Interactive feature selection for efficient customer recognition in contact centers: Dealing with common names

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Expert Systems with Applications, 2018, 113 pp. 356 - 376
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd We propose an interactive decision-making framework to assist a Customer Service Representative (CSR) in the efficient and effective recognition of customer records in a database with many ambiguous entries. Our proposed framework consists of three integrated modules. The first module focuses on the detection and resolution of duplicate records to improve effectiveness and efficiency in customer recognition. The second module determines the level of ambiguity in recognizing an individual customer when there are multiple records with the same name. The third module recommends the series of feature-related questions that the CSR should ask the customer to enable rapid recognition, based on that level of ambiguity. In the first module, the F-Swoosh approach for duplicate detection is used, and in the second module a dynamic programming-based technique is used to determine the level of ambiguity within the customer database for a given name. In the third module, Levenshtein edit distance is used for feature selection in combination with weights based on the Inverse Document Frequency (IDF) of terms. The algorithm that requires the minimum number of questions to be put to the customer to achieve recognition is the algorithm that is chosen. We evaluate the proposed framework on a synthetic dataset and demonstrate how it assists the CSR to rapidly recognize the correct customer.
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