, and make purchases.

Nina for Messaging offers Enterprises enormous capabilities such as in-app messaging, which adds an intelligent conversational interface to existing mobile applications. This allows users to easily find information or complete tasks into the app by speaking or typing while engaging in an automated two-way dialogue.

The solution’s two-way text messaging over SMS adds a conversational interface to the popular text (SMS) messaging channel, removing the constraints of traditional automated text dialogue. Consumers can initiate customer-service conversations by texting or responding to company-initiated dialogues naturally, as if conversing with a live agent.

The Nina for Messaging solution is the only solution capable of messaging with other chatbots – adding an intelligent conversational interface to messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger, allowing businesses to leverage these popular communication channels to provide customer-service.

Offering automated self-service experiences via messaging allows enterprises to reduce operating costs while increasing customer satisfaction. Unlike other chatbot solutions, Nina’s unified tooling and common multichannel platform enable a write-once, deploy-anywhere approach whereby companies can easily and cost-effectively extend their investment in intelligent self-service to multiple channels, providing the benefit of a consistent consumer experience without implementing a number of one-off integrations. While beneficial to the enterprise, Nina for Messaging is game-changing for the consumer, providing an intuitive and efficient conversation, much like engaging with a human agent.

In August 2016, Nuance announced the acquisition of its omni-channel customer engagement solutions partner, TouchCommerce. Just prior to the acquisition, Nuance and TouchCommerce collaborated on launching TouchAssist, based on Nina NLU technology, to provide enterprises with the optimal combination of virtual assistant and live chat interactions in digital channels. TouchAssist gives consumers the ability to engage in sophisticated, human-like dialogue with a "smart" virtual assistant or chatbot. Harnessing both Nuance and TouchCommerce technologies provides an innovative blend of automated and live chat assistance, seamlessly intertwined within a single web or mobile web interface, equipped with extensive customer targeting and analytics. By improving knowledge and accuracy over time, this powerful collaboration is paving the way to a future with fully autonomous chatbots, ultimately transforming the role of live chat agents into that of a Virtual Assistant Trainers.

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