Meet Kate: AT&T's New Virtual Expert for Business Customers

Oct 26, 2010, 10:19 ET from AT&T Inc.

DALLAS, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T* today introduced a powerful new addition to the company's award-winning AT&T BusinessDirect® Portfolio.  Kate, a virtual customer-service representative, helps customers quickly find answers to questions they have about AT&T's products and services by helping them navigate to the most relevant information.



Customers visiting the AT&T BusinessDirect Portfolio will be able to click one of the "Ask Kate" icons, appearing in various places throughout the website, and open a chat window to enter their question, just as though they were chatting with an agent. Kate provides a friendly, immediate written and spoken response, creating a personal and interactive experience. From deals on devices, to finding applicable discounts and getting answers to questions about service contracts, Kate can provide the same high-touch service available from call-center representatives

For example, when a customer needs help upgrading their device, Kate will guide them through the selection process, making the buying experience personal and easy.

The technology behind Kate provides a conversational interface that goes beyond the traditional natural language processing employed by most avatars and virtual agents. Kate has the ability to understand the intent of phrases and the context in which questions are asked, guiding customers to information and offers relevant to them. She's even able to navigate users to the most helpful web pages and provide additional links to related information. For difficult questions, Kate will ask clarifying questions to help locate answers quickly.

The business-savvy virtual agent is integrated with the other real-time support options. Should a customer need to speak to an agent, the agent has access to the chat with Kate, eliminating the need for the customer to re-explain the query.  Not only is Kate able to interact with customers on a variety of subjects; she also has her own opinions - including plans on how she will spend her retirement.

"The AT&T BusinessDirect Portfolio is a 'virtual telecom department' for customers, helping them manage their communication services conveniently online, improve productivity, improve the speed and accuracy of transactions, optimize network efficiency in near real time, and reduce their costs," said John Cushman, Vice President AT&T eSales & Service.  "Tools, such as 'Ask Kate', allow us to be of assistance to our customers in the instant, continuous, and comprehensible way they need," he said.

The AT&T BusinessDirect Portfolio is a suite of over 200 productivity-enhancing online tools that enables business customers to manage their AT&T products and services most efficiently. Each month, the AT&T BusinessDirect Portfolio handles over 4.5 million customer transactions from users across 90 countries, helping businesses improve productivity, increase the speed and accuracy of network transactions, optimize network resources and reduce operating costs. It caters specifically to each business users' needs.  Over 50% of all new enterprise mobility customer sales are completed online through the AT&T BusinessDirect Portfolio.  The eServicing capabilities supported on the AT&T BusinessDirect Portfolio include the followings:

  • Performance Reporting
  • Ordering and Status
  • Account Management and Billing
  • Trouble Ticketing
  • Network Management
  • Inventory Management

With training, online help, globally integrated field support, extended call center hours- including weekends, online chat and now a virtual agent, users have flexibility in choosing which support option best suits their needs.

To learn more about the AT&T BusinessDirect Portfolio, then visit AT&T Enterprise Business Customer Center.

To see Kate in action, watch a Demo of Ask Kate- Virtual Agent.  

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine. 

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