Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR): How customer service and corporate coffers benefit from automated text recognition

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Bernhard Egger
Retail Community Manager bei BSI
#customerservice#retail#ai#icr

Optical Character Recognition, better known as OCR or character recognition, is widely recognized. Everyone has come across it somewhere: Text and numbers in a scanned document, captured and converted into machine-readable characters, are an example.

Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) goes one step further: It takes semantic relationships into account, correcting errors. We will explain how your customer service organization, as well as your company’s coffers, can benefit from ICR.

Key points:

  • Character recognition software captures, analyzes and categorizes inbound information;
  • With Artificial Intelligence, you can trigger suitable workflows that increase efficiency and conserve resources;
  • Using Intelligent Character Recognition increases customer satisfaction, especially in customer service.

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White paper: Improved customers satisfaction with AI-assisted character recognition

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How does a character recognition program work?

Manually processing completed forms or consistently identical customer inquiries that arrive by e-mail is laborious, time-consuming, and therefore a cost driver, especially in customer service.

Character recognition software can provide relief: It scans and processes documents and text in inbound forms or e-mails in a way that allows your employees to work with them – or it triggers an automated workflow downstream, which does the work for your employees.

Lower your costs with Intelligent Character Recognition

Intelligent Character Recognition is an essential component of the digital transformation that is taking place in companies. In conjunction with Artificial Intelligence, manual processes can be digitized and automated beforehand, resulting in significant cost savings and increased customer satisfaction.

Around 60-70% of all customer service inquiries can be processed with the help of five or six processes. Automating the capture and processing of these customer inquiries will save you vast amounts of time and money – up to three euros per automated e-mail (BSI, 2020).

We used BERT, a character recognition program from Google for a customer in the retail industry. The goal was to categorize all inbound e-mails into these four categories: shipment tracking, fewer advertisements, order, or complaint. The background: The inquiries required answers and solutions that are always the same, which, when automated, promise significant efficiency improvement. The outcome: After a “training phase” of training the algorithm with existing e-mails, the result was obvious, even in the practical test: Approximately 95% of all e-mails had been correctly categorized.

In this example, Intelligent Character Recognition is the foundation for the full automation of most customer inquiries: Once the requests are categorized and assigned, it is easy to connect workflows to them that process them.

24/7 customer service thanks to Intelligent Character Recognition

Using this approach makes 24/7 customer service feasible. Imagine your customer ordering a pair of sneakers in your webshop. Since the shoes are for work, she urgently needs a copy of the invoice the next day – but she cannot find it.

The customer then contacts customer service by e-mail, hoping that the customer service team will process her request first thing the next morning.

This is where BSI’s intelligent solutions come in. Combined with Artificial Intelligence, the character recognition program recognizes the “Request for invoice copy” as such and automatically triggers the necessary process. Thanks to the integration with the CRM solution, the customer receives her invoice copy by e-mail within seconds.

Flexibility: After a specific training period of 16 hours, BSI’s tools achieve a more than 93% recognition rate, with the trigger for it originating with the customer: Whether it’s a complaint, a query or a return – the request is read, analyzed and then categorized.

Conclusion: Increased efficiency results in a positive customer perception

The use of smart and automated character recognition benefits your company in several ways. Intelligent Character Recognition minimizes entry errors, increases customer satisfaction, and lowers costs.

Moreover, ICR frees up capacity, and your customer service team can focus on customer concerns too specific for a character recognition program.

In summary, the positive effects include not only an increase in internal efficiency but, above all, an increase in the positive perception your customers have of your company.

Want to know more? At BSI, we work with fully integrated solutions that combine Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) with Artificial Intelligence (AI). Once you have trained the character recognition program on your needs, it develops continuously and automatically gets better and better. So, all you have to do is to get started – we look forward to hearing from you.

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Bernhard Egger, Creator of Customer Delight

+41 58 255 96 85

bernhard.egger@bsi-software.com

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