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The business world has changed drastically from what it was a decade ago. This doesn’t just mean production processes and marketing techniques, but even consumer expectations. 

In today’s fast-paced world, consumers demand a quick and simple service while firms are doing everything in their power to raise efficiency levels by minimizing repetitive tasks. 

To cater to these demands and stay ahead of the competition, businesses today are taking advantage of various software and technological tools that equip them with everything they need.

Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular among enterprises and e-commerce stores

These tools are handy to businesses because they increase customer engagement and website visits with constant enhancement.

Surveys have shown that over 33% of consumers prefer using chatbots for making reservations. 

Why Chatbots? Their Importance in the Business World

One popular tool used to build chatbots is Microsoft Power Virtual Agents. 

But why are chatbots so popular today? 

Here is a list of how chatbots benefit your business:

They represent your company:

If you think about it, one of the first interactions some users have with a company is through a chatbot. 

This touchpoint could end up being much more personal than a conversation customers have with a company representative either via email or over the phone.

The business can shape the chatbot’s personality according to its goals, which means it could play an integral role in attracting and retaining customers.

24/7 Availability:

Traditional customer service professionals are likely to leave at closing hours. This means customer queries cannot be answered during this time.

But with chatbots, that is not the case anymore! 

These bots are available 24/7 to answer the queries of your clients. 

The best part is, bots can tackle numerous customers simultaneously, which means all customers are looked after.

Boosted Sales:

Potential customers can be converted to regular customers if the correct information is provided to them at the right time.

Chatbots can help you accomplish this by proactively offering assistance to your clients as they use your site or select a product.

They can even inform customers of the latest deals your brand is offering, which could significantly boost sales. 

Since no customer is left unattended, there are higher chances of retaining more clients, leading to accelerated revenue growth.

Wide Applications:

The use of chatbots is not confined to specific industries or uses only. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Customer Service: Addressing customer problems and answering frequently asked questions
  • Marketing: greater interactions, data collection, and gathering customer insights
  • HR: personnel development support
  • IT Helpdesk: internal and external help desk
  • Sales: lead qualification

Customer-related Insights:

Chatbots provide users with valuable insights about customer satisfaction. 

This allows the business to extract information that can help them develop their marketing strategy through the information provided related to popular products, questions, and problems. 

For instance, content strategies can be shaped according to the insights you gather related to the questions and problems of customers. Hence, businesses can create content that answers the questions of users. 

What are Power Virtual Agents?

Want to build your low-code bots?

Power Virtual Agents is constructed especially for this purpose!

The Power Platform includes the Power Virtual Agents, which is an application by Microsoft Office 365. 

Power Virtual Agents is built to help users develop bots with the low code approach. 

In other words, users can develop fully functional bots and implement bot apps without the use of code. This makes the process much simpler. 

The best part about Microsoft Power Virtual Agents is that it is included in Office 365. This means it can easily be integrated with other Microsoft 365 applications.

You can now manage and create bots without the use of coding, thanks to PVA that provides users with an AI-based platform designed for chatbots. 

Power Virtual Agents deliver the functional part of the chatbot. Thanks to this, the only thing users need to do is, provide the logic and knowledge for the bot behavior. 

In simpler words, users are only required to set the bot up. 

Key Features of Power Virtual Agents:

Office 365 offers Power Virtual Agents in two editions:

  • Power Virtual Agents for Teams:

Power Virtual Agents for teams is a free app, but it also comes with certain limitations. The app only allows users to create internal bots. 

  • Power Virtual Agents:

This is a premium application that requires an additional subscription. It focuses on enabling clients to develop a client-oriented web-based external bot. 

Through the app, users can also create internal Microsoft Teams bots.

PVA is designed to help users develop bots that engage with customers via several channels. This includes not only websites but also mobile apps and messenger platforms. 

Some of the key features of PVA (premium and for teams) are listed below:

  • Integration: PVA can be integrated with Microsoft apps since it’s a part of Microsoft Office 365. Plus, bots created can also be integrated with demo websites, published and live websites, applications, and platforms, including Facebook, Telegram, Skype, and Email. 
  • Skills: activities can be automated through this premium feature. For example, users can automatically book appointments, manage tasks, and even send confirmation emails. 
  • AI functionalities: this includes personalizing conversations, topic suggestions from chat transcripts, and detecting overlapping topics. 
  • Analytics: customer satisfaction analytics are also provided to users, which contains detailed information on engagement and customer satisfaction, etc. It also offers the ability to record sessions with customers. 

Cost and Pricing

Are Microsoft Power virtual agents free? 

Power Virtual Agents is a premium application offered by the Microsoft 365 platform. 

The subscription fee of Power Virtual Agents is approximately $2000 a month, offering you the ability to publish and create chatbots on websites and several other channels. 

The subscription doesn’t just include a 10GB database but also a Microsoft Dataverse file capacity of 20GB.

It also offers two-way engaged sessions. These sessions between user and chatbot add up to 2000.

To get an additional package of 1000 bot sessions, you would have to pay $450. 

Power Virtual Agents Licensing for Teams

The Power Virtual Agent User License is a free license assigned only to bot editors by Office 365 admins. This license is required for editing the Power Virtual Agent bot. 

Microsoft Teams is a free platform designed to be used internally in Microsoft teams. No additional subscription is required for Power Virtual Agents for Teams. 

Dataverse is the platform where data is stored for users who gather data via Power Virtual Agents for Teams. 

Some of the subscriptions that allow users to use Power Virtual Agents for Teams free of cost include:

  • Power virtual agents for office 365: Basic, Premium, Standard
  • Microsoft 365, F3, E3, E5
  • Office 365 E1, E3, E5, F3

Why use Microsoft Power Virtual Agents?

What are the benefits of Microsoft Power Virtual Agents? Is it worth the investment?

Take a look at some of the benefits of using PVA:

  •     Creating Virtual Agents Easily: If you’re planning to develop intelligent virtual agents with your team, there is no better option than PVA. This is because it eliminates the need for additional training and teaching your team how to code, thanks to the guided, no-code graphical interface.
  •     Minimized Operational Costs: Investing in a good chatbot is just a one-time investment that allows you to create agents who deal with all customer-related issues. This eliminates the need to employ additional staff to manage conversations with clients, enabling the team to focus more on complex issues. 
  •     Better Customer Loyalty: Through chatbots, your customer service “agent” is available 24/7 to offer assistance to clients and help them resolve their issues immediately. This leads to more customer engagement and helps develop customer loyalty. 
  •     Track Performance: the data drive insights allow businesses to ensure their chatbots are running efficiently. You can monitor the status of your bots continuously, which enables you to work on your performance through AI capabilities. 
  •     Control your chatbots according to your strategies: Power Virtual Agents can be integrated with platforms a business uses on a regular basis allowing them to optimize and track performance through prebuilt connectors. 

Conclusion: 

Several things can be accomplished through Power Virtual Agents. From websites and Microsoft Teams to employee helpdesks and even facilities management. 

There are several benefits of using chatbots, not just for employees but also for businesses. If you want to develop chatbots without diving into the complicated world of coding, then the best option is Power Virtual Agents. 

These virtual agents allow its clients to improve customer relations and build brand loyalty since virtual agents can answer customer queries almost instantly and are available 24/7. 

The reduced customer service workload translates to an increased focus on other aspects of your business. 

Therefore, apart from improving customer relations, chatbots also enhance other areas within a business. 

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