Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for March 19th, 2010

I’d Like To Talk To The Gecko, Please

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Hold, please.

My two least favorite words…particularly when I call a company to try and get help with some kind of customer service issue:

Correcting my mobile phone bill…trying to get ahold of someone at an airlines to tell me if I can use my miles for a particular route…dealing with my insurance agency (Look, can I just talk to the Gecko, please?  He seems to know what he’s talking about in those Geico commercials!)

As a part of IBM’s significant investment in the business analytics and optimization arena, the company is looking to address the problem of making sure callers can find the best resource for answering their question.

IBM collaborated with specialty insurance provider Assurant Solutions to develop the Real-Time Analytics Matching Platform (RAMP).

RAMP is helping Assurant Solutions call centers to increase customer retention and sales yields by combining data about the individual customer with each contact center agent’s specific calls, expertise and past performance to optimize the routing of calls.

IBM GBS consultants designed a “matching-engine” which leverages this combination of customer insight, agent profiles, and real-time analytics to provide “individual-level” decisioning and assignment of calls not available in most contact center applications.

This is in juxtaposition with most current contact centers’ current approach, a skills-based system which only takes into consideration the agent’s product focus and availability.

Assurant’s implementation or RAMP has seen retention revenue grow by 37% and sales revenue grow by 29%.

RAMP is activated the moment a customer contacts the call center. Within seconds the platform uses data generated from previous call center interactions to identify acceptable wait times for individual customers.

RAMP then factors in agent performance and qualifications to decide which agent would serve that customer best. At the same time, RAMP determines when the optimal agent will become available using prediction algorithms based on the length of the current call and historical call handle times.

The analytics-based decision engine then assigns the caller to the optimal agent and routes the call in real-time to that agent. The engine tracks each call assignment and makes necessary adjustments if an agent’s call ends before or after its predicted time.

The video below, though kind of cheezy, does a good job of explaining RAMP’s capabilities.

RAMP is available today through IBM Global Business Services’ Business Analytics and Optimization (BAO) service line.

The Assurant Solutions companies are part of Assurant, a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North American and selected international markets.

Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has over $25 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue. www.assurant.com

For more information on RAMP and other IBM Business Analytics and Optimization offerings visit www.ibm.com/gbs/bao

Just don’t ask to talk to the Gecko.

Written by turbotodd

March 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm

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