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Macy’s tests artificially intelligent customer service

artificial intelligence, AI, natural language processing, machine learning, Macy’s
Views: 470 Created 08/01/2016

In the internet age, department stores are taking a big hit. Sears is in a downward spiral that it likely won’t recover from and Macy’s sales have been trending downward as well. But unlike Sears which wasn’t quick enough to adapt to the changing industry, Macy’s is looking to harness the power of artificial intelligence to turn things around.

Almost everyone has had the experience of waking into a department store and not being able to find an employee to help them. They’re either stuck behind a cash register ringing up merchandise or they’re already assisting other customers. That could all change if Macy’s experiment goes as planned.

They’re currently testing a new mobile tool, which they call a “mobile companion” in 10 of their U.S. locations. It’s developed by IBM and uses natural language processing and machine learning to assist customers. Customers can ask it where to find a certain brand or type of product and it can lead the customer right to it. The tool can also sense when a customer is growing frustrated and can summon a customer service rep to come and offer additional assistance.

The goal is that this mobile tool will free up employees to handle only the most difficult situations while AI takes care of the more mundane requests for help. If the mobile tool is effective, it could be rolled out in Macy’s stores nationwide. Only time will tell if it’s enough to turn things around for the struggling department store chain.

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Source: cio-today .com/article/index.php?story_id=112003LUKJC0

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