IBM Watson Assistant gets smarter and faster, making customer service a breeze
New Watson Assistant features are designed to change the way businesses interact with their users.
By Brian Loveys | 3 minute read | June 20, 2019
Year after year, businesses are tasked with solving an age-old problem: how do we enhance the customer experience? Companies lose billions of dollars each year due to poor customer service – in fact, 53% of U.S. adults are likely to abandon their online purchase if they cannot find quick answers to their questions. And yet, businesses continue to offer disconnected and inconsistent ways for their customers to get help.
Organizations know that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to improve customer service in new ways. One of these major opportunities is around providing a centralized assistant to answer customer and employee questions. However, adoption has been slow due to the substantial time investment required to build a single solution and that integrates with existing systems used by the business.
It’s imperative virtual assistants provide a single path for users to ask any question and get routed to the appropriate solution, be it an explicit response, a knowledge-base article, or by chatting with a live human agent.
That’s why we’re excited to announce new Watson Assistant features that are designed to change the way businesses interact with their users. Watson Assistant not only helps answer customer questions quickly and accurately, but it also ensures that employees are empowered to do their jobs efficiently.
New Watson Assistant features include:
- With Intent Recommendations, rather than manually training Watson Assistant you can upload pre-existing chat or call logs so Watson can train based on real user questions and utterance, creating more accurate interactions for your customers. Additionally, using the logs, Watson can identify new topics and highlight gaps in training, through unsupervised machine learning. For instance, your customer base might be saying, “How do I cancel my card?” or “My card was stolen”, but your assistant doesn’t recognize “cancel card”. Watson will identify the new intent, “cancel card,” to be trained on, which dramatically decreases the time it takes to train your virtual assistant. By surfacing these new intents, Watson will continue to get smarter and faster, as customer interactions change over time.
- With the new out-of-the-box Intercom integration you can embed Watson Assistant directly within your Intercom support channel as an additional member of your team. Watson can collaborate with your human agents on customer interactions to provide suggestions, manage simple tasks autonomously, or give the agent full control of the conversation if the topics veers. The integration allows Watson Assistant to save your customer service agents’ time – and your business dollars – by managing common or monotonous scenarios.
- For complex questions that your assistant hasn’t been trained to answer or reply to with a specific response, use the new Search Skill to answer. The Search Skill, powered by Watson Discovery, will search documents from your company’s web site or within third party tools like Box, SharePoint, or Salesforce, to provide the best possible answer to the user’s question. Now customers can find answers to their most complex questions and agent’s don’t need to spend time searching through disparate systems.
- When the user poses an ambiguous question or makes a request that could have multiple responses, the disambiguation feature prompts your assistant to ask the user for clarification. Rather than guessing the user’s intention, possibly incorrectly, your assistant shares a list of the top options, and asks the user to pick the right one. For instance, if a user says, “I need a new card”, Watson Assistant will respond with “Would you like to: 1. Replace a broken card 2. Report a stolen card”, rather than assuming one action over the other.
- Watson is available to reach data stored on any cloud, anywhere, making it more open and accessible than ever before. Companies can now run Watson Assistant through an integration with IBM Cloud Pak for Data (ICP for Data) in any environment– on premises, or on any private, public, hybrid, or multi-cloud.