Wells Fargo is boarding the chatbot train, launching a pilot of an AI-based customer services agent within Facebook’s Messenger platform.
In May 2016, Wells’ moved to use Messenger as its main channel for addressing customers’ common questions and service issues.
Steve Ellis, head of Wells Fargo’s Innovation Group, says that the majority of customer engagements are now conducted on Messenger, rather than its public Facebook News Feed.
“Our goal is to deliver information ‘in the moment’ to help customers make better informed financial decisions,” he says. “AI technology allows us to take an experience that would have required our customers to navigate through several pages on our website, and turn it into a simple conversation in a chat environment. That’s a huge time-saving convenience for busy customers who are already frequent users of Messenger.”
The bank has identified AI as a key area of focus for its Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation (PVSI) group and in February appointed Ellis to head up a newly-created Artificial Intelligence Enterprise Solutions team within the division.
Initially, the pilot has been opened to a few hundred staff and will expand to include several thousand customers later this Spring.