JACCS, a Japanese consumer credit company that offers many products and services, receives a large volume of customer inquiries on a wide variety of topics. Under Ryoko’s leadership, JACCS turned to IBM Watson to accomplish two goals: Give customers the information they need, quickly, and reduce the training period and turnover rate for operators. To that end, Ryoko helped launch a Watson-enabled operator onboarding tool that has reduced the new operator training period by 30%, as of March 2020.

What makes an AI project successful?
It’s important to research and study things from all aspects, and to proactively work on building necessary features. A lively exchange of opinions and thorough information-sharing are also important throughout the process.

What has your company achieved with AI?
As operators have the support of AI, customer satisfaction has increased because customers’ inquires are answered more quickly. Also, in recent years Japan’s workforce has been decreasing. Recruiting and retaining good workers is a common challenge—one that we believe AI will help us address. In the future, we hope to widen our service range and improve convenience for customers by enabling 24-hour inquiry handling.

What advice would you share with others who are considering using AI?
AI is not something special; it exists in our everyday life. Productivity and work efficiency can be increased by AI and humans working together. There are many ways to leverage AI. You can create a good use case by adjusting AI to what you want.

What advice would you give your younger self?
It is important to believe in yourself, but it is equally or more important to believe in people around you. I would encourage myself to have many experiences and garner knowledge to objectively evaluate things, not blindly accept or exclude others’ opinions.

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