IBM Watson will solve customers’ problems before they happen.
EVRY’s customer service centre processes over 50,000 enquiries every month. The customer service centre achieves high scores from its customers – largely thanks to its continual improvement work. As part of this, EVRY has now chosen IBM’s Watson technology to automate core processes in customer service. The result of this will be a proactive customer service centre that will be able to solve customers’ problems even before they are aware of them! EVRY will also provide proactive customer service centres as a service in the Norwegian market.
EVRY’s customer service centre has until now met its customers’ service needs using skilled employees, various different tools, telephone calls, email and chat. EVRY’s customers value its customer service centre’s expertise, and it is in part thanks to this that EVRY can point to steadily improving customer satisfaction scores. Using IBM’s Watson technology, EVRY will now take its customer service centre to the next level. The head of EVRY’s customer centre, Odd Lambersøy, explains that the need to be more proactive, to deliver shorter response times and to have an intuitive understanding of customers’ needs were important drivers behind this choice.
“Our customers expect us to be more knowledgeable and better able to help the first time they contact us. And ideally they want us to solve their problems before they even notice that they have a problem. Imagine a customer service centre that is aware of users’ problems before they are themselves!”, comments Odd Lambersøy.
A number of customer service centres in Norway are using digitalisation to improve the services they offer. What makes EVRY’s cognitive customer service centre unique is the fact that three core areas of customer service are being automated: problem identification, solution presentation, and fault rectification.
“When a customer contacts us, cognitive technology will automatically identify the customer’s profile and will work extremely quickly to identify possible problems. Solutions, as well as the prognosis for solving the problem and the timelines involved, will then be provided based on historical data. This will enable customer service representatives to immediately tell the customer how the problem will be solved and when it will be done”, comments Odd Lambersøy.
Quality assurance will be provided by customer service representatives “teaching” Watson once the problem has actually been identified and solved in order to help the system improve. The customer service representatives teach Watson by rating its proposed solutions or providing it with information on the correct solution if this is different from what Watson proposed.
“As each of the three elements can be automated independently, the improvement will be continual rather than taking place after 12-18 months of machine learning, as is usually the case”, explains Odd Lambersøy.
Over the long term, EVRY will be able to identify and resolve its customers’ problems before they are in any way aware that something is wrong. This will be possible by continually scanning thousands of data points, including with new internet of things technology and sensors that detect patterns prior to adverse advents. By registering new deviations in normal operating patterns, the system will learn new risk factors and notify – and resolve – incidents as soon as they exceed defined tolerance thresholds.
EVRY’s cognitive customer service centre has in-built chat services that enable the customer to talk to the system directly based on Watson technology. This function is also included in the solution that is now being offered to the market. While chatbots have existed for many years, one of a number of innovations is that they are now being enhanced with natural language processing, meaning they are more able to “think” of their own accord without detailed programming.
“Over 50% of all cognitive projects being run commercially relate to chatbots. This is the field in which the market is the most mature, and there is a lot of low-hanging fruit that could deliver major gains for organisations – quickly”, comments Kolbjørn Haarr, Executive Vice President, EVRY Norway.
Chat services are increasingly taking over from apps as the interface for communication between organisations and customers. With chat services, customers can interact with organisations over the channels that they use the most, as they can be implemented on well-known platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Slack.
“There are probably few people today who see the major potential that cognitive solutions have in relation to the operating routines of the future. This is particularly the case in relation to proactive fault rectification, which will eventually enable customers to enjoy entirely fault-free operations. I am convinced that cognitive solutions will make a strong contribution to customers being even more satisfied with our solutions – which is our highest priority of all. We also know that this is our customers’ number-one goal, and we therefore think there is a big market for cognitive customer service centres”, comments Kolbjørn Haarr.
For more information, contact:
Anne Vandbakk, VP Communications, EVRY Norway
Mobile: +47 95206545