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Communications Networks

A Systems Approach to Social Customer Interactions

I worked on the Birds of a Feather project at Lehigh University with some really bright folks.  I got involved with the project at the request of Verizon, who wanted to better understand some of the business value that social networking technologies could deliver. 

One of the projects that I worked on was to create a map of customer value transactions across multiple communications channels.  Let me give you an example. 

valuetransactions

A customer browses something on a company website, and puts a call into his rep with a technical question. The rep lets the customer know that it will need to be researched and someone else will get back to them. The rep opens up a trouble ticket, which a technician then opens, answers the question and sends an email to the customer.  Simple enough if it works, but is an example of multiple communications channels (web, voice, and email) all being used to process a single question.  Multiply that times thousands of customers, reps, and there is quite a bit of room for gaps.  While common sense recognizes that all of those things are related, most IT systems cannot. 

Our idea was to run correlations across web, voice, and email to make sure that each of the value transactions was a closed loop.  Doing that kind of analysis should help identify trouble spots.  It is really as simple as matching the customer to each of these transactions.  Most IT systems generate the raw transaction logs to do this kind of analysis.

Google recently announced the ability to download Google Voice data as part of the Google Takeout initiative.  Extremely cool, and should work for the kinds of value analysis that I’m talking about. 

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