StepOne’s “CT scan for customer service” leverages Big Data

tech supportAustin-based technology company StepOne, Inc. has announced the launch of its new service: Care Profiler, a data analytics tool that acts as “the first CT scan for customer service.”

When most people hear the words “customer service,” they imagine long hold times and bouncing around different departments while looking for a simple answer.

Given the chance, most would prefer self-service options to calling a support line. People are happier when they can solve their own problems rather than being caller number 243 in a 2-hour queue.

And they’re not alone: Companies don’t want their customers going through that negative experience either.

Having great customer support does more than keep customers happy. According to a study by Temkin Group, customers are 18 percent more likely to repurchase products at companies that have a high customer service rating.

Because of this, businesses are investing more and more in self-service options for their customers, with 63 percent of companies saying they planned on increasing spending on customer experience in 2014. But they often have no way of knowing how effective the service is, what areas they need to improve on, or what specific problems need to be addressed.

StepOne’s Care Profiler seeks to give companies the tools needed to quickly and cheaply analyze huge amounts of data without the need to hire expensive data scientists or invest in 18-month IT projects.

I recently spoke about Care Profiler with Alex Mitchell, StepOne’s president, and Bill Gravette, vice president of services and operation. They explained that the problem with current customer support metrics is they look at the average customer.

“There’s no such thing as the ‘average’ customer,” said Gravette, explaining that customers each have their own unique context that lead them to customer support, and data tools need to be able to analyze that context granularly.

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To which services have the customer subscribed? What products do they use? What similarities do they share with other people calling about the same issue? Care Profiler correlates hundreds of different factors to diagnose the root of the problem, allowing companies to take a proactive approach to addressing issues.

Other companies turning to Big Data to improve customer service include Southwest Airlines, who last year began using speech analytics to extract useful information directly from voice calls. Southwest collects data about such as how often customers fly, how they purchase tickets, where they fly, and so on to segmentize customers to engage them “on a more personal basis.”