Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Enkata Expands Customer Analytics for a Better Customer Experience

Posted by Richard Snow on Feb 2, 2012 10:25:26 AM

The products of Enkata have generally been designed for what Ventana Research terms performance management for customer service and call centers, including applications connected to agent performance management (quality monitoring, coaching, training and related analytics) and operational performance analytics based on transactional, structured data. Recently Enkata has taken a new direction with its branding (“changing the customer experience”) and has been filling out its portfolio of products to include analytics for unstructured data, so it now includes speech (courtesy of a partnership with Callminer), desktop, cross-channel and text analytics; the last supports  the analysis of customer surveys and social media posts.

With this broad range of analytics capabilities Enkata can capture data from almost any source and provide integrated analytics that draws on all of them. It has used these capabilities to widen its portfolio of prebuilt business applications, such as first-contact resolution, next-contact avoidance and contact reasoning (about why customers are calling). At the heart of many of these developments has been a partnership with Openspan, which has what I call a smart desktop product. It allows organizations to hide the complexity of their desktop systems behind a simpler user interface, extract and deliver data to applications without the user having to know the full interface, and post messages onto the desktop to aid users with the task in hand. This partnership allows Enkata to capture what users do at their desktops, analyze how they use systems, combine this information with insights derived from its other analytics applications and enable actions based on these combined insights. Those actions can include posting a message to the desktop, for example, to remind the user to ask a particular question, giving the user context-based information, such as product information to help a cross-sale or using the newly enhanced workflow engine to send a message to a third party to take action.

These types of capabilities enable the products to close the performance loop by analyzing what is happening, deciding what needs to be done and enabling the necessary actions. This is particularly true for customer experience management, where knowing what has happened is not enough; organizations need to take action so that customers finish the interactions feeling they have been treated well. This also applies to back-office functions such as claims processing, where the system can guide the user in following best practices. The software also helps with workforce optimization, because as the system analyzes how different users complete a task, it can help identify best practices, which can be enforced by changing the user interface and prompts, and by helping focus training.

In addition to developing these new capabilities and partnerships, Enkata has made two other changes that address two key areas Ventana Research has identified. Its products are available in the cloud, reflecting the increasing acceptance of this supply model. And it has moved into the big-data arena to support organizations that have growing volumes of data but still want results in seconds. Follow my colleague David Menninger if you want to learn more about this area of growing importance and check out his latest Big Data benchmark research.

Customer experience management is one of the most important issues organizations need to address to retain customers and sell them more business. My experience and research show that this is not easy, because it requires combining numerous types of analytics and the capabilities to take action, often in real time, for example during a call. The latest developments from Enkata seem to back up its claim to support the customer journey by enhancing the customer experience, so I recommend organizations see how Enkata can address this key business issue. Enkata has advanced significantly since my last analysis And worth taking a closer look.

Are you addressing the customer experience? If so, how? Please tell us your views and experience and collaborate with me.


Richard Snow – VP & Research Director

Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Callminer, Enkata, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), OpenSpan

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.