Why Does IBM Watson Matter for Contact Centers?

October 2, 2018

Between a business and its customers is an unspoken contract–customers will give you their data and information, but in exchange, you must provide value with every interaction, across every channel of engagement. Organizations that fall short on this promise, will lose customers to a competitor that is better equipped to deliver. 

To meet customers’ expectations for 24/7, personalized, omnichannel service, AI enables organizations of all sizes to scale their customer support and contact centers. As we found in this year’s The State of Salesforce report, 41% of service agents are investing in AI solutions for case routing and escalation.  
 
For years, customer service has prioritized cost containment and contact deflection. Today, investments in service emphasize customer experience and top-line value generation as indicators of success. The growth of self-service channels, like communities and chatbots, is offloading routine customer issues and subsequently impacting the skills and technologies needed for service agents to solve more complex customer issues. Additionally, with AI, customer support agents can resolve cases quickly and efficiently, so that they can focus on the more interesting parts of their jobs -  like connecting more meaningfully with customers. Our annual survey of 2,500+ Salesforce customers also found that the top three areas of increasing service investment over the next year are Training (71%), Knowledge (64%), and Self-Service (63%).

IBM itself is a recent example of service transformation with AI, embarking on one of the largest Service Cloud implementations in Salesforce history to integrate IBM Watson APIs. In combination, IBM Watson and Service Cloud provide reps with quick access to structured and unstructured customer data to answer questions with speed and accuracy. And in an expansion of its global strategic partnership, with Salesforce naming IBM a preferred cloud services provider and IBM naming Salesforce as its preferred customer engagement platform for sales and service, Watson now offers up AI-driven recommendations based on recent calls or chats with customers.

Now, with the announcement of Watson Discovery for Salesforce, the first Watson product built on the Salesforce Platform available on Salesforce AppExchange, contact center agents can quickly aggregate and draw upon a variety of core data sources like Box and Sharepoint files, product information, and customer interaction data. The AI-powered insight engine learns from past customer cases, quickly crawls knowledge articles, and delivers case resolving insights directly to agents working inside the Salesforce console. 

To learn how your service organization could be using AI, connect with one of our experts.

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