Three and Red Ant pioneered the use of IBM Watson in retail with a world-first multi-channel sales trainer

Used the latest advances in machine learning to transform sales and training processes
Delivered to 20 pilot stores for busy Christmas rush
First deployment of cognitive computing for in-store retail anywhere in the world
Intelligently understands questions and documents and searches thousands of documents at once with voice or text input
Integrates with eCommerce to automatically link content and products
Unique customer recommendations and selling tips

Three and Red Ant build IBM Watson-powered cognitive sales trainer

The AI app harnessed IBM Watson’s unique ability to recognise natural language queries – either spoken or text-based - and search thousands of documents, product details, customer reviews, blog posts and social content at once to provide contextually relevant answers which get smarter each time.

What Three wanted to achieve

Three wanted to use leading-edge technology to enable sales colleagues to deliver an enhanced service to customers by radically improving how staff interact with technology, using simple questions to make sense of big data and integrating with existing sales, training and customer service documentation.

What we delivered

Built on IBM Watson’s cognitive capabilities, we developed a trainer specifically for Three sales colleagues dealing with complex contracts which involved multiple levels of documentation, service manuals and tariffs:

  • Transferable across mobile, tablet and web browser
  • Processed thousands of data points to give sales colleagues access to all the information they needed
  • The trainer used the latest breakthroughs in natural language processing to understand sales manuals and business documents
  • It allowed Three to maximise existing investments, take control of documentation and instantly improve sales and service

No training required

  • Voice recognition and a simple to use question-and-answer interface allowed for intuitive and natural use
  • No costly investment in training programmes – instantly accessible to all sales colleagues

Smart product recommendations and machine learning for continuous improvement

  • Integrated with eCommerce and existing databases to automatically link content, products, manuals, contract details and other documentation
  • Able to be tailored to relevant demographics and purchase histories to boost conversion rates and make cross-selling easy
  • The sales trainer automatically improved the more sales colleagues used it, by crowdsourcing input from across all channels

"We ran the trial to explore new ways of supporting customers and help them make well-informed choices. It’s in our culture to challenge norms and try new approaches for the benefit of both our staff and our customers."

Jacqueline Kelleher, Director of Retail at Three