Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Interactive Intelligence Offers Customers Mobile Self-Service

Posted by Richard Snow on May 7, 2012 10:10:05 AM

Interactive Intelligence announced Interaction Mobilizer, the latest application in its growing portfolio of products. As I recently wrote, Interactive Intelligence has come a long way since it launched its first software-based PBX in 1994. It was a pioneer in offering contact center applications in the cloud, which now include communications in the cloud and products for workforce optimization. The latest announcement follows similar ones from other vendors also announcing applications to support mobile self-service. Each of those products supports slightly different sets of capabilities, but all of them follow the trend to provide organizations with another channel through which customers can interact with them, and support customers who want self-service capabilities from their smartphones or tablets.

An increasing number of companies have developed applications so their customers can transact business with them. But customer service is more than that; it requires a series of capabilities that allow users to execute various self-service tasks such as looking up the balance of their account, searching for product information or tracking the status of an order. Interactive Intelligence has developed what it terms a “software platform” that allows organizations to build functionality within a shell that performs different tasks in response to user input. The shell takes care of interfacing with the device’s operating systems and capabilities such as presentation, allowing user organizations to focus on developing task-related functions that it then renders on the user’s particular device. The first release of Interaction Mobilizer will require developers to learn to code applications, but Interactive Intelligence says it is working on “drag and drop” capabilities to make it easier to develop applications. Built-in capabilities already allow developers to take advantage of common mobile device features such as touch screens, selecting data by spinning a dial and accessing location information.

In the past, most contact centers deployed self-service applications to save money by deflecting calls from live agents. My research into customer experience management shows this hasn’t been very successful, as large numbers of users resort to the option to speak with an agent. If mobile applications are to avoid this rejection, they will have to deliver the information customers are looking for quickly and in ways easy to use, and will have to support prompt transfer to an agent if the need arises. Interaction Mobilizer provides a framework that should allow organizations to focus on task-related functionality that meets these customer requirements. Such applications for smartphones and tablets could have huge potential; customers might at last be able to take more control over solving their own issues without speaking to a live agent. Done right, that would be good for both customers and companies they buy from.

Have you considered mobile self-service? If so tell us more and collaborate with me on this topic.

Regards

Richard Snow – VP & Research Director

Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Business Intelligence (BI), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Information Applications (IA), Interactive Intelligence, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

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.