Personality-Based Call Routing Optimizes Contact Center Performance

SATMAP’s Zia Chishti
SATMAP’s Zia Chishti

Faster, better, cheaper has long been the mantra for contact centers. And with today’s slimmed down operating budgets, it’s even tougher for centers to make the most of their current staffing resources. To improve quality, efficiency and better manage costs, most leaders rely on traditional approaches, such as increasing frontline coaching and training, revising agent hiring strategies or investing in workforce optimization technology.

But what if you didn’t have to change your current processes or implement an expensive system upgrade to get better results? According to SATMAP Founder and CEO Zia Chishti, personality-based call matching can help organizations to boost sales and enhance the customer experience while driving more efficient agent performance.

SATMAP is a neural network-based call-mapping engine developed to optimally pair callers and agents by their personalities in real time. SATMAP doesn’t replace your current call-routing technology. Rather, it extends the reach of the technologies that you already have in place by providing an additional layer of call-matching intelligence based on more than 100 demographic, psychographic and geographic variables to optimally route calls to or from the agent most likely to succeed with each unique customer.

Canadian telecommunications giant Rogers Communications has had a SATMAP pilot program running for more than a year within its direct sales team. According to Paul Nielsen, VP, Direct Sales Channels, SATMAP has increased the team’s sales consistently, even during periods of low call volume.

Initially, the sales reps were skeptical about the pilot, Nielsen recalls. Many of the reps were reluctant to provide their personality data—they were worried that call pairing might result in fewer calls and lower income. But that concern was soon put to rest once the pilot was under way. “We evaluated SATMAP’s performance by turning the software on and off, and measuring each session to compare to the other,” Nielsen says. “We then offered individual on/off reporting for our reps so that they could see their performance, and see that they would be making more money.” He adds that the staff is now eagerly awaiting the system’s full launch across all of Rogers’ internal call centers this fall.

We found SATMAP’s personality-matching solution to be unique and intriguing, so we spoke with Chishti to get additional insights into how it works.

What is psychographic profiling?
Psychographic, or personality profiling is a statistical process of inferring the likely behavior of a caller with different agents within a call center.

How is the caller’s profile generated?
Typically, data on callers is retrieved from publicly commercially available sources such as Axciom, Targus, the U.S. Census, and others based on Caller ID.

SATMAP stores and analyzes this vast amount of raw data. The real strength of SATMAP’s technology is the ability to analyze millions of records to create a personality profile without relying on sensitive or proprietary customer information.

Describe how inbound calls are matched to individual agents.
As calls arrive and agents become available, SATMAP retrieves caller and agent data, and evaluates which pairs are most optimal. The final selection is made after analyzing tens of thousands of previous call outcomes to identify the personality combinations that will result in the highest probability of call success. The decision is made in less than 50 milliseconds, and the call-pairing instructions are communicated to the host PBX.

SATMAP’s artificial intelligence engine continuously analyzes the call statistics and outcomes and updates agent records after each interaction. This built-in feedback system continually identifies call-pairing patterns to improve future call results.

How does SATMAP integrate with a skills-based routing program that might already be in place?
SATMAP picks up after all existing skills-based routing is completed, and is purely additive to any existing or future skills-based routing strategies.

For example, once the call has gone through a center’s pre-established business logicbased routing, it winds up in a pool of agents that are appropriate given the preceding business rules. While it is in that group of agents, SATMAP picks a pair between agents and callers that is most optimal.

How is SATMAP’s impact on performance tracked?
Our business model is purely based on the value that we deliver—there is no fixed charge or licensing fee. So, if we raise revenues or cut handle time, then we get a commission. If we don’t, then we get nothing.

To quantify the impact that SATMAP has on those performance metrics, the system is turned on and off in 15-minute cycles, and the differences are measured and compared. This methodology of measuring performance is immune to ambient changes in business rules, customers, products, the economic environment or marketing.

How does personality mapping impact customer and employee satisfaction?
Both customers and agents have a better experience, so satisfaction improves significantly. We monitor customer satisfaction levels using the same methodology as performance measurement—we review the csat levels with the system switched on and off.

The increases in customer satisfaction have been significant. On 10-box rating scales, we find that while using SATMAP, centers typically close one-quarter of the gap between their current performance and the highest rating.

In addition, in contact centers where SATMAP has been introduced, agents’ self-reported satisfaction has increased, and turnover has declined. And in pay-for-performance environments, because we can measurably increase the rate at which they’re selling, agents’ overall compensation increases.

For more information about SATMAP, visit

– Reprinted with permission from Contact Center Pipeline,

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