How to stay ahead of your customers’ continuously rising expectations with IBM Watson

How to stay ahead of your customers’ continuously rising expectations with IBM Watson

Customers increasingly expect speed in their interactions with product and service providers. As your customers’ standards get higher, are you prepared to keep your customers satisfied in a sustainable manner?

Let’s look at incoming claims; Does your company deploy the resources necessary to respond to a customer’s mail request within 1-2 days? 3? Overwhelmingly, the answer is no. It is simply too expensive to deploy the people needed to answer all mail within a few days. Yet, customers have begun expecting shorter wait times. As waiting times increase, customer satisfaction dramatically decreases (Katz and Larson, 91), especially if the customer perceives that your company has the ability to speed up waiting times (Taylor, 94). Today, since it is commonly known that companies have the ability to become faster, by introducing automation and cognitive computing, customers are expecting more than ever. Companies failing to deliver on this face the ultimate consequence; loosing customers to competition.


What’s the solution to sorting mail faster? Cognitive computing

Almost every service company in the consumer market has a large department for processing incoming mail, regardless of whether these are e-mails, letters or forms. Take an insurer. It receives quotation requests, claims, change requests on policies, questions about the coverage of an insurance policy and so on. Each type of request is handled by respective departments. The simple act of forwarding a message to the correct department costs 1-2 days. A customer question sent on Thursday afternoon won’t be delivered to the correct department inbox until at least a day later. With the amount of steps involved, the turnaround time of even simple requests quickly increases.


Fast response in these digital times a requirement 

Years ago, when customers sent a change of address by letter, they weren’t as bothered by the waiting time. They were used to receiving confirmation a few weeks later. But these days, with slogans everywhere like ‘ordered before 5 o’clock the next day’, consumers expect a faster response, especially if it’s a simple question or quotation. Insurers could, of course, shorten that processing time by hiring more people, but the costs associated with that are too high. Apart from costs, there is a scaling issue; if the number of incoming claims due to a storm suddenly increases by 10, you can’t expect to deploy 10 times as many people.


Cognitive software with a human touch

Our solution is straighforward: the use of cognitive software. Cognitive is a comprehensive concept used for everything to do with absorbing and processing knowledge (think: perception, language, thought-processing, remembering things). These are skills that most people never thought would be demonstrated by computers. But the vision Alan Turing had in 1950 with his paper ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’ has become a reality. The best example of this is IBM’s Watson. This is a cognitive system that learns from the information it receives, in the same way that children and new employees learn.


Watson is an ideal employee

Wouldn’t it be useful if you only needed to train a computer instead of training new employees to recognize the vast diversity of customer questions, and respective forwarding procedures? IBM Watson is scalable, no matter if 1,000 or 100,000 customer requests come in daily, and is trained to recognize incoming customer questions. Watson’s software contains text analysis that can recognize the context of an e-mail or letter, automatically passing it onto the correct department.

Tell us your challenges in sorting incoming mail. We will assess your case, and determine the specific benefits you would gain if your process was supported by cognitive computing.

Caspar Pille, Cognitive specialist at You-Get