SmithKline Beecham Teams Up with Neuromedia to Help Smokers Kick the Habit Online
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 6, 2000-- NeuromediaÂ®, Inc., the leading provider of interactive Web-based solutions for developing and deploying Virtual Representatives (vReps), today announced that SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare (SBCH) wi
The company's online presence includes the NicoretteÂ® and NicoDermÂ® CQÂ® product sites and the Committed QuittersÂ® Stop Smoking Resource Center(SM). The vRep will be able to discuss these products with customers, as well as relay general information about quitting smoking.
vReps are virtual, interactive sales and customer service representatives that form the first line of customer service and can conduct complex, multi-level natural language conversations with online visitors. Nicorette, NicoDerm CQ and Committed Quitters web site visitors will be able simply to type in a question relating to nicotine replacement therapy and stopping smoking, and the vRep will respond directly with an answer. If the visitor requires additional information, the vRep generates an email to SBCH Customer Service, and a human representative follows up.
According to Ed Lara, Senior Brand Equity Manager, the company evaluated other technologies such as a searchable database or similar search engine, but found that the Neuromedia software provided a more user-friendly approach to helping consumers find the information they need as quickly as possible. ``Since quitting smoking is a very involved and highly individualized process, being able to provide relevant information quickly and simply is important,'' Lara said. ``Neuromedia's vRep technology turned out to be the answer. vReps will handle frequently asked questions, help visitors navigate our site, and generate a digital trail that allows us to track online activity so that we can continue to fine-tune our consumer education and customer service capabilities. Most importantly, they're going to be our partners in providing one of today's most important public services -- helping people overcome their tobacco dependence.''
``SmithKline Beecham faced a business problem that confronts many companies seeking to maximize the efficiency of limited customer service resources,'' said Walter Tackett, co-founder and CEO of Neuromedia. ``In addition, their stop smoking Web sites are frequented by people who simply don't have the time to wait for a response from human reps. Neuromedia's vReps quickly respond to the typical barrage of common questions while human service reps redirect their energies toward dealing with higher-level issues. By merging the best capabilities of computerized and human reps, SBCH is bringing its online customers as close as possible to the ideal real-world experience.''
SBCH's online stop smoking program includes information on popular smoking cessation products such as Nicorette nicotine gum and NicoDerm CQ nicotine patches. Neuromedia's vRep technology will also be used on the company's Committed Quitters Stop Smoking Resource Center Web site, which offers customized behavioral support on line.
SBCH also chose Neuromedia's Professional Services group to design and implement the vRep solution, including the vRep's dialog and navigation capabilities. Now in the initial stages of deployment, the system is expected to go live in April 2000.
Founded in 1996, Neuromedia, Inc. is the leading provider of scalable Internet solutions that enable the creation and deployment of Virtual Representatives (vReps). vReps are virtual online sales and customer service representatives that dynamically interact with customers via real-time, natural language dialog for eCommerce and customer support Web sites. Leading companies in a variety of industries have successfully implemented Neuromedia's vRep solutions. These companies include, among others, Avenew, Axcess.com, Bigstep.com, Convergys, One 2 One, Procter & Gamble, reflect.com and Track Data. Neuromedia is a privately held corporation based in San Francisco, Calif. For more information, visit www.neuromedia.com.