How IBM Support Uses Watson
The Service Innovation Series highlights examples of innovative approaches companies take to achieve service excellence. In this Service Innovation profile, we feature IBM’s use of its own Watson technologies as a platform to deliver a new approach to service delivery – Cognitive Support. Read on to learn how IBM uses Watson in technical support.
The Ongoing Pursuit of Service Innovation
For decades service organizations have sought to find tools and methods to reduce the burden and subsequent costs associated with assisted support delivery. Service automation and self-help strategies have helped to offload some of the support burden from support staff. These approaches however have limits with industry average self-help success and deflection rates in the mid 20% range. There are clearly benefits to capture and share knowledge with customers, yet it is costly and time consuming to keep knowledge and self-help systems up-to-date with dynamic product lines and everchanging customer needs.
IBM Cognitive Support
IBM’s approach to Cognitive Support is subtle and elegant. They have introduced an intelligence into the end-to-end support delivery process that can learn and evolve to “augment and scale human knowledge and expertise.” IBM staff do not need to retool the system every time a new product is released; the system does not rely on a formal knowledge management process to create customer-consumable content; and customers do not need to choose between self-help and assisted support. The Cognitive Support Platform is fully integrated into IBM’s existing support delivery process. It is designed to assist when it can and when it cannot it learns for future situations.
IBM has several advantages for adopting a cognitive approach. First, they own Watson, the foundation of their Cognitive Support Platform. Second, they have immense scale in support delivery and even small incremental gains can result in significant benefits. Early indications suggest that the Cognitive Support Platform will offer significant benefits to both IBM and customers. Customers get access to quality support with faster time to resolution. IBM gets more satisfied customers, significant cost efficiencies and the means to meet growing demand without breaking the bank.
Apply Smart People to Important Tasks
Perhaps the most profound benefit for both customers and IBM is the ability to reallocate human subject matter experts to high value service delivery activities – beyond the realm of break-fix. The ability for IBM to focus more effort on helping customers apply and succeed with IBM technologies is a win for all. For all these reasons ServiceXRG finds that IBM’s cognitive support efforts are innovative and will lead to service delivery excellence.
Are you an Innovator?
Through the Service Innovation Series, ServiceXRG highlights examples of innovative approaches to achieve service excellence. Companies featured within the Service Innovation Series are selected by ServiceXRG and do not influence the observations and perspectives presented.
Is your company a service innovator or do you know of other companies that are? If you would like to be considered for a future Service Innovation Profile or know of a company that should be featured, please let us know. Send an e-mail to Innovation@servicexrg.com with a brief description of your ideas.
Through the Service Innovation Series, ServiceXRG highlights examples of innovative approaches to achieve service excellence. In this Service Innovation profile, we feature IBM’s use of its own Watson technologies as a platform to deliver a new approach to service delivery – Cognitive Support.
Log-in to get your copy.
Login to Access the Full Report
If you don’t have an account, create a free* membership.
*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.
Your customer base contains a diverse population of customers each with distinct needs and expectations. Implementing an effective service segmentation strategy will improve service sales, increase customer retention rates and create opportunities to offer new and expanded services. Here are tips for developing a service segmentation strategy.
The logical evolution of Support is to focus more effort on developing and sustaining long term profitable customer relationships. Many Support organizations want to be more customer-success focused, but few have the capacity to change. To make this transition, Support resources need to focus on high value activities such as helping customers adopt and succeed with the products they purchase. AI is a critical catalyst to enable this inevitable Support transformation. This article introduces 6 ways to apply AI to technical support.
Artificial Intelligence is not a silver bullet it is a tool. This tool however holds the key to fundamentally changing the way support is delivered. With the right application of AI fewer resources can handle more interactions and potentially in a more proactive and productive way. This article introduces the general concepts of Artificial Intelligence and presents ways that AI can be used within Support.
Salesforce Trailhead is a self-paced, online learning platform provided for free to anyone. The platform offers learning on a growing portfolio of Salesforce topics, as well as a variety of other non-Salesforce-specific skills individuals need to be successful in today’s technology landscape. For some companies walking away from training revenue would be unthinkable. This is a bold customer-success focused strategy with benefits to Salesforce, Salesforce professionals and anyone that wants to develop technical and professional skills. Learn more about Salesforce Trailhead.
Robert Johnson, CEO of TeamSupport and Tom Sweeny, CEO of ServiceXRG discuss the opportunities and implications of using AI in Support. This webinar explores some of the ways that AI will act as a catalyst to drive transformation of the support operating model. A link to the recorded webinar is provided below.
Support has been relentless in the pursuit of continuous improvement, yet the function of Support has remained fundamentally unchanged for decades. The logical evolution of Support is to focus more effort on developing and sustaining long term profitable customer relationships. Many Support organizations want to be more customer-success focused, but few have the capacity to change. To make this transition, Support resources need to focus on high value activities such as helping customers adopt and succeed with the products they purchase. AI is a critical catalyst to enable this inevitable Support transformation.