IBM, Assurant Team on Call Center Analytics Solution

Patrick Barnard
Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

IBM, Assurant Team on Call Center Analytics Solution

IBM and insurance management solutions provider Assurant Solutions recently announced their new Real-Time Analytics Matching Platform (RAMP), which uses advanced analytics to match a caller with the "optimal CSR" in real-time.

As per an article by TMCnet's Susan Campbell, "RAMP relies on techniques invented and patented by Assurant to combine data about individual customers with each contact center agent's specific skills, expertise and past performance. IBM Global Business Services consultants then designed a 'matching-engine' to leverage this combination of customer insight, agent profiles and real-time analytics. The result is an 'individual-level' decisioning and assignment of calls not available in most contact center applications."

Think about that for a minute: "'individual-level' decisioning." Or "agent-customer "matchmaking" if you will.

The purpose of this solution is to "match" customers to agents who are the most familiar with their cases, or profiles - which in some cases, depending on the size of the center, will be the same agent.

This has always struck me as ironic -- the fact that these centers are employing advanced call routing ("skills based routing") and analytics solutions that cost a fortune and complicate their systems - but in the end the goal is simply to connect customers to the same agent they spoke to last time.

So if the industry has figured out that customers want to speak with the same agent they spoke with last time, why not just provide customers with a direct number to the agent they should be dealing with - and skip all that other expensive intelligent call routing stuff? (I say this in jest, of course.)

I find it amusing and ironic that the software vendors have developed intelligent call routing solutions that "decide" on behalf of customers to connect them to the same agent they spoke with last time. Sort of like a giant whacky machine with a million moving parts that takes up an entire kitchen and carries out a dozen impressive operations, but in the end all it does is drop an egg into boiling water.

Of course I'm not so naive as to not see the purpose - I realize that obviously you can't have the same agents available to customers 24/7. Plus there's the usual problem of agent attrition to consider. It's just that when it comes to call center automation, sometimes it seems the systems used to carry out certain functions are in fact many times more complex than the functions themselves...

Leave a comment