Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Confirmit Moves to Voice of Customer and Feedback Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 28, 2012 11:20:21 AM

Confirmit is one of the leading vendors of market research services. It has a full range of products that support every step of the market research cycle. Its software lets users create surveys that can be delivered through multiple channels, perform panel management (managing teams of people that contribute to research programs), collect the data from completed surveys, and use a suite of reporting and analysis tools to gain in-depth insights from the data collected. The company has been steadily moving into the enterprise feedback market, using similar products and services that allow companies to focus on customers and employees. These developments have been accelerating, as evidenced by three recent announcements: the release of the company’s latest Horizons 17 software, a new set of services that focuses on the customer, and the acquisition of CustomerSat, an enterprise feedback management software and services provider.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Confirmit

Enghouse Interactive Contact Center Products Offer a Range of Capabilities

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 27, 2012 9:23:58 AM

Enghouse Systems Ltd. is not one of the best-known brands in the contact center market, but if it keeps acquiring vendors at the rate it has been doing then it might soon be. It was founded in Canada in 1984, and from what I can see it is grown largely by acquisition to revenues of more than $120 million. It has morphed into Enghouse Interactive, which now represents nearly 90 percent of its parent company’s business. A quick look at its website shows that over its lifetime it has acquired six brands that operate in the contact center market: Arc Solutions, Cosmocom, Datapulse, Syntellect, Terex and Trio; and this doesn’t include its latest acquisition, Zeacom. After my first briefing with the company I reported on three of these acquisitions: Cosmocom, Syntellect and Zeacom.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Voice of the Customer, Enghouse interactive, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Unified Communications, Workforce Force Optimization

VPI Extends into Multi-channel Analytics

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 26, 2012 9:37:35 AM

Voice Print International recently announced it has selected Hewlett-Packard’s Autonomy to deliver speech and multi-channel analytics. This news means VPI joins a small group of vendors that can provide a view of customer interactions across multiple communication channels, which is of growing importance to companies. My research into the contact center in the cloud shows that companies now support an average of four to five channels of interaction with customers. Without a multi-channel view they are in danger of upsetting customers but not knowing what customers have tried before. The core challenge is that many interactions are either in the form of call recordings or text (email messages, forms, letters, chat and web scripts, and social media). Companies that cannot process all of these forms of data are left with an incomplete view.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, VPI, Autonomy (an HP company), Management, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

Other Side of the Pond Takeaways from Salesforce Dreamforce

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 24, 2012 11:53:54 AM

Saleforce.com puts on a marketing event that no other software vendor can come close to. Any CEO that can get MC Hammer rapping about your company as an introduction to your keynote has to be admired. The actual content got mixed reviews; my colleague Mark Smith saw some shortfalls in how Salesforce.com supports analytics, while Robert Kugel felt the company’s cloud-based software could help midsize companies.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Vendor(s), Workforce Force Optimization

Genesys Advances Customer Service to the Cloud

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 19, 2012 10:44:49 AM

In what will no doubt be one of a host of announcements coming out of Dreamforce, Genesys announced a new set of cloud-based services especially for Salesforce.com customers. Genesys is a well-known brand in the contact center market, but it has undergone significant change of late and is now an independent company in charge of its own destiny. This announcement demonstrates that it intends to become more responsive to market trends – and it probably can’t do better than to team up with Salesforce.com, which will provide huge amounts of marketing clout. Salesforce itself has become a major brand in the contact center space with Service Cloud, as my research into the adoption of cloud-based contact centers shows.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Customer Experience Management, Voice of the Customer, Genesys, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Unified Communications

Customer Feedback Processes Lagging in Companies Today

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 17, 2012 11:18:00 AM

Many people these days talk about voice of the customer (VOC) programs and how they can improve business performance. The foundation of any VOC program is collecting customer feedback, analyzing it and using the insights to improve customer-focused processes, training and the use of technology. Changes usually focus on customer service, but increasingly companies are focusing on the customer experience – how companies engage with customers to resolve issues, provide information, close sales and respond to social media. Our benchmark research into customer feedback management shows that although their use of customer feedback to slowly maturing, companies still need to address a number of fundamental issues.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

NewVoiceMedia Provides Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 14, 2012 12:33:20 PM

Our recent benchmark research into the adoption of cloud-based systems to support contact center operations shows that around 10 percent of companies have adopted what is commonly termed communications in the cloud – that is, systems in the cloud to manage delivery of telephone calls to the right location, be it an internal extension number within an organization, a branch office number, a contact center extension or someone’s home or cell phone number. Given that telecommunication service providers manage calls in the cloud, it makes sense to intercept calls before they are delivered to a physical location, use rules to decide the correct final destination and route calls directly. NewVoiceMedia, founded in 2000, was one of the first companies to offer such services in the cloud. It first came to my attention at a UK contact center exhibition when within minutes of visiting its stand I was set up as a technical support agent and began receiving calls from its test contact center – very impressive given that with similar on-premises systems setting up such a task could take hours if not days.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, NewVoicemedia, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

Companies Should Consider Adopting Contact Centers in the Cloud

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 5, 2012 12:01:51 PM

Our recent benchmark research on the contact center in the cloud shows companies are under more pressure than ever to upgrade their contact centers. The large majority of companies (73%) think it is very important to improve the way they handle customer interactions, and only a small percentage are fully satisfied with their current applications (19%) or their communications (14%).  Upgrading presents a significant challenge, however, because simple call centers that handle only phone calls have been made obsolete by the need to support multiple channels of communications. Consumer communication preferences have changed, and as a result companies on average now support five channels of communication in their centers, with just over a third (37%) supporting six or more – the most popular being inbound calls (still tops), email, outbound calls, fax and postal mail.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Force Optimization