IBM has unveiled the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, a technology that allows brands to crunch big data in record time to transform the way they engage clients in key functions such as customer service, marketing and sales.
Using IBM Watson Engagement Advisor businesses can better serve consumers with a cognitive computing assistant that learns, adapts and understands a company's data quickly and easily, enabling users to have IBM Watson at work quickly, while increasing its knowledge and value over time.
Two years after its triumph on Jeopardy!, the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor is a first of a kind system designed to help customer-facing personnel assist consumers with deeper insights more quickly than previously possible. Delivered through cloud-delivered services and online chat sessions, IBM Watson will empower a brand's customer service agents to provide fast, data-driven answers, or sit directly in the hands of consumers via mobile device. In one simple click, the solution's "Ask Watson" feature will quickly help address customers' questions, offer feedback to guide their purchase decisions, and troubleshoot their problems.
Part of IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, the newest capabilities of IBM Watson are a natural fit for customer engagement, based on its ability to understand the nuances of human language, process questions akin to the way people think, and quickly cull through vast amounts of big data for relevant, evidence-based responses to its human users' needs.
The rise of the digital consumer has spawned a range of online, mobile and social media commerce trends that require businesses to deepen their interactions with customers and transform the way they provide marketing, sales and service. Consumers expect brands to know them individually, deliver personalized interactions and self service options. Business leaders -- such as chief marketing officers, customer experience leaders and heads of sales -- must transform the way they interact with consumers to build brand loyalty and improve customer service.
IBM Watson, via cognitive computing can proactively engage with a business' customers, and continuously learn from interactions, anytime and anywhere, providing fast, more accurate and personalized interactions.
The IBM Watson Engagement Advisor will help companies make their interactions count by knowing, delivering and learning what each customer wants – in the context of their preferences and actions – sometimes before even the customer knows it themselves.
With the latest IBM Watson debut, IBM is enabling clients to better respond to market shifts in real-time, automate marketing, and transform the way they service their clients, while improving their global brand presence.
"IBM is taking Watson to the masses in ways that positively impact people's lives, from helping doctors improve patient care to helping businesses put consumers first, in an increasingly mobile world," said Manoj Saxena, General Manager, IBM Watson Solutions. "Customer engagement is a natural fit for Watson, which can instantly create a strong bond between who customers are as individuals, and what types of information will help them reach their goals. The end product: users will come away feeling known as people, empowered as consumers, and engaged as satisfied brand ambassadors who are willing to champion the business to friends and family."
The IBM Watson Engagement Advisor "Ask Watson" feature greets and offers help to customers via any channel, be it through a website chat window or a mobile push alert, saving consumers the hassle of performing searches, combing through websites and forums, or waiting endlessly for a response about the information they need. Calling upon IBM's Big Data Analytics technologies, IBM Watson retrieves data about customers to help ensure interactions are tailored to their needs, and search its corpus of stored information for the best solutions.
Since its television debut, IBM Watson is smarter, faster and smaller -- having gained a 240 percent improvement in system performance, and a reduction in physical requirements by 75 percent. The cognitive computing system can now be run on a single Power 750 server using Linux, transitioning from its original size of a master bedroom to that of four pizza boxes. Businesses that use IBM Watson can have the solution up and running quickly using a cloud computing environment, or deploy the technology on-premise.
Approximately 270 billion customer service calls are handled annually, with roughly 50 percent unresolved, which for businesses means an increase in cost per escalated call by three times. In hindsight, 61 percent of those calls could have been resolved with better access to information.
The IBM Watson Engagement Advisor will also help brands manage their existing customer engagement functions, by reducing burdens faced by call and e-service centers that struggle to keep up with skyrocketing demand.
The move of IBM Watson into customer engagement positions it within IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, which provides a range of solutions and services to better connect more than 2,000 brands to their increasingly digital customers, accelerating business to the speed of life through intelligent automation.