Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

SugarCRM Stays True to Its Vision

Posted by Richard Snow on Nov 10, 2016 7:03:50 AM

In the late 1990s, CRM systems were launched to help organizations become customer-centric, to manage customer relationships from end to end, through marketing to sales to customer service, and to provide a “360-degree view of the customer.” For a variety of reasons (overselling, lack of proper adoption, missing functionality), they never lived up to many companies’ expectations, and so CRM got a poor reputation. I recently wrote that customer experience management has undergone significant change in the last 18 months, taking over the role of helping organizations become customer-centric, and that CRM vendors have played a part in these changes. Some of the larger ones have, in my view, taken a backward step by breaking CRM into three components to support marketing, sales and customer service; this makes it harder to support the end-to-end customer life cycle.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience Management, Call Cente, cloud computing, Customer Service, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, omnichannel, analytics

NGData Delivers DNA on Customers

Posted by Richard Snow on Nov 9, 2016 7:11:35 AM

During a recent briefing with NGData, I was initially put off by excessive “marketing speak.” The team began by describing its product, Lily Enterprise, as a “customer experience operating system.” Being used to having operating systems run entire computers, I wasn’t sure what this meant. This term was followed by a statement that NGData’s products help companies transition from being “B2C to C2B,” that is, to put the customer first, an idea that has been around for several years but in my experience few companies achieve. One of the biggest challenges in this regard is that most companies are organized into business groups, and each business group typically has its own processes, systems and metrics, a situation that makes it hard to have a single view of the customer and take actions based on the same customer view, and which lends itself to focusing on internal goals, not the customer. As an example, our research into next-generation customer engagement shows three key impediments to delivering exceptional customer experiences: systems that are not integrated (for 49% of organizations), communication channels managed as silos (47%) and customers receiving inconsistent responses at different touch points. The root cause of all these is data – customer data. Organizations have multiple systems that generate customer data, in multiple forms: for example, structured data in CRM and ERP systems, voice recordings, text data from multiple sources (letters, email, Web scripts, text messages, chat scripts and social media posts), video and event data such as a customer downloading a film. With so much data in so many formats, it is hard for companies to generate a single, “360 degree” view of the customer that can be shared across the whole organization.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience Management, Speech Analytics, Call Cente, cloud computing, Customer Service, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Text Analytics, omnichannel, analytics

NICE Advances Contact Centers for SMB

Posted by Richard Snow on Oct 25, 2016 5:16:01 AM

Over the years, our benchmark research studies on contact center systems have shown that larger centers use dedicated contact center systems to support their operations nearly twice as often as centers that have fewer than 250 seats. Smaller centers typically lack budgets and technical skills to deploy and operate such systems. This situation is evident in the tools commonly used to support workforce management and analytics; smaller centers most often use spreadsheets. While spreadsheets have their place in limited ad hoc analysis for small groups, in an environment such as a contact center, they cause issues with regard to ingesting data from multiple sources and providing analysis in real time.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience Management, Call Cente, cloud computing, Customer Service, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, omnichannel, analytics, worrkforce optimization, wfo

Verint Expands Feedback Management with Vovici

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 28, 2011 11:25:39 AM

Verint recently announced that it has acquired Vovici,a vendor of enterprise feedback management systems. In light of the fact that Verint was recently rated the top vendor in the Ventana Research Value Index for Customer Feedback Management, at first it seemed odd that the company would buy another that offers a very similar product. In this situation the business driver often is to gain market share, with the net effect being that customers are left with fewer choices. Looking deeper reveals that is not so in this case; comparing the two product sets and target markets you can see benefits for current and future customers. Verint has positioned itself in the customer feedback market and has mainly focused on collecting customer feedback through IVR surveys. In contrast, Vovici has been in the enterprise feedback market and has capabilities for collecting feedback through channels other than IVR, and it also collects employee feedback as well as customer feedback. Thus the combination of the two product sets now enables Verint to offer survey collection and analysis across all channels, both for customers and employees. The Vovici product set also has capabilities to create and run social media-based groups, which provide another avenue for communicating with customers. 

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Call Cente, rCustomer Service, Cloud Computing, 360-degree view of the Customer, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Verint, Vovici