Crédit Mutuel is giving 20,000 branch employees assistance in the form of IBM's Watson platform, which will help analyse customer emails and provide information on products and services.
Following a year-long training process and 150-employee pilot, the French bank is deploying the Watson cognitive computing platform across 5000 branches.
From this summer, the email analyser feature will help staffers manage the more than 350,000 customer emails they receive each day, identifying the most frequent requests and determining the level of urgency.
Meanwhile, two virtual assistant applications use Watson to help advisors quickly provide customers with information on complex offerings such as insurance and investment products. The technology enabled users to find the right answers to most of their customer questions more than 60% faster.
Crédit Mutuel says that its pilot improved the speed, relevance and accuracy of responses to queries, and ultimately reinforced relationships with customers by giving staff more time for personalised attention.
According to an internal survey of participants, 94% of the respondents would recommend the Virtual Assistant to colleagues and 87% would recommend the Email Analyzer.
The bank plans to expand its use of Watson technologies to additional use cases later this year, for health, personal risk insurance, car credit insurance, and bank credit services.
Nicolas Thery, chairman, Crédit Mutuel, says: "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."