Cognitive

AI concierge built on IBM Watson transforms a bank’s service desk

Share this post:

AI concierge bank“Long-term sustainable growth in the banking industry seems only possible with a radical departure from a sales- and product-obsessed mindset to one of genuine customer centricity.” So says Deloitte in its 2018 Banking Industry Outlook.

For the past several years, Credito Valtellinese, a medium-sized bank in Italy, has undergone a transformation program to provide high-quality services and distinctive experiences to its clients.

Creval Sistemi e Servizi (CSS), a fully owned subsidiary, provides IT services to the bank. During the bank’s transformation, it concentrated on operations efficiency, introducing business process management (BPM) and operational decision management (ODM) technology from IBM.

When the bank reached a point where processes became easy and fast with controlled service levels, leadership decided to look for ways to reduce the human effort by adding cognitive technology.

CSS introduced “Alfredo,” a concierge for the service desk that uses artificial intelligence (AI).

Virtual assistant supports employees

Alfredo

Alfredo, named after Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s butler, is a virtual assistant that supports branch employees in their interactions with customers. It uses IBM Watson Assistant on IBM Cloud and is fully integrated in Creval’s knowledge chain. IBM Global Business Services helped Creval develop a strategic approach to the project, create a pilot program and ensure an effective launch.

Since its launch in January 2018, the virtual assistant is the first point of contact for all requests.

Alfredo interacts through chat, where it is able to interpret Italian natural language using IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding service and provide textual feedback or activate applications. Alfredo can understand requests in any banking sector. If Alfredo cannot answer a question, it delegates them to a service desk colleague, but only if necessary.

Human experts can handle multiple chats simultaneously or focus on more complex requests. The more Alfredo interacts with colleagues, the more the chatbot’s knowledge increases.

Service desk innovation

CSS has innovated the Credito Valtellinese service desk. Bank employees are now able to offer more services to customers with the same effort and at the same cost, because Alfredo eliminates repetitive human tasks.

The system can work around the clock, translating to expanded service desk hours and more timely customer response times.

Alfredo has reduced the human effort at the bank service desk by 40 percent due to its ability to respond to low-value-added requests. Additionally, Alfredo has received 92 percent positive feedback from bank’s employees since being deployed. CSS plans to extend Alfredo to all the customers of Credito Valtellinese bank next year.

Read the case study for more details.

More Cognitive stories

Providing around-the-clock call center support using a cognitive virtual assistant

According to Investopedia, financial technology has grown explosively since the mobile internet and smartphone revolution. Originally referring to computer technology applied to the back office of banks or trading firms, “fintech” now describes a variety of financial activities, from depositing a check with a smartphone to managing investments, generally without the assistance of a person. […]

Continue reading

How to remove the top 3 barriers to AI adoption in business automation

Many businesses are looking to automation to increase productivity, save costs and improve customer and employee experiences. For example, imagine a large insurance company that processes millions of claims a year. Around 60 percent of its claims are automatically processed, but it’d like to automate 85 percent of claims and reduce error rates, reduce costs […]

Continue reading

SPF Private Clients uses AI virtual assistant to support first-time home buyers

In 2013, the UK government launched the Help to Buy initiative to support people struggling to own property. It brought in an influx of mortgage applications to brokers such as SPF Private Clients. In response, we at SPF teamed with EscalateAI to create a portal and AI-powered virtual assistant based on IBM Cloud and Watson […]

Continue reading