Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Enghouse Expands Its Portfolio of Contact Center Vendors

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 31, 2012 8:49:02 AM

A look at Enghouse Interactive’s Products page shows it is not the easiest of companies to understand. Listed are six products – companies actually – that make up the parent: Arc Solutions, CosmoCom, Datapulse, Synellect, TelRex and Trio. As yet this list doesn’t include the latest acquisition, Zeacom. All the businesses in some way connect to multichannel communications and the contact center, with products that range, respectively, from communication management systems for Cisco, a cloud-based contact center, unified communications applications that improve collaboration between employees within an organization, a premises-based multichannel contact center, IP call recording and workforce management, and telephony systems, with Zeacom adding a cloud-based unified communications system based on Microsoft Lync.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Enghouse interactive, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Force Optimization

VPI Optimize Agents for Quality Customer Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 26, 2012 12:10:14 PM

VPI, a well established vendor in the workforce optimization (WFO) space, was recently rated as a Hot vendor in the Ventana Research Agent Performance Management 2012 Value Index, which extends the traditional definition of WFO to include multichannel interaction capture, agent-related analytics, and agent compensation management. VPI’s Hot rating is a tribute to the functionality and architecture of its suite, even though it doesn’t include a WFM product (instead, workforce management is supported through integration with a number of the specialist WFM products) or compensation management.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, VPI, Knowlagent, Nexxphase, Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Pipkins, Workforce Force Optimization

Knowlagent Increases Agent Utilization and Customer Satisfaction

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 25, 2012 11:41:35 AM

Knowlagent has carved out a unique position in the agent performance management market. Everyone involved in running a contact center knows how difficult it is to manage agent time so that agents are available within service level agreement specifications to answer inbound customer calls, have sufficient time to carry out other essential tasks such as breaks, training, coaching and making outbound calls, but not burn themselves out. Our research into agent performance management shows that many companies, especially those with a small number of seats in their contact centers, use spreadsheets or specialized workforce management systems to try to achieve this delicate balance. Because of the limitations of these systems, most centers can only work with 15-minute slots as they attempt to optimize agent utilization. Even with the best planning, the random nature of inbound call patterns means that agents typically have two-minute slots of ideal time, and these can occur at random intervals, according to research sponsored by Knowlagent that we carried out. Knowlagent has therefore developed a product called Knowlagent RightTime that monitors in real time what agents are doing and then seeks to allocate tasks to agents to optimize their time within the parameters set up by the company – a process it calls automated intraday management.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Knowlagent, Analytics, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Workforce Force Optimization

Kana Acquires Ciboodle

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 24, 2012 10:16:35 AM

This month Kana announced it had acquired contact center provider Ciboodle. This comes a few years after Ciboodle was acquired by Sword, a marriage that apparently didn’t work out because Sword, a predominantly services company, didn’t make the necessary investment in the Ciboodle products to keep them competitive. Kana, looking to expand its portfolio beyond service experience management, spotted that Ciboodle, with its customer experience management portfolio, provided a good, complimentary set of products – so hopefully this ends up as a happy marriage.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Kana, Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

Journey Maps Enhance the Customer Experience

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 17, 2012 10:23:04 AM

My research into customer experience management shows that companies are increasingly aware that the customer experience has a profound impact on business success. In almost equal numbers, participants said it determines the loyalty of customers (21%), the propensity of customers to recommend the company to others (21%), the amount of additional purchases they make (19%) and their general level of satisfaction (19%). Furthermore, companies also realize that good experiences save money, because customers complain less (11%) and contact them less frequently (9%).

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Vendor(s), Workforce Force Optimization

Agents Performance Management is Hot for Successful Customer Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 16, 2012 12:23:44 PM

Our benchmark research into agent performance management shows that the majority of companies are not very mature in their use of people, processes, information and technology in handling customer interactions. Companies are most mature is their use of information, but even in this area they are hampered by their failure to use the latest technologies available to support their efforts.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, VPI, Call Copy, Enkata, Envision, Genesys, KnopahSoft, LiveOps, Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, coaching, Compensation, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), OnviSource, Training, Verint, Workforce Force Optimization

Callminer Expands Into Text and Social Analytics

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 12, 2012 9:10:46 AM

Callminer is best known as a vendor of speech analytics software. Along with its own suite, its products also are embedded in those of several other vendors to provide speech analysis. During a recent briefing, I learned that the company has not only expanded into text and social analytics but also that its latest release includes more features and a friendlier user interface, two requirements that my research shows are essential in persuading companies to more widely adopt analytics for customer-facing processes.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Callminer, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Text Analytics

Hold-Free Networks’ Can Enhance Customer Experience

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 2, 2012 11:27:01 AM

Many companies have legacy systems in their contact centers, especially systems to manage telephony. My research into the use of technology in centers shows they can create headaches for center managers whose budgets don’t allow them to invest in new systems to match emerging business requirements and changes in consumer behaviors. My research into customer relationship maturity shows that consumers now want to interact with companies through multiple communication channels, with social media and smartphones rapidly emerging as the two channels of choice, which legacy systems cannot accommodate.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM)