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SPSS tool generates phone scripts on the fly

SPSS' new predictive-analytics app sifts through text and quickly generates cross- and up-sell scripts.

Chicago-based SPSS Inc. has announced its new Predictive Text Analytics application. Using technology from LexiQuest, a company SPSS acquired last year, the application mines text, such as agent notes within contact center apps, applies analytics, and then serves up real-time feedback, such as scripts agents can use to pitch cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

The release helps businesses maximize inbound interactions at a time when they are dealing with legislation affecting customer relationships, including the proposed national "do not call" registry and wireless number portability regulations, which take effect today and let consumers change cell phone providers while keeping their phone numbers.

SPSS is the first to combine text mining and predictive analytics in this manner for the call center, according to Sue Feldman, an analyst with Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp.

"The thing that intrigued me about the product is they use it to identify causes of churn," Feldman said. "I thought what they were doing was so clever because they changed the script based on how the caller matches the pattern of previous calls, and they're changing the script on the fly. As the person speaks or writes, they're able to analyze their needs."

For example, a customer calls a financial services firm with questions about using his 401k with the Quicken financial application. The agent enters information in the notes field, saves it and ships it to the analytics application. The application then sends back scripting for an offer, such as a promotion for Quicken, that the customer could use with his other account.

The application is customizable for varying business definitions and abbreviations, said Matthew Cutler, SPSS' vice president of corporate communications, and individual agents should not have to change their writing style to work with the text-mining tool. Additionally, the application can be used as a training tool so that, as agents realize what type of information brings back a certain type of response, they can adjust their notes accordingly, Cutler said.

SPSS' Predictive Text Analytics integrates with CRM applications from Siebel Systems Inc. and SAP AG, Cutler said. It currently supports English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Japanese, and SPSS plans to add support for other languages.


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