GM Financial uses IBM Watson Assistant to develop a secure and powerful AI assistant

By | 1 minute read | August 12, 2020

At GM Financial, it’s my job to drive remarkable customer experiences. Answering customers’ questions quickly and accurately is a big part of that. These days, much of our customer care comes in the form of live messages on our customer service app. People text us about things like the status of their remaining loan balances, or to confirm that we received their most recent payment. We made the strategic decision a few years ago to use a chatbot solution to answer these straightforward questions.

An intelligent approach

We chose IBM Watson Assistant on IBM Cloud for a few key reasons. First, IBM has a great reputation in the financial services industry. Customer privacy is paramount for us, and IBM’s commitment to cybersecurity and regulatory compliance allows us to rest easy, knowing that our customer data is in good hands.

IBM has also proven to be quite flexible as we continue to develop our solution. Technology is important to us at GM Financial, but it is not our core competency. AI is a whole new endeavor for us, but the IBM team has worked hard to educate us and make us comfortable with this approach. When getting started we worked with IBM Garage in an Enterprise Design Thinking Workshop. We collaborated with users and IBM experts to create a roadmap for the project and a minimum viable product.

Impact of the pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the United States, live chat requests on our app increased dramatically. At the same time, our Customer Experience Advocates (CEAs) were transitioning to a work-from-home setup. Fortunately, Watson Assistant managed 50-60% of live chat requests, resolving approximately 90% of questions without human intervention. This helped free up our CEAs to manage the more complicated questions that arose as a result of the pandemic.

As our customers’ needs and preferences evolve, we work hard to evolve with them. For example, we’re currently exploring a plan to use Watson technology to respond to phone calls from our customers, too. That’s just one more way IBM is helping GM Financial continue driving remarkable customer experiences.