IBM Watson and Genesys partner to power smarter customer experiences

IBM and Genesys, a leading provider of customer experience and contact center solutions, today announced a partnership that will transform how organizations of all sizes differentiate their customer experience by tapping the power of IBM Watson to transform the way brands engage clients across customer service, marketing and sales through data-driven insights and automated actions. 

As part of the agreement IBM Watson and Genesys have partnered to develop a learning system that combines the Watson Engagement Advisor with the Genesys Customer Experience Platform to transform how organizations worldwide engage with their customers across customer experience touchpoints and channels of communication. With the joint solution businesses can better serve consumers in their self-service applications and contact centers. The Watson enabled natural language solution learns, adapts and understands market and organizational data quickly and easily, and gets progressively smarter with use, outcomes, and new pieces of information. 

IBM Watson and Genesys solution will aid and assist a brand's customer service agents to provide fast, data-driven answers, or simply sit directly in the hands of consumers via mobile device, chat session or online interaction.  In one simple click, the solution's 'Ask Watson' feature can quickly help address customers' questions, offer feedback to guide their purchase decisions, and troubleshoot their problems. 

> See also: IBM investing $1 billion in new Watson business unit

Genesys customers will gain the additional value of a Watson cloud-based advisor that thinks, learns and provides expert insights, while combing through millions of pages of data within seconds for customers and the contact center agents who serve them.  As a result, Genesys customers can tap into the body of data that Watson understands and puts to work and use that knowledge to deliver more actionable and satisfying responses to customer inquiries in their self-service applications and contact centers. 

Leveraging its experience and deep domain expertise across industries including banking, insurance, and retail, Genesys will integrate access to the cloud-based Watson to its award-winning Cu stomer Experience Platfo rm empowering their customers with the ability to interact through a natural dialog leveraging Watson’s unparalleled understanding and intelligent natural language response. Now consumers can tap into Watson to gain insight and answers faster than possible with knowledge management solutions.   

'This combined solution delivers sophisticated yet simple to manage knowledge capabilities to transform self-service systems and human interactions into positive brand impressions,” said Paul Segre, President and CEO, Genesys. 'With Watson, our new solution provides a transformational customer experience with a natural and informed transition from self service to agent assistance to yield better business outcomes." 

Today’s consumers are a tweet, post, phone call, email or web chat away from reporting an issue or asking a question, and nearly half expect a response from businesses within a span of minutes, according to Edison Research. Brand customer representatives who field these inquiries are often backlogged with time-consuming issues or questions that require detailed, accurate responses not often readily available to them – which can lead to an inconsistent customer experience. 

The new IBM Watson and Genesys solution also provides organizations with the ability to identify when a customer needs to speak with a customer experience representative, rather than continuing in a self-service application.  For example, if a customer reaches a point in conversation during a self-service interaction that could prompt either customer churn or a timely sales opportunity, Watson's knowledge of pre-defined business guidelines allows the solution to signal when it is time to transfer the conversation to an agent.

> See also: IBM to offer Watson as development platform

The customer  is not arbitrarily transferred to just any agent among the potentially hundreds who work at a call center.  The solution pinpoints the exact agent to handle a customer's inquiry, based on specific factors such as an agent's experience, channel used, training and even license to discuss or sell a given product and then transfers the customer with the accompanying detail of the self-service interaction. 

Employees in a contact center can gain access to a cloud-based Watson advisor that can read and uncover insights from millions of pages of data-driven content within seconds, from product guides to call transcripts. The result: cognitive computing that will augment a contact center agent's knowledge and shift their time from searching for answers to discovering timely insights that solve problems, facilitate new opportunities, and improve the customer experience. 

'By tapping into IBM Watson's cognitive intelligence, Genesys is infusing a personalized assistant into every customer interaction said Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group. 'Customer engagement is a natural fit for Watson, empowering brands with information driven insights. This is a key example of how a new era of cognitive computing applications will transform industries and professions and revolutionize how decisions are made.'

Connecting empowered consumers with the right company experts   

How will Genesys and the Watson Group combine their innovation to transform the agent-to-customer experience? Imagine yourself as a bank customer, home from work and doing late night research on mortgage loans after your children are in bed. You may see a feature or rate that you like, but you have detailed questions that require expert advice. You can call, email or tweet the brand, but it's after-hours, so you won't have access to a customer service agent until the next day. 

Now envision the following experience: at any time of night, you can access a web chat advisor that has access to the bank's data-driven content around mortgages, and through a natural language interface, understands your questions and history interacting with the bank. Not only will the application educate you on all things mortgage shopping, but it will also provide a formal offer that can be presented by a mortgage expert at a convenient time scheduled by you.

> See also: Man and machine, cognitive computing in the enterprise 

In joining the Watson Ecosystem, Genesys customers will gain access to a cloud-based advisor that, within seconds, can read and uncover insights from millions of pages of data-driven content, from product guides to call transcripts. The result: cognitive computing will augment agents' knowledge and free their bandwidth from searching for answers, to creatively thinking of how they can further help a customer or even make a sale.

This, in turn, will allow Genesys clients to deliver on their brand's promise to the nearly 80% of consumers who say that the contact center is involved in defining the customer experience. Additionally, the application can augment contact center agent workflows in order to read and uncover insights from millions of pages of data-driven content, from product guides to call transcripts to deliver exceptional customer experiences. 

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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