IBM adds new customer service features to Watson digital assistant

The pandemic has meant drastic changes for IT pros and how they do their jobs. The changes have been revolutionary for IT admins working for any company that must deal with customer service issues. E-commerce websites are overwhelmed as more customers than ever shop from home, and even non-retailers face a flood of customer service issues that must be resolved. Having a website or call center that can keep up with the demand is mandatory — but it’s far from enough.

Websites that are slow to load or don’t provide a good experience mean lost sales and angry customers. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the horizon, the stakes have never been higher for retailers, whether your company is a giant multinational seller or a small e-commerce site. But all companies, government agencies, and organizations that deal with customer issues face higher traffic on their websites and increased volume on their call centers.

Many companies have turned to automation features such as virtual assistants to help drive sales or solve customer issues. With this in mind, IBM has beefed up its IBM Watson digital assistant with new features.

customer service

IBM says the new artificial intelligence and automation features are “designed to make it easier for businesses to create enhanced customer service experiences across any channel – phone, web, SMS and any messaging platform.” IBM says improvements in its virtual assistant’s natural language processing (NLP) “quickly provide customers with relevant answers over the phone, SMS, web, or any messaging platform, and seamlessly hand-off to a live agent when additional support is needed.” Natural language processing is a hot technology — IBM says 52 percent of global IT professionals are using NLP or are considering implementing NLP to improve customer experiences.

IBM hopes its augmented digital assistant will solve the two biggest complaints customers have when they engage with a virtual agent: not getting correct responses and, when they are switched to live support, having to explain their issue all over again. IBM says its new agent feature “is designed to help customer service agents pick up with a customer right where the virtual agent left off.”

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