Fast Company reports on how eLoyalty is using the Process Communication Model (PCM), the same personality test used by NASA to evaluate astronauts, to match customers who call support with customer representatives that match their personality type. But is this a valid method or just junk science?Here's a method that could have a profound impact on social CRM strategies: using personality types to match customers up with representatives.
According to Fast Company, here's how it works:
In call centers, eLoyalty's system uses the PCM framework to compile a personality profile of each caller from the moment they first contact the center. The system, which is automated, analyzes the caller's language patterns and other behavioral cues to identify their personality type. (A team of 250 linguists, behavioral scientists, and statisticians have compiled a massive set of linguistic libraries and behavioral algorithms to parse callers' every word and mode of expression.)
Can you really learn someone's "personality type" by analyzing a short speech sample? Do personality types even exist?
Personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator have historically faced much criticism. All personality tests much be able to avoid the Forer Effect, "the tendency of people to rate sets of statements as highly accurate for them personally even though the statements could apply to many people."
However, according to Fast Company, the PCM method is showing results. "A banking client saw the attrition rate among customers struggling with the most serious issues drop from 7% to 1%," according to the magazine.
If eLoyalty can truly analyze a customers personality based on a single voice call, and we're certainly not saying that it can, the applications for social CRM could be huge. eLoyalty could gather much more information from a customers social graph and make more intelligent matches with customer service reps. It could also be used as a method for assigning customers or potential customers to particular sales reps.
This is just another example of how analytics is being applied in the enterprise. We expect to see more of this, whether it works or not. Social media consultant Theresa Doyon recently blogged about the possibility of survival analysis being applied in the enterprise to make predictions about employee turnover and customer attrition.
Photo by Kioan