Overview

Benefits

Boost your financial results

Customer satisfaction

99%

99% increase in customer satisfaction across 1,005 respondents surveyed by IBM and Oxford Economics.

Reduce costs

99%

99% report reduction in cost per contact (PDF, 867 KB) with virtual agent technology and an estimated USD 5.50 cost savings per contained conversation.

Return on investment

96%

96% exceeded, achieved, or expect to achieve their anticipated return on investment for their virtual agent technology implementation.

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Frequently asked questions

What is an API?

An API is a software intermediary that enables two applications to communicate with each other by opening up their data and functionality. App developers use an API’s interface to communicate with other products and services to return information requested by the end user. When you use an application (such as a virtual assistant) on your phone or computer, the application connects to the Internet and sends data to a server via an API. The API then helps the server interpret the data so it can perform the necessary actions. Finally, the server sends the requested data back to your device via the API where it is interpreted by the application and presented to you in a readable format. Without APIs, many of the online applications that we’ve come to rely on would not be possible.

What is an omnichannel chatbot?

An omnichannel chatbot is a customer service solution that can be built once and deployed to a variety of platforms where customers conduct their shopping. These platforms, or channels, can include phone, company websites, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, and even voice assistants like Amazon Alexa. Omnichannel chatbots make the customer experience more enjoyable and consistent by working seamlessly across all channels, personalizing interactions to each customer’s interests and preferences, and providing fast response times. Over time, these features lead to more sales and better customer data collection.

Can you interact with a customer service chatbot on a mobile app?

Yes, in fact deploying chatbots to mobile apps is a common use case. Lloyds Banking Group, the UK’s largest retail bank, has multiple virtual assistants, most prominently a retail mobile banking app where more than 10 million mobile customers can communicate with the bank at a time that suits them.

Can I deploy my AI bot to social media channels like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Slack, or Amazon Alexa?

Yes, you can deploy your chatbot to Facebook Messenger, Intercom, Slack, SMS with Twilio, and WhatsApp. You can even deploy to Amazon Alexa. Learn more about Watson Assistant integrations.

Does Watson Assistant integrate with helpdesk platforms, contact center providers, or CRM systems?

Watson Assistant integrates to your existing CRM and customer care systems, helping you improve issue routing by connecting customers to the right agents the first time. You can integrate with Salesforce, Genesys, Zendesk, and more.

What are common chatbot use cases?

Customer care is the most common chatbot use case. Chatbots are helpful to both product- and service-based companies looking to provide a superior user experience by to answering customer questions, guiding customers through simple troubleshooting, and connecting customers to the resources they need. Chatbots are also often used by sales teams looking for a tool to support lead generation. Chatbots can quickly validate potential leads based on the questions they ask, then pass them on to human sales representatives to close the deal. Chatbots can even be used in e-commerce by acting as a digital sales clerk, akin to what customers would experience in brick-and-mortar stores. E-commerce chatbots can provide a personalized shopping experience that converts passive visitors into engaged prospects.

How do you integrate chatbots to automate customer support workflows?

A customer browsing a website for a product or service may have questions about different features, attributes or plans. A chatbot can provide these answers, helping the customer decide which product or service to buy or take the next logical step toward that final purchase. And for more complex purchases with a multistep sales funnel, the chatbot can qualify the lead before connecting the customer with a trained sales agent.

How does a chatbot provide a great customer experience and improve customer satisfaction?

Today, chatbots can consistently manage customer interactions 24x7 while continuously improving the quality of the responses and keeping costs down. Chatbots automate workflows and free up employees from repetitive tasks. A chatbot can also eliminate long wait times for phone-based customer support, or even longer wait times for email, chat and web-based support, because they are available immediately to any number of users at once. That’s a great user experience—and satisfied customers are more likely to exhibit brand loyalty.

Do virtual agents or chatbots respond to customers in real-time?

A chatbot can answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can provide a new first line of support, supplement support during peak periods, or offer an additional support option. At the very least, using a chatbot can help reduce the number of users who need to speak with a human, which can help businesses avoid scaling up staff due to increased demand or implementing a 24-hour support staff.

Are there chatbot templates to use?

By default, the web chat window shows a home screen that can welcome users and tell them how to interact with the assistant. For information about CSS helper classes that you can use to change the home screen style, see the prebuilt templates documentation (link resides outside IBM).

How can I collect customer feedback and customer insights through a chatbot?

Utilizing an omnichannel chatbot like Watson Assistant makes it simple for customers to provide feedback on the channel with which they’re most comfortable. One common way to collect feedback is to ask customers to comment on their experience with your business right after a live chatbot interaction. This will provide unstructured feedback that can be invaluable for your business. For more structured responses, consider sending a link to a survey in a CTA at the end of a live interaction or creating a dedicated feedback chatbot.

Do chatbots store customer data?

Yes, chatbots can store customer data to provide personalized interactions and build datasets for your business. At IBM we believe your data is yours – and yours alone. Watson services (including Watson Assistant) for IBM Cloud will not share unique insights derived from your data unless you instruct us to use it. For more information on IBM’s practices for privacy, compliance and security for Watson services, read our point of view (PDF, 454 KB).

How many chatbot touchpoints are there in a customer journey?

Every customer journey is different depending on the industry, product or solution, and the number of customer service channels employed by the business. However, in general, there are about 4-6 touchpoints that can involve a chatbot in a typical customer journey. Customers can interact with a chatbot on a company’s website, through social media channels like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, on phone calls using integrations like Twilio, on a mobile app, during their online retail shopping experience, or when giving post-purchase feedback.

How do Watson Assistant integrations improve the employee experience?

By implementing a chatbot built with Watson Assistant across multiple channels, support agents can spend more of their time answering complex customer questions since the chatbot can handle simple and frequently asked questions. Virtual assistants can also be used internally to provide answers and data to human agents while they are assisting customers. This eliminates the need to wait for answers from a traditional internal help desk. In general, Watson Assistant integrations help free up time and reduce repetitive interactions, allowing employees to focus on more value-producing activities.

How do I set up a phone number for my chatbot?

To integrate your chatbot with Twilio, you need to add the Watson Assistant phone integration first, then create a Twilio Flex project and a Twilio function to handle incoming calls. Read the full instructions in the Watson Assistant documentation.

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