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Assurant Solutions Makes Matches Between Customer and Agent
[September 15, 2006]

Assurant Solutions Makes Matches Between Customer and Agent

Editorial Director,
Customer Inter@ction Solutions magazine
If your company has a call center, take a minute to consider a minor mystery that may occasionally come to your attention. Susan, one of your call center agents, has proved very adept over the past year in successfully servicing one of your platinum customers. If you push post-call surveys to customers, you may have noticed that platinum customer Mr. Jones always ranks Susan's calls perfectly. Each time he talks to Susan, he upgrades his account…buys something additional, opts for a more premium replacement product, or brings his business to you more frequently. By the same token, when Susan speaks with platinum customer Mrs. Smith, nothing ever comes of the call. The transaction goes smoothly and politely, and Mrs. Smith gives Susan an average score on post-call surveys, but she seldom purchases anything additional. Mrs. Smith has, however, been cross-sold or upsold by other agents in your call center. In fact, the agent who has cross-sold items or services to Mrs. Smith in the past has generally fizzled out on calls with Mr. Jones.

Did it ever occur to you that certain personalities in agents and customers mesh better than others; foster a greater sense of trust and customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to greater value from that customer? Wouldn't it be worth your while to make sure that when a platinum customer calls, he or she is routed to the agent who has shown the most rapport with that customer in the past?

Obviously, you cannot do a psychographic profile of each of your agents and each of your customers and mix and match them to the best advantage of your bottom line.
Can you?
Skills-based routing, obviously, has limitations. You can designate your agents by their language skills; their upselling, cross-selling or technical skills; their product expertise or their experiencing in salvaging rocky customer relationships. But routing calls to the agent whose personal customer service style is most likely to result in a salvaged account or an upsell? Sounds like a fairy tell…but it isn't.
Today, I met with a company called Assurant Solutions, a branch of the global multibillion dollar company Assurant ( Assurant Solutions offers a product called Targeted Solutions, and the company is venturing into the call center market to broadcast their message.
They can make sure Susan, or a call center agent who works in her style, always receives Mr. Jones' call (or the calls of customers with similar preferences and histories) and not Mrs. Smith's.
Targeted Solutions is built on a dynamic analytics platform and was created to match customers (both inbound and outbound) with the agent most likely to achieve the desired result from the transaction. The base of Targeted Solutions is a recently (late June) patented call processing system; essentially a series of processes that analyze historical customer and agent transactions and extrapolates a plethora of data, allowing both inbound and outbound calls to essentially fall into the lap of the agent who is most likely to gain the optimum result from that customer.
The system rates customers on 26 different "dimensions of compatibility," and it rates agents on 150 dimensions, or differentiating factors.
The systems are supported by the Assurant Solutions Targeted Solutions Decision Science Team, a group of university-affiliated statisticians and mathematicians who refine and further develop the call processing system. The team maintains a central convergence engine that serves as the hub for all data feeds. The engine operates independently of the call centers that it supports and provides output for optimal call center setup.
The results that can be (and have been) garnered are truly astonishing; in some cases, inbound customer retention programs have shown results averaging as high as 88.89 percent above the baseline.
Assurant Solutions calls it "smarter call processing," which it certainly is. Call centers can start calling it one of the most important tools they've ever been offered in keeping customers and building their lifetime value to the company.
For more about Assurant Solutions, check out

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