SUNNYVALE, Calif. (February 11, 2002) – Customers going to the eGain Web site with questions about company products and services can win a “Valentine’s Day Special,” when they interact with “Eve,” eGain Communications Corporation’s (NASDAQ: EGAN) intelligent virtual assistant. Powered by eGain Assistant™ virtual agent software, the knowledgeable agent assumes various names and demeanors as she graces the online help areas of companies including McAfee.com, ABN AMRO’s CashPro Web, and TradEnable. She engages customers, answers their questions with precision, and, when appropriate, with just a touch of coyness.
For Valentine’s Day, eGain is responding to users who have indicated that they want a more personal relationship with Eve. Starting on Monday, February 11th, and going at least through Valentine’s Day on February 14th, Eve will send a box of chocolates to the first 100 suitors that come to the eGain Web site (www.egain.com) and ask her to be their Valentine.
The light-hearted exercise is a nod to those eGain customers who like to end their online self-help sessions with “All About Eve” questions and comments. Ranging from inquiries about how she works to compliments and requests for dates, the interactions indicate to eGain that beyond providing the satisfaction of having questions answered intelligently and accurately, Eve fills a further important need: she provides the kind of warmth and responsiveness that are the hallmarks of great customer service.
“Eve is so personable that once people have the hard business information they’re looking for, many like to stay online just a bit longer, to get to know ‘her’ just a little better,” said Max Fiszer, vice president of corporate marketing at eGain Corporation. “Eve knows how to respond kindly but efficiently to questions like ‘Will you marry me?’ In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re going to turn a blind eye to these online flirtations and let Eve go a step further.”
Part of the eGain eService Enterprise (E3) integrated product suite, eGain Assistant provides a conversational interface that has proved to be a winning platform for truly engaging customers, inspiring and increasing loyalty to a company and its products, and reducing support costs.
An eGain study of 284,000 exchanges showed that more than 90 percent of questions to Eve are business-related. Not only is the eGain Assistant all business, but she’s also accurate. At eGain client ABN AMRO, their virtual agent successfully resolves customer inquiries 96% of the time. Following eGain best practices, ABN AMRO ‘s “RITA” agent is “trained” to escalate the chat to a live customer agent for further help whenever the customer has asked a question three times without reaching a solution.
“Every service interaction is a test of a company’s relationship with their customers –it can go either way,” said Michael Lehane, product manager for self-service solutions at eGain. “Since eGain Assistant is both informative and emotionally responsive, companies can employ the virtual agent as first-line help. For example, eGain’s Eve intelligently responds to conversational inquiries, putting words and ideas into context that are more likely to provide the information being sought. She also escalates unanswered questions quickly, so frustration levels are contained. That answers customers’ needs to feel good about their self-help experience.”
Flirting with eGain’s Virtual Agent
While most customers ask Eve purely business-related questions, just under 7 percent get more personal. eGain found that in reviewing 284,000 of Eve’s conversations, more than 4,000 customers complimented Eve, telling her things like “You’re pretty” or “I like your eyes.” Nearly 8,000 asked personal questions such as “How old are you?”, “What are your favorite things?” and “How many children do you have?” More than 4,000 expressed love or affection, and 811 hardy souls actually asked her for a date.
“She’s doing better than I am,” said an eGain employee who asked to remain anonymous. “Maybe Sarah Jessica Parker and I could learn something from her.”
eGain’s Eve responds to compliments with a smile, a wave, and a cheery “Thank you very much.” As for a “Will you be my Valentine?” query, her standard answer now is: “Perhaps. I’m not sure I understand the question. Could you please rephrase it?” But for a brief period, in honor of Valentine’s Day, she will respond: “How sweet. Let’s be Valentines.” Then, said eGain’s Fiszer, it will be back to business.
For a list of the top 12 non-business questions people have asked Eve, visit http://www.egain.com/flirt.
eGain (Nasdaq: EGAN) is a leading provider of eService software. Selected by 24 of the 50 largest global companies to transform their traditional call centers into multi-channel contact centers, eGain solutions measurably improve operational efficiency and customer retention – thus delivering a significant return on investment (ROI). eGain eService Enterprise – the company’s integrated software suite – includes applications for email management, Web collaboration and self-service, and enterprise-wide knowledge management. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., eGain has an operating presence in 18 countries and serves close to 800 enterprise customers on a worldwide basis – including Vodafone, DaimlerChrysler, and ABN AMRO Bank. To find out how eGain can help you gain customers and sustain relationships, please visit http://www.eGain.com or call the company’s offices – United States: (888) 603-4246; London: +44 (0) 1753 464646; or Sydney: +612 9492 5400.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: All statements in this release that involve eGain’s plans, forecasts, beliefs, projections, expectations, strategies and intentions are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to eGain at the time of this release, are not guarantees of future results; rather, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in this release. These risks include, but are not limited to, the challenging economic environment; the uncertainty of demand for eGain products; the anticipated customer benefits from eGain products; increased competition and technological changes in the markets in which eGain competes; eGain’s ability to manage its expenditures; and other risks detailed from time to time in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company’s annual report on Form 10-K filed on September 28, 2001, and the company’s quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. eGain assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Note: eGain is a registered trademark, and the other eGain product and service names appearing in this release are trademarks or service marks, of eGain Communications Corp. All other company names and products may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.Media Contacts: