Big Data Seeks to Improve Customer Service Calls Through Personality Matching

Probably anyone who has called a customer service line has heard the familiar message indicating that the call may be recorded. But what actually happens with all that data? Compliance, of course, is one reason for such measures. But one Chicago-based company is trying to do more, using a big-data approach to actually match callers and customer service agents based on personality.

“When you think of big data, there’s a ton of data in that spoken conversation. No one is taking that data and trying to operationalize it in a new way,” Jason Wesbecher, chief marketing officer of Mattersight told InformationWeek in a Feb. 17 article. “For our customers, we’re applying psychology and behavioral science to the phone call, and we’re able to tell them, across a vast set of data, the health of those customer conversations based on psychological and behavioral attributes.”

Mattersight is the developer of the proprietary Behavioral Analytics cloud-based system, which uses millions of algorithms as well as behavioral models to figure out which customer service representative will be best suited to handle a specific caller. The software, Mattersight claims, can determine whether a customer is outgoing or shy, serious or sarcastic, and so forth.

This works by classifying callers into one of about six personality profiles based on their preferred communication styles. Call center workers are also studied, and then paired with the customers they’ll best be able to reach an efficient and agreeable solution with.

“When calls are recorded in an answering service setting, we take that information and review for quality of the calls,” says Brian Scott, Owner, A Better Answer. “We use this as a training tool as well as an accuracy tool. If one of our customers calls into our office stating one of our people were rude or unhelpful to caller, we can pull that recorded conversation. We can review it and even email the conversation to our customer to prove our case. We are either 100% right or 100% wrong. After 5 months the conversations are destroyed.”

Current Mattersight clients include CVS Health, Progressive, and Esurance. These companies have said that the software speeds up their calls, boosts sales, and improves overall customer satisfaction by 10% or even more.

Right now, the firm has applied its technology only in the call center field. However, it’s looking to move into social media, particularly guiding the type of ads individual consumers might see based on the type of information they find most persuasive. “Your ad will be totally different from my ad, given our personality files,” Wesbecher explained. “Mine might be full of bullet points and facts, and yours might be a family sitting around a Christmas tree, toasting.”

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