IBM Services Signs $240M Agreement with Lenovo

IBM today announced that it will supply field services and remote call center solutions to enhance the commercial customer experience for Lenovo in its North America, EMEA, and Latin America markets.

The $240M USD multi-year agreement continues to build on the success of the IBM-Lenovo relationship that began in 2005.

Today’s customers’ expectations for service are changing, and they want to have everything inter-connected, 24×7 with one swipe at a high level of speed and accessibility. In fact, according to IBM’s research, more than $1 trillion is spent on 265 billion customer service calls each year industry-wide, with 50% of those calls going unresolved. That data, compounded by a recent report, revealed that poor customer service is costing businesses more than $75 billion a year – up $13 billion since 2016.

Meanwhile, information overload is a huge issue, with support agents sorting through a deluge of technical documentation on the spot like new product releases, updated technical info, machine data, service history and client-specific instructions. The pressure is on to fix issues quickly and accurately and to improve customer experience and evolve the call center to one that is faster, better quality, cheaper and more predictable.

This agreement takes customer care to the next level. Now, when a customer connects with an agent for Lenovo Think-branded PCs and monitors, not only does the agent already know who they are talking to and the issue they are calling about, IBM’s Virtual Assistant for Technical Support uses its natural language capabilities and contextual recognition, to personalize the conversation by asking the right questions about service issues and obtaining solution advice, while also accessing key customer information.

“Providing customers with leading edge technology solutions and offering great support services go hand-in-hand with the customers’ total experience,” said Jammi Tu, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Lenovo Intelligent Devices.

“Through our work with IBM, we are increasing our service capabilities through IBM’s Virtual Assistant for Technical Support, Augmented Reality and weather technology, helping us deliver the fast, personalized and consistent care customers expect from their trusted technology brand.” 

The solution, facilitated by IBM, is designed to decrease service costs for Lenovo while growing profitability by integrating the global coverage and capacity of IBM’s Customer Engagement Centers (CEC) and field service solutions around the world, with its standard package of cognitive solutions including:

  • Virtual Assistant for Technical Support which harvests and analyzes customer history and preferences, product manuals, technical documentation, and any other available content like FAQs, forum postings and social media Q&A which can now be at the fingertips of a call center agent.
  • Weather Alerting technologies which, along with IBM schedule optimizing tools, alerts call center agents and field technicians of weather conditions in real time, up to 72 hours in advance and, based on their GPS locations, can predict their accessibility to a client’s location to set expectations on service windows.
  • Augmented Reality that enables more than 19,000 field agents to deliver a consistent client experience around the globe by allowing customers to video share, in real time, the machines needing repair to IBM’s experts who can virtually draw on top of the video and explain the repair steps.

Martin Jetter, senior vice president of Global Technology Services, IBM said,

“Data is having an unprecedented impact on call centers with artificial intelligence taking customer service to a whole new level of personalization,”

“This global collaboration with Lenovo further strengthens our long-standing relationship, empowering every single call center and field service agent at Lenovo to deliver service excellence using the power of Watson AI.” 

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