Turbotodd

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

Hertz and IBM: Catching The Voice Of The Customer

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At the Information on Demand event here in Las Vegas today, IBM announced that the Hertz Corporation and Mindshare Technologies, a leading provider of enterprise feedback solutions, are using IBM analytics software to examine customer survey data including text messages to better identify car and equipment rental performance levels for pinpointing and making the necessary adjustments to improve customer satisfaction levels.

That, and no more running through airports.

Hertz has partnered with IBM to use "Voice of the Customer" data, gathered from social media data, to gain new insights and improve the car rental customer experience.

As the world’s largest airport car rental brand with more than 8,300 locations in 146 countries, Hertz continually receives feedback from customers. To retain its competitive edge, the feedback is analyzed so that real-time identification of issues and rapid problem solving solutions can be deployed.

Using IBM Content Analytics software together with a sentiment-based tagging solution from IBM business partner, Mindshare Technologies, Hertz introduced a “Voice of the Customer” analytics systems that automatically captures customer experiences in real-time, transforming the information into actionable intelligence.

Hertz: Putting Front Line Employees Into The Decision-Making Driver’s Seat

Using a series of linguistic rules, Hertz’s “Voice of the Customer” system categorizes comments received via email and online with descriptive terms such as “Vehicle Cleanliness,” “Staff Courtesy,” and “Mechanical Issues.”

The system also flags customers who request a callback from a manager or those who mention #1 Club Gold, Hertz’s customer loyalty program (and of which I am a longtime member).

In the ultra-competitive world of vehicle and equipment rental, Hertz recognizes that understanding customer feedback and adapting the business accordingly is what drives market share and success.

But, most of this information is trapped inside free-form customer feedback surveys.  Prior to working with IBM and Mindshare Technologies, Hertz location managers read each customer comment submitted online via email or by phone and then manually categorized it for basic reporting and analysis.

This approach proved to be labor-intensive and inconsistent, as comments were categorized based on a manager’s personal interpretation.

IBM content analytics software has improved the accuracy and speed of the tagging and analyzing process, almost double what had been achieved manually, and setting the stage for more reliable analytics.

Free from manually tagging comments, Hertz field managers can now focus their attention on performing deep-dive analysis on the information, and allowing them to quickly identify trends or issues and adjusting operational service levels accordingly.

For you social media advocates, you know the Internet and new social media technologies have made consumers more connected, empowered, and yes, even demanding.

Like it or not, the average user is three times more likely to trust peer opinions over retailer advertising, underlining the importance for retailers to tap new technologies that pay close attention to what customers are saying.

This effort with Hertz reflects IBM’s focus on helping new customers get the most out of their information using analytics.

IBM recently created a new Business Analytics & Optimization services organization, with 7,000 consultants who can help clients get up and running with deep analytics capabilities.

IBM has invested more than $14 billion in the analytics space in the last four years with more than 24 acquisitions.

Blogger’s Addendum: The following video provides an excellent overview of the IBM and Mindshare “Voice of the Customer” solution they partnered on with Hertz:

Written by turbotodd

October 25, 2010 at 6:07 pm

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