If they haven’t done so yet, businesses ought to become acquainted with two relatively new concepts: customer experience management (CEM) and voice of the customer (VOC). Ventana Research defines CEM as the practice of managing the customer experience at all touch points regardless of the communications channel being used. To manage that experience, three types of systems are directly helpful: smart desktop technology to help employees deliver great experiences to customers as they are occurring; smart self-service technologies that support easy-to-use, Web-based customer service; and customer feedback management to collect and analyze survey responses, free-form comments and social media posts. This focus is part of my research on trends and best practices in customer feedback management and is part of my latest research agenda. We define VOC as reports and analysis of all customer-related data (structured, unstructured and event-based), not just analysis of speech or feedback.
ResponseTek provides products for both areas. As I’ve written they support the creation of surveys that can be delivered by almost any channel and offers analytics tools that produce reports and analysis based on the responses. At the time I wrote the note linked above, the company’s analysis tools were relatively limited and supported analysis of only survey data. Now ResponseTek has enhanced its analysis product set to include speech and text analytics. Speech analytics is supported through a partnership with Callminer for its Eureka product, which allows organizations to extract insights from their call recordings. The results allow organizations to understand the meaning of what customers say about the company and its products, as well as to uncover weak spots in the way employees handle telephone calls so organizations can align training and coaching to improve those specific areas. ResponseTek built its own tool for text analytics rather than partner with a vendor in that space. Its product focuses on extracting words and phrases contained within text so organizations can spot common issues and trends. It also works for social media analytics by extracting text from the most frequently used social media sites. The outputs of the speech and text analytics tools can be combined with the feedback analysis to create a more comprehensive set of VOC reports and analysis, which is essential for organizations to improve customer service and the customer experience.
ResponseTek is also likely to get a boost in business from a recent agreement to partner with Synovate, a market research company. Market research, like many other market segments, is undergoing disruption as consumers change their communication habits and thus the ways they respond to market surveys. Synovate therefore plans to use the ResponseTek products to reinvent the way it provides market research services for companies.
CEM and VOC are essential for organizations looking to survive and prosper in today’s challenging market conditions. In fact I think that CEM, not CRM or customer service, is the only way left for companies to differentiate themselves. Has your company adopted either? If so, please tell us more and collaborate with me.
Richard Snow – VP & Research Director