Memorable Experiences with the New Watson Assistant Web Chat

Giulio Soliani
Oct 21, 2019 · 4 min read

“Thank you for waiting. We are experiencing a larger than normal call volume. Your expected wait time will be… 12 minutes.”

Does this sound familiar? In the age of instant gratification, this kind of experience isn’t just disappointing for customers — it’s detrimental to a business. In fact, 59% of customers will leave their brand after a bad experience (PWC — Future of CX 2018). Chatbots were supposed to be the new trendy solution to save us from long wait times. However, most chatbots still frustrate users as they lack advanced AI capabilities and run customers into dead-end responses such as “Sorry I didn’t get that”. Very frustrating!

Customer Experience is Key

It is the differentiator of the modern-day business. However, building and designing a great self-service solution takes time, effort, and skills. That’s why, at IBM Watson, we’ve invested in delivering the best customer experience through our conversational AI application known as Watson Assistant. And this month we have released a new feature, Web Chat: a pre-built user interface designed for customers to get the help they need in a memorable self-service experience.

While other chatbot companies claim to be able to do the same, Watson Assistant goes a step beyond by providing a pre-designed user interface built to handle advanced conversational scenarios such as rich responses, clarifications, multi-tasking, and agent escalation.

Let’s explore how each of these capabilities can help customers get the answer they need with no frustration.

Rich Responses

Keeping your customers engaged in a self-service experience is critical. That’s why Watson Assistant Web Chat has been designed to return a variety of responses to the user, going beyond simple (and often boring!) text answers. In the examples shown, we display images, option buttons, and snippets of text from company documents (PDFs, PPTs, DOCs, etc) to keep the customers engaged and overall more satisfied with the experience!

Clarifications

Watson Assistant doesn’t jump to conclusions — our Web Chat is designed to handle tough questions and automatically offer clarifying options. Now, users can select the option that is right for them and Watson Assistant guides them to resolution. This way, your customers can get the information they need without getting stuck down the wrong path.

For example, if a user interacting with a Banking AI assistant were to state “I am traveling to Rome”, Watson Assistant Web Chat automatically clarifies by asking if they want to Set a Travel Alert or simply look for Travel Tips. User selects the right option and off they go!

Multi-Tasking

Customers tend to jump from topic to topic — rushing to get answers. What they need is a smart AI system that can multitask. When a user changes the topic in a conversation, Watson Assistant Web Chat will automatically leave the main subject, address the new topic, and then seamlessly return to the original subject.

Look at how it behaves in a banking scenario. The customer begins their process to pay the full balance of their credit card bill, but gets a warning about insufficient funds in their checking account. Rather than stopping the process, the customer can quickly digress by asking: “What is my checking account balance”, and with additional information, go back to the original payment process and make a better decision. Better decisions usually mean happier customers!

Agent Hand-Off

And finally, there’s alway some complex topics that require the touch of a human agent. In this case, Watson Assistant Web Chat transition’s the customer’s conversation seamlessly to a human agent without leaving the chat experience. Watson Assistant does this in a way designed to keep the customer engaged even if there’s a wait time. If your customer happens to be in a long queue, she can continue to solve her problem with the assistant while waiting.

Notice how a customer can quickly engage with an Agent through the Web Chat while asking follow-up questions in the chat while waiting.

We’ve designed the Web Chat based on years of experience building these AI assistants for businesses worldwide so that you don’t have to spend time or effort doing it. Now keep in mind that most chatbot technology out there still requires technical expertise to be configured: ranging from full-stack engineers to AI developers, all of whom are hard to attract and retain. And don’t forget to bring your designers to the table or your chatbot will fall short of customer’s expectations.

With Watson Assistant you don’t have to worry about large development teams and advanced developer/designer skills. We provide a managed, extensible, and advanced Web Chat. Managed so that you don’t spend time designing and developing a front end for your chatbot, but focus on the content within. Extensible so you can match Web Chat to your site using our customization capability, and extend it further if needed with our developer documentation. And finally, advanced as it lets you use novel conversational features like disambiguation, and gracefully fail conversations to searching articles and escalating to a human agent. All of it pre-built, so that your assistant web chat can be deployed in minutes which means you can save months of development time.

Simply copy a few lines of Javascript and embed a great chat interface into your website.

And we’re not stopping here. The plan is to keep providing enhanced user experience capabilities out of the box so that your customers will keep wanting to use your chatbot. Try out the Watson Assistant Web Chat today and start building a great assistant for your business!

IBM Watson

AI Platform for the Enterprise

Giulio Soliani

Written by

I am an Offering Manager for the IBM Watson team with a M.S in Engineering. I come from a professional services background and am very passionate about AI!

IBM Watson

AI Platform for the Enterprise

Giulio Soliani

Written by

I am an Offering Manager for the IBM Watson team with a M.S in Engineering. I come from a professional services background and am very passionate about AI!

IBM Watson

AI Platform for the Enterprise

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