How IBM 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 ever changing 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.

Featured Report: Service Innovation Profile: IBM Cognitive Support

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.

This Report is available to ASP Members and Guests. Not an ASP Member?  Join Today

Stay up to date with the latest support industry news and research

Related Posts

The ASP Extends Member Access to Enhanced Support Industry Research

The Association of Support Professionals (ASP) and ServiceXRG are pleased to announce a partnership to enhance and extend the quality and availability of support industry research. Through this partnership, ServiceXRG and the ASP will collaborate on the development of new Support industry research studies and extend access to research reports, playbooks and articles to ASP members.

Improve Customer Experiences by Understanding What Users Want and Need

The ability for a service organization to maintain an acceptable level of customer satisfaction and deliver a reasonable customer experience begins with a company’s understanding of what its customers need, want, and expect. When customer expectations are not well known or more importantly not managed – the instances of dissatisfaction will rise. This article describes the factors that affect customer satisfaction and experience levels.

Salesforce Trailhead

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.

First Contact Resolution (FCR) Benchmarks

The industry average First Contact Resolution rate is 53.7%, an interesting yet meaningless number for determining what your FCR performance level should be. First contact closure is influenced by so many factors that an industry-wide average does not provide a sufficiently accurate benchmark from which to determine what your FCR performance level should be. Benchmarks at best suggest the “vicinity” for your performance. This article offers industry average FCR rates organized by common product characteristics to offer a guideline for suggesting FCR performance levels.