60 2.9 Summary
are a few of the ways in which data can be corrupted, resulting in data
Integrating customer datasets is a challenge for any organization that
wants to achieve a single view of the customer. Various departments—call
centers, ordering, shipping, manufacturing, sales, and marketing—have
customer contact and therefore customer information to contribute to the
database. In a typical financial institution or insurance company, for exam-
ple, there could be 50 to 150 different systems containing customer data.
To have a single view of each customer to establish value levels and to meet
customer needs, this data must be combined and integrated. Combining
and integrating data to obtain a complete, current customer profile requires
assembling different data stores, with data of varying ages, on different
databases, and usually involving multiple programming languages and data
formats. Vendor software is available that can assist in assembling and pro-
filing data, as well as analyzing data before it gets stored in the data ware-
house. Typically, these products locate different relationships in customer
data from multiple sources, irrespective of source code and documentation,
and provide information on how to clean and restructure the data.
Cluster analysis is an exploratory data analysis tool that uses statistical algo-
rithms to identify distinct groups of customers that may not traditionally
group together. It is used in segmentation not only to independently vali-
date business assumptions but also to discover new interrelationships
between variables that were previously not associated. This technique may
be useful in call centers that have an outbound call requirement that targets
certain demographics in a customer population.
This chapter has provided a detailed description of several important call
center technologies, the features and services they provide, and the benefits
they offer to call center operations. One thing that stands out about tech-
nology is that it is in a constant stage of transition, and today’s advanced
technology may be passé tomorrow. For call center developers and man-
gers, it is important to maintain an open mind on technology and to be
always ready to examine, evaluate, and implement appropriate technologies
that will assist in meeting call center and corporate CRM strategies.