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Customer Experience and Design

Cognitive Agents to Improve User Experience

Cognitive Agents, Chatbots, VCA, Virtual Agents

In a world where over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created each day, having a tool to help deliver information to users efficiently is important. Cognitive agents are a tool that can improve user experience for both advisors and customers alike. This self-service technology is capable of understanding human language to provide accurate information and quickly direct users to the next optimal step. Allowing cognitive agents to essentially do the grunt work, frees up human resources to tackle bigger, more complex issues. This combination of technology assisting humans produces a better user experience for everyone. Advisors get the right information they need to assist customers and customers get their requests resolved faster.

So how does this technology work and what makes it so valuable?

Cognitive Computing

Cognitive agents are born out of one of the major elements of artificial intelligence: cognitive computing. It’s the simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model. And it includes self-learning systems that leverage data mining, pattern recognition, and natural language processing (NLP) to mimic patterns of the human brain. These applications are:

ADAPTIVE. Cognitive solutions adapt as information changes, goals change, and requirements evolve, thus planning for and addressing ambiguity. Much of the time, cognitive computing solutions can also process data in real time or near real time.

ITERATIVE AND STATEFUL. Cognitive solutions aid in defining a problem or finding additional sources if a problem statement appears to be ambiguous or incomplete. Previous interactions may also be involved in defining or completing problem statements.

CONTEXTUAL. Cognitive solutions may understand, identify, and extract contextual elements including syntax, meaning, time, location, domain, regulations, user profile, process, task, and goal. In some cases, they may also extract structured and unstructured information as well as sensory inputs.

While cognitive computing applications (like cognitive agents) can mimic the human brain, that is not to say they are meant to replace human advisors. Instead, this technology can be viewed as a powerful assistant that can handle time consuming tasks and free up human resources to tackle other, more complex issues. And less time searching for information means faster resolution times which equals cost reduction.

Benefits Beyond Cost Savings

While cognitive agents are a great way to save money, but they have other benefits as well. This technology can also improve data security, customer and employee experience, and visibility over business processes. While many organizations see benefits just using cognitive agents as “assistants” to live agents to help provide information and recommend personalized offers for the customer faster, some use this tech to weed out would-be phishers before live agent interaction to reduce average handling time. Others have also seen benefits by combining cognitive agents with internal processes to do things like speed up on-boarding processes and reduce security concerns and errors.  

Success with Cognitive Agents

There are many ways cognitive agents can fit into your digital transformation. Browse the stories below about real organizations to see how they have implemented cognitive agent solutions to deliver valuable insights and better user experience for both customers and advisors.

Health Insurance Company | Interactive cognitive agent for providers to quickly access member information

A health insurance company with more than 13 million customers in the U.S., needed a better way to manage member information inquiries from providers. Calls were handled by an outdated interactive voice response (IVR) system and volumes exceeded 700,000 calls per month, with the majority of callers opting out of IVR for costly outsourced call centers. ​

  Developed a cognitive agent to converse naturally with providers and return correct information timely and efficiently ​
·    Implemented IBM Watson Dialog, Watson Natural Language Classification, Watson Speech to Text, and Watson Text to Speech​

    Significantly reduced requests for a live agent, leading to substantial cost savings​
·    Reduced average call times from eight minutes to three ​

Multinational Software Company | Reshaping the customer service experience with IBM Watson cognitive agent

A software company for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, and entertainment industries was struggling with an unfriendly, inefficient user experience for customers calling in with service requests and questions.  ​The company wanted to improve this crucial customer experience and reduce the time it took to resolve issues and requests.

·    Implemented IBM Watson Dialog and Natural Language Classifier to transform, automate, and improve interactions​
·    Understands the intent behind conversations and can function as a digital concierge

·    Enabled handling of approximately 60% of Tier 1 requests from start to finish​
·    Decreased support costs by 90%​
·    Reduced resolution times by 99%

Multinational Conglomerate Company| New cognitive shopping experience improves customer service and conversion rates

A Japanese and Korean conglomerate with functions including retail, financial services, hotels, and more, sought to optimize the shopping experience within their retail subsidiaries with cognitive technology to better leverage its data.

·   Created a virtual shopping advisor powered by a conversational recommendation engine that analyzes structured and unstructured data
·   Incorporates speech-to-text, text-to-speech, and visual recognition capabilities
·   Created a “customer DNA” with tailor recommendations based on shopping history
·   Provided trend recommendations based on AI-crawl social media keywords

·    New services across shopping and store advising via cognitive chatbot
·    Real-time personalized recommendations
·    Improved customer experience with higher conversion rates
·    Consolidated disparate data sources into a unified “customer DNA”

Get More

Investing in resources that digitally transform customer care will provide a competitive advantage for your organization. Learn more in our guide Top Technology Trends for Smarter, Strategic Customer Care.

And to learn more about the success stories above and others, reach out to our experts.

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Meghan Frederick, Marketing Manager

Meghan Frederick is a Partner Marketing Manager supporting Perficient's Adobe and digital experience partnerships. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to EDM festivals, and coaching CrossFit.

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