Introducing IBM Watson Voice Gateway
At IBM InterConnect 2017 we’ve seen all sorts of talks on data, Watson, Cognitive Services, Hybrid Cloud and a range of integration discussions and Flex Storage. One of the topics I am most excited about, and believe will be provide a positive impact for our customers is the IBM Watson Voice Gateway. Canadian Web Hosting adds Watson is something you are sure to hear over the next quarter as we are always working to improve our customers experience.
Should Canadian Web Hosting add Watson?
The long and short of it is that the software-based gateway can function and work as a cognitive self-service agent. What does that mean? Who here hasn’t had to wait on hold while calling into a support line for some mundane task. With this new “agent” your systems and technology can work directly with customers over the phone to update their accounts, provide directions, give details and so much more. As a company who provides true 24/7 technical and support this could really provide a boost to our customers and help remove the long-hold times that do occur on occasion.
Does it help existing Support Teams?
The short answer is yes. Using the new Watson Voice Gateway the system can connect conversations between call center agents and in our case Canadian Web Hosting users, and provide details and other information to the agent in real time during the phone call. Whether it eliminates the need for escalations or next step calls is tough to say but it does provide a conduit for agents to support the customers. One anecdotal note is that I hesitate to say this will work for escalations as most customers would claim they want to talk to a real person versus being escalated to a cognitive-based manager that has its own programming that may not necessarily match with what the customer wants. We can leave that for another blog sometime in the future.
Reduce Cost of Support
One of the areas that I am excited about is that this isn’t something that just benefits Canadian Web Hosting and our customers. With Watson-based support agents, businesses and companies can accelerate access to information by further personalizing their offerings, improving call center agent training including the time required to get started; all resulting in a better user experience and lower employee costs.
Can Watson Improve the Customer Experience
Anybody who has run a call center knows that training and paying call center agents is costly venture. More importantly, interacting with ineffective or difficult to navigate voice systems and untrained agents can quickly lead to high customer turnover. Research indicates that typical Interactive Voice Response systems have sub-standard 51 percent customer satisfaction rate and costs an average $.20 to $2.00 per call and this doesn’t even include considerations for user experience, hold times and other areas that can impact how a customer feels about a company. This same study shows that 7.3 percent of customers who use IVRs consider moving to competitors after using them. That is almost 1 out of 10 calls coming in and is an incredible number. You can be sure that Canadian Web Hosting is adding Watson Voice Gateway over the next few months.