As a company, we now have to think about how we want to interact with customers in a new way and bring our value proposition to the customer.
Author: Amancio Bouza
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing promise to improve not only the customer experience, but also the way companies operate. In order to remain competitive, it is imperative that we consider and integrate these technologies into our digital transformation plans.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing not only promise to improve the customer experience, but also to optimize business processes through automation. This will drastically change the way we as a company operate and interact with customers. In order to remain competitive, it is imperative that we consider and integrate these technologies in our digital transformation plans. According to the IDC report, by 2019, around 40 percent of all digital transformation initiatives will be supported by cognitive and artificial intelligence capabilities.
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing are not new technologies. However, they have become commercially highly interesting due to the advances in computing power, access to enormous amounts of data (Big Data) and the availability of mature open source and commercial products from the cloud (IBM Watson, Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, Google TensorFlow, etc.). Thanks to these advances, we can now focus on the use of these technologies and the digitalization of our company. In this way we remain competitive and create added value. We can concentrate on the business part and no longer have to worry about complicated technical basics (algorithms, Bavarian statistics, etc.).
The era of democratization of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing has already begun. Everyone has the opportunity to use them. With the appropriate corporate culture - digital transformation requires cultural transformation - this leads to novel business models and new ways of understanding how our company creates added value and interacts with customers. That is Digital Transformation.
How do we want to interact with our customers in the future? What exactly is our value proposition and how can we realize it? In the following I would like to show a few applications from different industries.
Customers are mainly interested in their own problems. They are therefore looking for individual advice on insurance and for insurance offers that are as personalised as possible. Individual advice outside business hours - when customers really have time - is expensive and does not scale. One possibility are chat offers, which know and understand the products of the company and can answer first questions of customers. Customers and chatbots communicate via chat. Chatbots can, for example, create initial customer profiles, search for customers with similar needs and recommend their insurance products. Similar to Amazon: «Person with similar insurance needs chose insurance X with option Y». Chat bots are conceivable for any scenario, especially for needs-oriented insurance companies (e.g. Flink), but also for recommendation systems, as this example shows in the area of customer advisory for financial products. With chatbots, insurance companies can scale in the area of customer interaction.
RoboAdvisor is a similar concept. Customers interact with their personal RoboAdvisor, an artificial intelligence via chat or even telephone. Cognitive Computing allows chat messages or even telephone conversations to be understood and responded to in real time. Amazon's Alexa is a good example of how well Cognitive Computing is already working today. A RoboAdvisor can respond to the wishes and needs of the customer. With access to Big Data, he is able to make appropriate investments. A RoboAdvisor is scalable and can be maintained at low cost.
An important task for lawyers in the corporate environment is the review of contracts, many contracts. Naive one would thoroughly examine each clause. But the effort is very high. Why should standard clauses be thoroughly checked each time they are renewed? Lawyers want to focus on unusual clauses. This requires lawyers to identify unusual clauses and then thoroughly analyze them. This is still done manually today. There are already approaches to identify unusual clauses using cognitive computing. Thanks to cognitive computing and Big Data, large amounts of text can be processed and interpreted. There are already approaches to identify and mark unusual clauses. This greatly reduces the examination effort for lawyers.
Today, support requests are manually analyzed and forwarded to the appropriate experts or department. For forwarding, so-called dispatchers need sufficient diverse and detailed domain knowledge to identify the problem and forward it to the appropriate department. The breadth and depth of the required knowledge is enormous. This is why misdirected support requests quickly occur. This results in a longer waiting time for the customer, which can lead to a poor customer experience.
Thanks to Cognitive Computing, support requests can be interpreted automatically and forwarded to the right departments. Using machine learning, even simple issues can be identified and typical solutions can be suggested immediately and any follow-up questions answered. This reduces the Average Handling Time (AHT) of support requests and offers the customer a faster solution to his problem. This ultimately leads to a better customer experience and optimization through automation.
Put simply, cognitive computing enables interaction between humans and machines. Machine Learning creates the prerequisite to learn value-adding behaviors from data. And Artificial Intelligence allows, based on Cognitive Computing and Machine Learning, to achieve defined goals and apply the appropriate measures.
We live in an extremely exciting time! As a company, we now have to think about how we want to interact with customers in a new way and bring our value proposition to the customer. The possibilities are numerous, commercially interesting and part of the Digital Transformation Journey to remain competitive. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing offer further possibilities to save efficiency in the company and therefore costs. Just do it - now!