Personality Mapping in the Call Center: The Next Evolution in Technology for Customer Experience Management

David Barnes

Why do customers buy from you? In call center environments, purchase behavior is driven by the degree to which contact center agents build empathy and rapport with a caller. This bonding occurs as a direct result of the personality match between customer and contact center agent.

The days of assigning callers to contact center agents on a first-in-first-out basis are over. Technology now exists that allow an agent to look at all of the available callers and determine which caller the contact center agent has the best chance of building a rapport with. This leads to an improved customer experience.

Using Technology To Make Matches

Finding the optimal match between caller and call center representative is a rich and evolving process based on individual characteristics. Until a few years ago, there was not enough computing power available to perform the millions of calculations required to match callers and contact center agents using enough data attributes of each to produce optimum pairings with consistent results. Today the computing power exists and is aided by artificial intelligence and neural networks that are capable of matching callers and agents based upon personality attributes in 40 milliseconds.

Below is a sample of the 100 demographic and psychographic attributes that are currently being used to match callers and call center representatives in real time:

  • Household Size/Income
  • Household Age Range
  • Affluence Level
  • Languages Spoken
  • Regional Affinity
  • Entertainment Preferences
  • Lifestyle Preferences
  • Travel Habits
  • Current Zip Code
  • Previous Zip Code


Matchmaking for the Contact Center

Technology that can take in data on the contact center agent, caller and agent performance history can dramatically increase conversions in a sales environment. It can also increase customer satisfaction while decreasing average handle time (AHT). Matching callers to contact center agents based on the probability that an agent can generate a rapport with the caller also leads to higher agent satisfaction scores, an improved work environment, greater retention and decreased call center representative burnout.

One company using this solution, a Canadian Telecom Provider, had experienced rapidly escalating customer acquisition costs in its blended inbound and outbound sales program, with the cost of new subscribers exceeding $500. Conventional measures of focusing on contact center training, messaging and recruiting were yielding increasingly marginal results. It was determined that this customer was seeking to increase customer conversion rates, reduce average handle time, and improve customer satisfaction (C-Sat).

With the implementation of this technology the client achieved the following business results:

Inbound Conversion Rate AHT (Seconds) C-Sat (1-5) Annual Program Value
Solution ON 22.8 percent 184 4.2 $201.3MM
Solution OFF 19.7 percent 189 3.7 N/A
Outbound Conversion Rate AHT (Seconds) C-Sat (1-5) Annual Program Value
Solution ON 0.37 percent 114 * $5MM
Solution OFF 0.30 percent 121 * N/A
Total $206.3MM
* Not measured - client priority was to measure Inbound Customer Satisfaction only

Inbound conversion rates increased by 15.7 percent
Outbound conversion rates increased by 23.3 percent

Inbound AHT decreased by 2.3 percent
Outbound AHT decreased by 5.7 percent

Customer satisfaction increased from 3.7 to 4.2 on a scale of 1-5

What Can Customer/Agent Matchmaking Do?

The implementation of the matcmaking tool produced an annual incremental program value of $206MM. Since the implementation, the client regarded this technology as the single most transformative investment in technology that they have undertaken.

Many companies have typically invested heavily in making the right media decisions, the right creative decisions, and the right product decisions. This cutting-edge technology helps to insure that those investments are optimized.

With the ability to now match customers and contact center agents based on demographic and psychographic attributes, companies will be able to capture one of the last remaining large-scale efficiencies in their contact center operation. The decision to accept and implement this technological enhancement is inevitable as the customer experience improves and customers become loyal customers and loyal customers become advocates.

First published on Call Center IQ