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Analytics can transform Customer Service, says IBM (InformationWeek online)

India has traditionally been a services country. Hence, even a small improvement in processes followed by the services industry, can have a major impact on the country’s economy. This is precisely the market that IBM, with its rich history of innovation and a huge number of patents, is looking to tap.“India has a huge opportunity to show global leadership with respect to service delivery. Today, there are a huge number of services that are delivered to global markets from India. If you look at a majority of services, there is huge room for innovation and for driving productivity and enhancing value,” states Dr Manish Gupta, Director, IBM Research - India, and Chief Technologist, IBM India/South Asia.

IBM has already developed a tool called Voice of the Customer Analytics (VOCA) in collaboration with its Global Process Services business. The tool automatically extracts insights about customers’ satisfaction levels with IBM’s clients from contact center interactions. This approach is fundamentally different from the traditional ways of understanding customer satisfaction. Most traditional methods of calculating customer satisfaction scores rely on customer satisfaction forms, and are based on small sample sizes. In many cases, these scores are not representative of the real data on the ground and prone to errors.

Delivered as a managed service, enterprises can use VOCA to gain intelligence from heterogeneous structured and unstructured data sources like customer surveys, call transcripts, agent logs and activity records. The solution combines text analytics with more traditional data mining processes to deliver actionable insights based on information that is inherent in customer interactions.

Gupta says that IBM has used VOCA in its contact centers for analyzing customer interactions and improving customer service. “Analytics can help us in finding out accurately about what the customer is telling us. In the future, you can apply this to real time calls,” says Gupta. The same tool can be even used to gather intelligence and user feedback trends from social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.

Analytics techniques in VOCA have the capability to transform customer utterances into a meaningful set of usable data that can be categorized, searched, and analyzed. This can have a huge impact on customer service, as enterprises can learn from their past engagements. The IBM Research Labs team has developed tools on top of enterprise applications such as Oracle and SAP which allow enterprises to reuse intelligence gained from previous client engagements. This can prove to be invaluable for services’ companies, as they can leverage the intelligence gained from past engagements to improve future interactions with clients. Gupta cites the example of IBM’s SAP practice, which has used these tools extensively to gain a competitive edge over its rivals.

Given its capability, VOCA can be used in multiple sectors. For example, this tool can be used in a sector like healthcare, where doctors can leverage from the knowledge and insights gained from past patterns of patients. “Predictive analytics can be used to predict diseases, well before symptoms show up,” says Dr Gupta. Similarly, it can be used in recruitment activities, where the tool can be used to screen and filter potential resumes from thousands of resumes received by a company for a particular skill set.

Link- http://www.informationweek.in/Software/11-06-13/Analytics_can_transform_customer_service_says_IBM.aspx (link resides outside of ibm.com)