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Machine Learning: Making Customer Service Operations Smarter and More Strategic

Feature Article | July 27, 2017 by Daniel Dahlmeier

Excellent customer service operations are essential to ensure customer retention. To help companies keep up with customers’ growing expectations, SAP Service Ticket Intelligence automatically categorizes customer tickets, proposes solutions and prioritizes the tickets for customer service employees.

There is consensus in the market that a compelling customer experience is critical to business success. Companies that align the business around their customers retain more of them, increase sales, and attract new business through positive word of mouth. With this in mind, it is not surprising that our SAP Center for Business Insight estimated that companies that offer best-in-class customer experience achieve year-over-year profit margins improvement 527% higher than their peers, and 359% greater company revenue growth.*

While a typical customer journey includes a variety of interaction points, customer service interactions are among the most critical. They have the power to either strengthen customer relationships or lead to churn. A negative experience in customer service can have dreadful consequences for business. For example, an Accenture study has found that 52% of consumers who switched providers in the past year did so because of poor customer service.

This is why SAP has decided to bring intelligent automation to the front office, and to put customer service at the top of the priority list.

SAP Service Ticket Intelligence

As part of SAP Leonardo Machine Learning, the SAP solution portfolio of intelligent services and applications, SAP created an intelligent business service to automatically categorize incoming service tickets and provide resolution recommendations for the agents. This allows contact centers to expedite problem resolution and scale with the increase of digital service requests. The speed of resolution is important because customers expect their complaints to be addressed quickly, and a 24-hour response window doesn’t necessarily match their expectations. For example, on a social media channel most people expect service responses within an hour.

Additionally, automated service ticket classification frees contact center agents from repetitive, tedious tasks, as they can now rely on a prioritized worklist of issues to address. As a result, they can spend more time on customer interactions, improving customer trust and satisfaction for a better business outcome.

The SAP Service Ticket Intelligence business service is part of the SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation and will come pre-integrated in SAP Hybris Service Cloud, enterprise edition. To get started, the first step is to train the machine learning model by exposing it to historical customer problem descriptions, resolutions, and assigned service categories – all this is an automated process within SAP Leonardo Machine Learning. Once trained, the system is ready to start classifying incoming service tickets in SAP Hybris Service Cloud.

 

At the same time, if a company has unique needs, it can develop its own intelligent service ticket solution leveraging the SAP Service Ticket Intelligence as business service on SAP Cloud Platform directly. For example, customers could build an application that classifies customer service emails by importance or subject and routes them to the appropriate agent, or implements auto-resolution for repetitive service tickets.

SAP Service Ticket Intelligence and all SAP Leonardo Machine Learning services are available on SAP Cloud Platform and accessible through REST APIs. Try it out in a sandbox environment through SAP API Business Hub.

SAP Cloud Platform also offers integration services to connect a company’s knowledge base, classification taxonomy, and problem or resolution data to the SAP Service Ticket Intelligence business service to easily train it to infer classifications and resolutions for the contact center.

To learn more about SAP Leonardo Machine Learning, visit sap.com/ML or watch the demo by SAP Chief Innovation Officer Jürgen Mueller during Hasso Plattner’s keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW in 2017 (SAP Service Ticket Intelligence specific segment starts at 1:26:12).

*SAP Center for Business Insight 2017 calculation based on “CEM Executive’s Agenda 2016: Aligning the business Around the Customer,” Aberdeen Group.

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