AI Powered LiveEngage Leverages
June 22, 2017
with Watson is an enterprise-scale, out-of-the-box integration of
Watson-powered bots with human agents. The new offering combines IBM's
Watson Virtual Agent technology with LivePerson's LiveEngage platform,
allowing brands to rapidly and easily deploy conversational bots that
get smarter with each interaction, and lets consumers message those
brands from their smartphone - via the brand's app, SMS, Facebook
Messenger, or even the brand's mobile site - instead of having to call
an 800 number.
The customer care sector has lagged behind consumers in terms of
technology adoption, still requiring most interactions to be conducted
by analog voice call. In fact, customers make more than 270 billion
phone calls to customer support lines each year1.
This legacy approach has not kept pace with the consumer move to
smartphones and messaging apps, now the dominant way consumers
communicate digitally. Forrester's 2017 Customer Service Trends report
revealed that "Customers of all ages are moving away from using the
phone to using self-service — web and mobile self-service, communities,
virtual agents, automated chat dialogs, or chatbots — as a first point
of contact with a company" and, according to Dimension Data, while there
has been a 12 percent decline in phone volume, there has been growth in
every digital channel2.
LiveEngage with Watson helps meet that demand - allowing consumers to
message large brands from their smartphones and instantly get answers
from AI-powered bots, with human care representatives brought in
seamlessly, in real-time, if a bot is not able to resolve an issue
The move will help enable millions of consumers to avoid the frustrating
experience of legacy, voice-based customer support, which requires them
to dial an 800 number, wait on hold, then talk to an agent, and often
multiple agents over multiple phone calls.
LiveEngage with Watson gives brands the ability to customize bots based
on their own unique corpuses of data – from product manuals to customer
service guidelines – creating a personalized interaction that can be up
and running as quickly as in a few days. These bots can be
informational, personalized, and transactional - quickly addressing the
most commonly raised customer service issues such as taking bill
payments and finding contact information - while bringing in human
expertise when necessary to drive effective customer engagement.
"Providing customer care over 800 numbers is not just extremely costly —
it is a poor and antiquated experience for consumers," says Robert
LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson. "Nobody likes waiting on hold.
This partnership between IBM and LivePerson marries the technology and
services to solve the problem at scale. We're working with top brands in
the telecoms and banking space right now to get this done, moving
customer care away from costly, analog voice calls with frustrating hold
times and toward consumer-friendly mobile messaging. We're thrilled to
form this partnership. No other company but IBM brings this
sophistication of cognitive technology and breadth of supporting
consulting and implementation services."
with Watson is designed to meet the needs of today's 'always on'
consumers and deliver the sort of timely, high quality brand experience
that they expect," says David Kenny, senior vice president, IBM Watson
and Cloud Platform. "By combining the power of IBM Watson and
LivePerson's LiveEngage platform, we are expecting to accelerate
customer service as we know it today by leaps and bounds. This is yet
another powerful example of how cognitive technologies like Watson are
helping professionals improve and enhance how they interact with
As business decisions continue to be made with the help of AI, customer
care will be no different. IBM Global Business Services, the company's
consulting unit, is providing a set of strategy and implementation
services to help companies integrate LiveEngage with Watson as part of
their broader business transformation. By building experiences that
learn, and adapt, into core processes, companies can deliver better
engagement with customers. Together with LivePerson, IBM plans to
operate a Cognitive Care Center of Excellence to help enable brands to
drive this change at scale.