Abstract

The rising number of internet users has considerably contributed to the need of online customer services. Against this background, many organisations aim to tap the potential of online customer service platforms where employees answer customer questions within a short time frame. However, these platforms also go along with several challenges for organisations. Indeed, with their rising popularity, the knowledge contained in online customer service platforms as well as the number of (potentially redundant) customer questions, are more and more increasing. Ensuring a high quality and consistent online customer service, organisations face the challenge to manage their knowledge in an efficient way and require a fast and effective knowledge retrieval. In this context, assisted systems for employees can be an appropriate means. However, there is still a lack of integrated knowledge retrieval approaches, considering both structured and textual information, which are both of major importance in the context of online customer service platforms. To address this problem, we propose a new hybrid knowledge retrieval approach combining structured and textual information in an integrated perspective. We demonstrate and evaluate our approach using the case of a major German insurer where the approach could be successfully applied.

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