IBM and Royal Bank of Scotland have announced their first pilot with customers of ‘Luvo’ – a cognitive chat bot that allows people to interact with an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered platform. Luvo leverages IBM Watson Conversation, a cloud-based cognitive service, to enhance the customer service experience.
Royal Bank of Scotland will begin making Luvo accessible via its webchat service in December, starting with around 10 percent of Royal Bank customers in Scotland that use webchat, helping to answer specific queries on everything from ‘How do I authorize my card to be used overseas?’ to ‘How do I update my home address with the bank’? Luvo would be able to answer these simple questions in just a split second while directing customers to a human to answer more complex questions.
Following a successful pilot, Luvo is expected to roll out to the bank’s NatWest customers. This customer pilot follows a successful two-month trial of the technology earlier this year among 1,200 Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest staff, primarily handling queries from small businesses customers with problems such as lost corporate cards or forgotten pins.
The aim of Luvo is to help Royal Bank of Scotland customers quickly and simply with their queries and problems while keeping waiting times to a bare minimum. With Luvo being able to find answers from a variety of sources of information in just a split second and with staff being freed up to handle more complex problems, customers would be set to benefit from a much simpler and faster process.
Luvo can also decide on how to act based on the specific situation, so for instance, if a customer has their card stolen, they will be automatically routed to a human advisor, whereas if they just need advice on how to order a new card, Luvo will quickly find that information for them.
In the future, the cognitive chat bot could begin using IBM Watson Alchemy Language capability to better understand how a customer is feeling – for example, if they are unhappy or frustrated – and then change its tone and actions accordingly.
“Luvo frees advisors from spending time on simple, easily-addressed queries so they can help customers with more complex issues and questions,” said Jane Howard, Head of Personal Banking, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland.
“As this cognitive system continues to learn overtime, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest will be able to expand Luvo’s capabilities to more complex areas such as providing increased personalization and using predictive analytics to detect possible issues before they arise to make a recommended course of action,” said Chris Withers, Europe Head of Financial Services for Watson Solutions from IBM. “Luvo is a great example of how IBM Watson can be used to augment the intelligence of employees and improve the experience of customers.”