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It's all about personal compatibility

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You know how when you call a help desk or customer service number they have that short ‘this call may be recorded’ message? Have you ever wondered what they do with the recordings?

I always figured they played them at company parties as jokes, or that they had ‘Can you top this?’ contests with one another: “OK, get this: Last week this guy calls saying his printer is printing too light. I told him it’s an o/s and hard drive problem, and to call me back after he reformatted C: and reinstalled Windows… haha!”

Turns out there are also some folks doing smart things with this data. A recent Forbes article discusses how ELoyalty, a smallish provider of call center gear, has come up with a way to categorize callers into six distinct personality types and tmatch them to a staffer with the same personality.

ELoyalty analyzed 600 million conversations to come up with two million speech patterns that identify the caller as one of their six types. It found that having people deal with like-types results in shorter calls with better results. In one test, the personality-matched calls lasted about five minutes and were 92 per cent successful, while deliberately mismatched calls lasted more than 10 minutes and were successful only about half of the time.

I’m not so sure I’m down with this new technology. I can barely stand myself most of the time, and would hate to put up with my imprecise, obscenity-packed conversational style when I’m pissed off about some product or service. Confronting someone in my own mold would probably prolong the calls as we hurl enraged insults at each other.

While we’re not likely to arrive at a solution to the problem, at least the calls would be the hit of the next holiday party: ”Wait! Play that back! Did he REALLY just say that about your mother?!? And all of this is because his SSD is slowing down? Wow…” ®

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