Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Verint and the Multichannel View of Customer Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 27, 2011 10:46:03 AM

Verint’s Audiolog for Contact Centers provides recording and assessment of customer interactions. The latest product release adds functionality that the market wants. My latest research into the state of technology in contact centers confirms that most companies now support multiple channels of communications with their customers. The results show that companies on average support four channels, which may include anything from the telephone to text messaging, chat and social media. As well as the challenge of implementing and supporting these channels, companies need to understand  which ones most customers are using, for what purposes and how many channels they use to resolve their issues; it’s important to know, for example, if someone begins on the website, transitions to social media and finally calls the contact center.

The latest version of Audiolog has come a long way from the product’s origin as call-recording software. New enhancements not only support the capture and analysis of calls but it now can include interactions from multiple channels such as images, video, text and agent desktop usage. The Web-based search and playback tool then allows users to display multiple customer interactions independently of the channels used. The search engine supports compound arguments, for example, by customer and product, thereby allowing users to see any interactions a customer has had concerning a particular product and then click through to see any visual content (such as an image sent with a text message) or listen to the actual voice recording. Users can develop interfaces to business applications so the interaction can be tagged with additional information (such as the customer’s name using the cell phone number as a key), and this information can also be used as part of the search criteria or displayed alongside the interaction details. Verint’s target customer for the product is the small or midsize contact center, providing  functionality normally available only to larger centers.

Verint also has enhanced Audiolog’s security and encryption features to help customers comply with new regulations, and backups can now be made to additional types of media such as a Blu-ray DVR, which makes archiving of recordings more cost-effective.

The need for companies to understand customers’ multichannel usage is apparent in my recent research on both the state of contact center technology and contact center analytics. They show that customers expect consistency of experience across channels; without it customer satisfaction is unlikely, costs will go up as customers make multiple contacts to resolve a single issue, and companies are likely to lose repeat business. But such consistency is hard to achieve without a full view of what customers are doing on all channels. The latest version of Audiolog doesn’t fully automate this process as it requires a common key to pick out all interactions. However if a user manually enters the compound arguments that are common to a customer (say, the name, cell phone number and email address), the search will find all the relevant interactions, thus giving the user this full view.

Many of the participants in my research said they can track interactions across channels, but analysis of the products they use shows that they likely can see only the volumes of interactions by channel. How many channels does your contact center support? Can you produce a true cross-channel analysis of customer interactions?

Regards

Richard Snow – VP & Research Director

Topics: Social Media, Customer Experience, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Verint

Richard Snow

Written by Richard Snow

Richard leads Ventana Research’s Customer and Contact Center Performance Management research practice, which is dedicated to helping organizations improve the efficiency and effectiveness of managing their customers, throughout their lifetime and across all touch points, including the contact center. He conducts research exploring the people, process, information and technology issues behind customer operations management, contact center management, and customer experience management. He also works with senior business operations and IT managers to ensure that companies get the best performance from today’s highly complex application products. Richard has worked in management and consulting leadership positions in the technology industry including with Price Waterhouse, Sema Group and Valors. In his work, he has been involved with all aspects of delivering highly complex IT solutions to a variety of clients in the telecommunications, financial services and public sectors. Richard has specialized in delivering customer care and billing solutions for telecommunications operators, and several multi-channel contact centers for organizations in both the public and private sectors.