Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Big Data and the Quality of a Consumers Experience

The article “How Analytics, Big Data and AI Are Changing Call Centers Forever” discusses how call centers are using speech analysis, natural language processing and predictive analysis in order to improve the quality of a customers call. To me it is intriguing and slightly frightening that something so simple as recording a phone call can determine the overall experience of a call.
When personally calling customer service there is nothing more frustrating than getting an agent who cannot help me with my issue. Many times in the past a customer might have been transferred to two or three different agents after explaining their issue. These quick transfers to the correct agent will not only benefit the customer satisfaction but will also decrease the wait time to contact an agent. The use of natural language processing has been very beneficial to calling centers however it also has its cons. When reflecting on this article the first thing that comes to mind is privacy. More and more we are seeing how the use of Big Data can transform technology and lots of times this comes with a loss of some privacy. Yes, a company is informing you that your call may be recorded but they are not informing you that it will be used to determine your age, gender, and mood all based off of the way you say a sentence. Many may not have any problem with this but I feel that when more and more of the public is informed of how much can be told about them by a simple telephone call they may feel that it is an invasion of their own privacy because they do not want to reveal those things that speech analysis can detect. Improving technology in call centers is a must in order to keep customers satisfied however how much is too much?

            Intrigued to see if there have been major issues of calling centers or other companies listening in on a phone call, I came across two examples with Samsung and Mattel. Samsung’s smart TV is capable of recording the voice commands used by consumers and using the data to improve the quality of the TV. When first announced to the public many were upset that this was an invasion of privacy and had to enable a settings feature to turn off the voice recognition. This is something that may have to be an option for calling centers to allow customers to opt out of having their phone call recorded.  Mattel ran into a problem when customers found out that a Barbie doll was recording their children’s conversations and sending them back to Mattel. Whether it’s a TV, Barbie doll or your average phone call to customer’s service, you can be recorded. Big Data is evolving everyday and soon consumers will have to realize that one simple recording may be an invasion on privacy but can also change the consumer experience for the future.


1 comment:

  1. Shelia chose a great article for her first blog post. She chose to write about big data and the quality of a consumer’s experience. I am sure this article would be relevant to anyone in our class who read it, as we have all been on a service call in our lifetime. Whether it be on the phone with Apple to try and get our phone fixed, or to try and see if a return has gone through to a store we have all been there, and it isn’t fun. Time and time again I am frustrated when someone on the other line doesn’t understand my problem, or if I can barely understand what they are saying to me, half the time I end up just hanging up because it is such a hassle. As I know many others feel the same way I do, using speech analysis and language processing to improve the quality on customers’ sounds great, in theory, however I have concerns regarding this issue.

    One point Shelia didn’t discuss in her blog was money. There is certainly an issue as to how much it costs to record conversations and then hire people, or develop technology to listen to these calls and figure out how to use them to improve the quality of customer service throughout a company. I wonder how long it will take the technology to develop to reach the point where it becomes cost effective and worthwhile. When thinking about this issue, I realized many (if not all times) when I am on a call with customer service I hear the message “This call may be recorded for customer service” before anyone answers. I never thought twice about this and didn’t think of the implications this message had, or even why companies would want to do this in the first place. Prior to this class I only thought they recorded calls in the event that something bad happened on the call and they needed to go back to exactly where the issue occurred.

    In today’s world there is a fine line in terms of privacy. As Shelia mentioned recording these calls takes privacy into question. Taking her point one step further, I believe recording these calls may be blurring the line of privacy a little too much. It should be mandated that there has to be a feature allowing you to opt out of not recording the call, especially if you are calling regarding a personal matter. It is not right for outsiders to listen in on something that they do not need to know. Anyone should have the choice to be recorded or not, if they want to help a company with customer service that is fine, but if they don’t want to, companies should be able to find another way to improve their customer service, preferably one that doesn’t interfere with their customers’ privacy.


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