Crédit Mutuel and IBM have announced that the French bank will use Watson technologies to strengthen customer relationships. The move will support 20,000 employees across its 5,000 branches. The bank’s customer advisors have been using Watson services in French for the past year.

Watson will be analyzing more than 350,000 daily customer emails to identify the most frequent requests, determine the level of request urgency and help its client advisors execute faster or delegate tasks, so they can accelerate responses to their customers.

There also are two Virtual Assistant applications that will use Watson technology to help the advisors provide customers with information on bank offerings, such as car and housing insurances, and savings products. This is the first commercial use of Watson by a financial institution in France.

“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 as reported in the press release on Microsoft website. “We are evolving our banking business to deliver a growing number of diversified and valuable services to clients, and we recognize how important it is for our professionals to be central to our client relationships.”

“Crédit Mutuel’s work with Watson is a powerful example of how professionals are working with cognitive technologies to improve their performance and enhance how they interact with customers,” said David Kenny, senior vice president, IBM Watson & Cloud Platform. “Crédit Mutuel is focused on making their customer relationships more personal and valuable, and we are proud to work with them as they demonstrate how Watson is helping their employees more quickly provide the right answers to customer questions.”

The bank plans to use and extend Watson usages in health, personal risk insurance, car credit insurance,

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