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

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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.

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