Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
March, 18th 2010

Posted by
Guest in

Post feed

RSS 2.0

YouTube Preview Image
Following is a guest post from Michael Schroeck

“Customer service” … the term has such a positive ring to it. Yet today most consumers have a less than positive image of customer service.  Like many of you, I call into a help desk or customer service center with low expectations and just hope I can get off the phone with my blood pressure near normal.

We remember a few short years ago the web was going to be the answer to all companies’ customer service woes.  “Yes, just go to our website, all the answers should be there.”   The move to web self-service was going to save companies millions and lead to happier customers.

I think we’ve learned some valuable lessons from that experience.  First, in some cases, the websites with feature rich customer service applications have helped ease the call burden for companies and allowed customers to get help faster.  For example, using instructions found on-line to fix your computer or do simple banking transactions have been huge advancements that benefit both customers and businesses.

More importantly, companies have come to realize how valuable true relationship building is with today’s overwhelmed consumer.  The “push to web” age actually made it easier for customers to feel disconnected from the companies with which they do business.  Ultimately leading to a lack of true brand loyalty and the emergence of relationships and decisions based primarily on price.  This trend was characterized in a number of IBM surveys including one from 2008 that found only 21 percent of consumers are advocates for their primary retailers.

As the world gets more-and-more impersonal some companies are trying to seize the opportunity to get “closer” to their customers.  We’re seeing new phone-based customer relationships emerging across many industries.  For example, some health-insurance providers are experimenting with personal care guides who establish one-on-one relationships with members.  These trained professionals (often nurses) are being dubbed “health care concierges” and help members navigate the healthcare system.

While not every company can have a dedicated “concierges” for customers, there are other innovative approaches that can increase the odds of a successful interaction.  What about using similar personality and compatibility matching methods popularized by on-line dating sites to match customers with the right customer service representative at a contact center?

Believe it our not, the technology exists and IBM is working with a forward thinking client to do just that.  The Real-Time Analytics Matching Platform (RAMP)  announced today (but in development and testing for a number of years) uses advanced analytics to identify the optimal match between a caller and a company customer service representative (CSR) in real-time.  I like to think of it as “personalized customer service”.

IBM was very fortunate to have teamed up with specialty insurance provider Assurant Solutions, part of Assurant, Inc., to develop and deploy RAMP in the company’s contact center.  Using RAMP has enabled Assurant Solutions to improve customer retention, increase sales yields and decrease agent attrition while at the same time improving both customer and agent satisfaction.

Here’s a quote from Assurant vice president Mike Politz  in today’s announcement:

“Assurant Solutions has been using an analytics-based routing approach to increase call center profitability and enhance the customer experience in its call centers for over seven years, increasing retention revenue by 37% and sales revenue by 29% within the first year of implementation.”

What makes RAMP possible is the simply using data that companies have been collecting for efficiency and quality purposes for years.  For example, contact centers monitor the performance of their own agents including the average time they are on the phone and their sales efficiency.  Companies also have tremendous insight into their individual customers including things like common issues you call about, contract expiration dates and average wait time.  What RAMP does is combine this customer and agent information to make real-time matching decisions that will most likely lead to a positive customer experience.

The ultimate goal of customer service has been anticipating your customer’s needs and then exceeding them.  Think about the old store keeper who knew what you liked, how you liked it and when you needed it.  It built a form of loyalty and a personal connection that unfortunately has eroded over the last 30 years.  While we’re still a long ways from reinventing that experience, it is possible to use the information that’s readily available to bring us one step closer to a modern day version of that relationship.

mikeschroek Michael Schroeck, Partner, Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM

Bookmark and Share

Previous post

Next post

January 23, 2016
10:12 am

The way of writing is excellent and also the content is top-notch. Thanks for that insight you provide the readers!

Posted by: venus factor
March 28, 2015
10:10 pm

Dobre, dobre, dobre polecam każdemu! test obciążeniowy karty graficznej, test obciążeniowy komputera, test obciążeniowy kosmetyków

Posted by:
November 19, 2014
4:06 am

These loans are revolving and usually use a lower interest rate.
Its well-linked infrastructure as well as a robust economy have made corporate houses set up businesses here.
All eyes take presctiption the White House to view if Obama’s job
plan will get Republican approval to stimulate the task market; however,
many Democrats strongly believe Obama’s job plan won’t provide nearly enough funding to complete need to help you with true economic

Posted by: Betsy
November 3, 2014
2:29 am

Nietuzinkowe wpisy, dobra tematyka

Posted by: Stefan
October 27, 2014
5:20 pm

Każdy z nas zetknął się z problemem, rekomenduję zaznajomienie się z faktem.

Posted by:
September 25, 2014
4:55 pm

Nice post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I’m inspired!
Very useful info specifically the last section :) I take care of such info a lot.

I used to be seeking this certain info for a long time.
Thank you and best of luck.

Posted by: Misaekyeon
November 10, 2011
7:10 pm

There are some attention-grabbing time limits on this article however I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There’s some validity however I will take hold opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want extra! Added to FeedBurner as properly

Posted by: pacquiao vs marquez live streaming
October 24, 2011
6:52 pm

Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

Posted by: Ivory Barnes
September 6, 2011
12:22 am

Just want to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is simply nice and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

Posted by: fanpage ssl
April 30, 2010
4:10 am

There has been a decline in the quality of customer service being done by various call centers from around the globe. These companies must have the initiative to re-evaluate their employees and policies in order to avoid the downfall of the outsourcing industry.

Posted by: Contact Center Philippines
Post a Comment