French bank Crédit Mutuel and IBM Watson began a partnership last year to train and improve Watson’s French language capabilities. During the pilot program, the 150 customer advisors in 20 branches used the technology to enhance customer service. And now, the bank is extending the program to its 20,000 employees across 5,000 branches. The service will analyze the more than 350,000 daily customer emails received each day to determine the most frequent requests and their relative level of urgency. Crédit Mutuel can then use this data to increase efficiency and response time to each requests. IBM Watson will also provide two virtual assistants to help advisors more rapidly provide information on bank offerings, like car and housing insurance.
This is the first commercial use of Watson by a French financial institution. The pilot program was extremely well received with 94% of respondents saying they would recommend the Virtual Assistant program to colleagues. “As a mutual bank with a strong local presence all over the country, we continue to invest in our branches to help advisors deliver more personal relationships with our clients, whether face to face, by phone, or digital. In this context, Watson is a perfect working partner to assist our professionals, augment their service quality and help them bring more value to clients,” said Nicolas Thery, chairman at Crédit Mutuel.