IBM Watson will work in support call centers

    In the United States alone, $ 112 billion is spent annually on customer support call centers. At the same time, half of the 270 billion calls remain unresolved. Almost everyone can recall many examples when a call to a support service turned into a long quest for listening to recorded standard phrases and pressing the numeric buttons only to communicate with a living person and find that he himself did not really understand your problem.

    Supercomputer Watson, which beats the quiz champions and has already started workan oncologist-diagnostician in some hospitals in America is quite capable of coping with this work, according to IBM. According to the company, almost two-thirds of unresolved customer issues could be resolved if call center employees could search for information faster. Such a search on average takes from six to nine minutes per call.

    In the coming months , Watson support testingIBM’s first customers will start - Australian Bank ANZ, Royal Bank of Canada, Nielsen, a consumer behavior research firm, Israeli mobile operator Celcom, and IHS consulting and analysis company. Watson will communicate with customers of these companies through a variety of channels - via chat, mail, through mobile applications. Some companies even intend to purchase voice recognition systems so that Watson can talk on the phone.

    Watson, which can swallow tons of information about all the company's products and services in a matter of weeks or even days, from official documentation and specifications to reviews on forums and reviews on popular sites, and is also able to understand requests in a natural language, the right information almost instantly.

    IBM is already testing Watson in its own call centers, and the first results are impressive - the computer tells the client the right information 40% faster. Unlike ordinary support staff who are not highly qualified and often forced to search for answers by keywords in the documentation or simply on the Internet, Watson takes into account the semantic relationships between pieces of data, like a good specialist who grasps everything on the fly.

    Joyce Philips, CEO of ANZ Bank, said the idea to use IBM Watson came about a year ago. The bank intends to start using Watson's abilities for advice on insurance issues. In a few seconds, he will be able to study in detail all the client’s documents and find places in the insurance “armor” that are not adequately protected, or vice versa, in excess. Instead of filling out a bunch of long questionnaires, it will be enough for the client to send copies of documents to the bank and in a free form to answer several questions via chat or by phone.

    Although the work in call centers is not as respected as the work of a doctor, and not as spectacular as a victory in a quiz, it can bring substantial profits today. If the contract with WellPoint medical company was primarily a matter of prestige and trust in the capabilities of artificial intelligence, then in Watson support services it could soon become a workhorse.

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