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Customer Care: New technologies address old problems

Luca Scagliarini - 9 November 2011

While so many of today’s technologies are new, they are being used to address some of the business world’s oldest problems, especially customer service.

Not that customer service was ever a 40-hour, M-F job, but today, anything less than 24/7 is simply not possible for most. The issues that many organizations are trying to manage today are related to the challenges of keeping ahead of a customer base and global supply chain that are always on, and more connected, than ever before.

We’re working with many organizations on strengthening their customer service operations and while the applications are often different, the needs, the goals, are the same:

  • Open and optimize communication channels with customers: Be able to hear them, communicate with them 24/7, learn from them.
  • Improve the company’s offering of online resources and access to them.
  • Improve efficiencies, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction.

Today, we’re proud to announce our work with Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile communications groups. Working with technology partner Assist, we’re using our Cogito Answers semantic platform to provide SMS based customer service that is now successfully handling more that 500,000 SMS requests each month. When a user sends an SMS to the system—“how much will I pay for calls to London?”—Cogito Answers interprets and categorizes the request and quickly retrieves the answer from the internal knowledge base.

We’re seeing similar adoptions of our technology in public administration, and especially in the financial sector. In our last webinar, “Using Semantic Technology to Transform Customer Support,” we heard from attendees across several industries who are interested in semantic technology, but they ask: Who hosts the solution? How long does it take to integrate new content? What happens if the answer provided needs to be changed? Can we track the questions and answers to proactively identify new trends in questions? What if our industry uses words in a different way form the general public?

Customer service is a natural application for semantic technology because it excels at the point where customers and technology converge. The critical areas where semantics can make a difference in customer service are:

  • Customer call centers. With greater access to support resources and information, representatives are able to anticipate and quickly resolve customer issues, resulting in significant cost savings and increased productivity.
  • Online and mobile self-help. Customers send emails or text messages any time in natural language and receive immediate, accurate responses from internal knowledge bases, 24/7.
  • Voice of the customer. Learn what customers are saying about your brand, products or competitors by analyzing social media conversations in discussion forums, Twitter, Facebook and more. Leveraging Sentiment Analysis helps to more accurately measure customer churn and responses to marketing campaigns, new products or special offers.
  • Market and sales cycle intelligence. Data collected from real-time intelligence reporting, combined with customer experience data such as preferences, opinions and sales tracking enables greater insight into sales drivers, or important early warning signals to product development. Proactively monitor intelligence for sentiment to understand peaks in traffic or conversations to better prepare customer service, sales and manufacturing.

To learn more about our Vodafone announcement, click here to read the press release.

To access the recording of our recent customer service webinar, visit our archives.


Author: Luca Scagliarini