Bringing the natural language of Watson Conversation to call centers

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Watson Conversation call centersIn my role as an adoption leader for Watson and IBM Cloud, I see chatbots and Watson Conversation capturing the imaginations of many clients.

The ability to automate the dialogue around frequently asked questions almost builds the chatbot business case for itself. Agents once tasked to field 80 percent of queries with 20 percent of their expertise are freed to address more complex, valuable queries in a more timely manner as the chatbot handles the easier, more common questions.

Let’s take this chatbot scenario to its next step in the logical progression. What if a chatbot built with Watson Conversation could be engaged with the spoken, rather than written, word? No problem. We can do that today through the Speech to Text and Text to Speech services.

What if an organization wanted to use its telephony system as a new channel to engage this talking chatbot? Enter IBM Voice Agent with Watson. IBM Voice Agent with Watson, currently available as an experimental service from IBM Cloud, provides connectivity for Watson services to your telephone or call center network. Using the Voice Agent with Watson service, your voice agent can listen and respond to customers using natural language.

Essentially, the Voice Agent with Watson provides a session initiation protocol (SIP) endpoint on IBM Cloud and orchestration with Watson services. SIP is a protocol that is used for controlling of voice over IP (VoIP) calls. An endpoint is the final destination of a voice call. In this instance, the SIP endpoint and orchestration of Watson services on IBM Cloud make it quite easy to build a cognitive voice agent. Dial a number, ask a question and engage Watson in dialogue.

Using Watson in your call center can

  • Increase the number of calls that can be handled automatically
  • Improve customer service experience and satisfaction
  • Assist call center agents during calls

I recently built a Voice Agent with Watson demo for a client that’s already using Watson Conversation to address frequently asked questions. As expected, the client was delighted to understand their investment in Watson Conversation could be so easily extended to new channels with the Voice Agent with Watson.

To support others who might like to explore this experimental service from IBM Cloud, I built this short developerWorks Recipe with an associated video.

Why not try the Voice Agent with Watson for yourself? I’d love to hear back from you about your experience. Feel free to contact me at @daltonology on Twitter.

Learn more about IBM Voice Agent with Watson.

IBM Cloud

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