NLP for Customer Service

Natural Language Processing and Generation for Customer Service Applications

The Context

Customer-fronting companies harvest voluminous amounts of data from their interactions and transactions with customers. A significant portion of these data are in the form of natural language conversations, and originate from various sources, such as email conversations, call-centre voice records and transcripts, and discussions on message boards or forums.

The information contained within such data is valuable for several business applications, such as chatbots for automating the process of replying to customers or for suggesting potential answer templates to customer service agents.

The Challenge

However, processing textual data and automatically generating good quality answers or templates poses several challenges, such as detecting the topic being dealt with or the intent of the question. These challenges are further compounded in domain-specific settings, such as the insurance sector, characterized by a specialized terminology, and in languages other than English like French for instance, for which existing natural language processing (NLP) resources are scarce.

Key Question & Goals

Based on the aforementioned elements, the key question here can be formulated as follows:

“How can NLP-based algorithms represent a good and efficient solution to automatically generate high quality answers to customer queries?”

The main goals of the research project will be to:

  • Develop and implement novel algorithms for automatically detecting the intent and topic underlying customer queries, i.e. what was the reason and subject of the customer’s call?
  • Develop and implement novel algorithms to learn how to generate near human quality answers or answer templates in response to customer queries.
  • Propose methods to evaluate the answer quality given the specialized nature of some domains (e.g. insurance, healthcare).
  • Investigate the performance of the proposed algorithms on standard, scientific English datasets and on domain-specific French texts.

About Partenamut

1.2 million customers make Partenamut the largest health insurer in Belgium. It is a socially engaged non-profit organization with local roots. Indeed, it is a non-profit and reinvests its financial gains in its team members, its service offering and society. Currently Partenamut supports over 20 start-ups’ active within healthcare. It simplifies healthcare by advising its members at every step in their health care and by offering quality services which meet their needs.