Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Tello Launches Innovative Method To Collect Customer Feedback

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 17, 2012 9:49:08 AM

The various media, including the social form, insist that the customer is king;  exaggeration or not, it is true that understanding their customers is of greater importance to companies than ever before. The newest way to understand customers is to capture all the comments they make about a company, analyze them and produce reports containing information such as likes and dislikes, hot issues, trends and sentiment analyses – many people today call this collection the voice of the customer (VOC). It can help companies with a range of tasks: refining customer-facing strategies, improving products and services, streamlining front- and back-office business processes, focusing training and supporting front-line operational decisions such as how to handle customer interactions.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Voice of the Customer, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)

Businesses Should Hear Voice of the Customer

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 16, 2012 11:44:40 AM

In the last several years many companies have shifted away from the mad pursuit of new customers toward focusing on retaining existing customers and winning more business from them. Against that background I expected to see a resurgence of customer relationship management processes and systems, but instead there is a growing focus on social media, customer experience management (CEM) and voice of the customer (VOC). I have already voiced my concerns on the level of focus on social business. My research into CEM shows that as yet few companies fully understand it or have the systems they need to support an enterprise-wide CEM initiative. The same seems to be true of VOC.

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

inContact Supports Customer Interaction Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 13, 2012 11:06:58 AM

Managing contact centers typically includes five areas: communications management, workforce optimization, business applications such as CRM, analytics and customer experience management. Last year I wrote about how inContact has evolved from a communications provider to sell a contact center in the cloud that supports most of those requirements. Its products cover communications (ACD, CTI, Dialer and IVR), workforce optimization (Quality Management, Workforce Management and eLearning, which includes content production, hiring and screen recording), analytics (Reports 2.0, which through a partnership with QlikView provides enhanced reporting and analysis capabilities) and customer experience management (ECHO Customer Survey).

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Topics: QlikView, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, InContact, Analytics, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Verint

Aria Heralds a New Era for Billing Systems

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 12, 2012 10:25:01 AM

Recently I was introduced to Aria, which provides a billing and subscription management system in the cloud. Its target customer is any company that offers subscription- and/or usage-based services. Its core module allows users to set up a product catalogue that consists of plans (such as subscription charges or recurring use charges) and inventory items. Usage-based charges can be based on a scale; for example, the first 10 occurrences are charged at one rate, the next 10 at another rate and so on. Users can create a plan by modifying an existing plan or by picking items from a list. Plans are hierarchical, making it easy for companies to update and manage plans built on lower-level plans; for example, a platinum service plan can be made up of a combination of lower-level services such as bronze or silver. Users can also create dependencies – for example, specifying that a plan must include software support or cannot include 7-by-24 calls. Inventory items are one-offs – for example, a modem that allows connection to hosted disc storage – and each of these can have its own charging structure. This may seem complicated, but a demonstration showed that the process consists mainly of ticking boxes or dragging and dropping prebuilt items.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM)

ResponseTek Enhances Understanding of Customers

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 9, 2012 12:06:03 PM

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.

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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, ResponseTek, Analytics, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

A Smart Desktop Enables Customer Service Process Improvement

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 6, 2012 11:53:50 AM

A desktop or laptop computer is an essential tool for people who carry out customer-facing activities, especially contact center agents. My benchmark research into the use of technology in contact centers shows that agents may have to use eight systems or even more to handle a simple interaction, and I heard of one case where agents had to navigate 50 screens within one application to close a sale. This all takes time, often leads to errors, frustrates the agent and undermines the customer experience as they wait for their issues to be resolved. Aggravating this situation, people now have to handle more types of interactions and have to use different types of technology to handle new communication channels and collaboration software, while the number and complexity of business applications is also on the increase.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Unified Communications, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Expo Shows Maturity of Unified Communications

Posted by Richard Snow on Mar 14, 2012 11:56:04 AM

Like many other observers with a business perspective, I have been skeptical of unified communications, but a day I spent at the recent Unified Communications Expo 2012 went a long way to convincing me that unified communications has entered the mainstream. At this point I think organizations should consider it as a viable option to improve the efficiency of their communications systems, the ability to collaborate internally and with customers, and the effectiveness of their multimedia contact centers. 

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Topics: Microsoft, Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Dell, NEC, Analytics, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, IBM, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Nokia, Vocalcom and Zeacom

Research Reveals Challenge of Building Customer Relationships

Posted by Richard Snow on Mar 13, 2012 2:51:39 AM

Businesses have long struggled to build ongoing, profitable relationships with their customers.  Our new benchmark research into customer relationship maturity shows that this is not getting easier. 

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

Customer Engagement Day Highlights Issues for Companies

Posted by Richard Snow on Mar 9, 2012 10:45:03 AM

My namesake Jon Snow is chairman of the Directors Club (GB & NI), an association for professionals who focus on dealing with customers.Recently he organized the first of a series of customer engagement days designed to bring together senior representatives of U.K. companies to listen to a few presentations about hot issues in engaging with customers and more importantly to share experiences and concerns about key customer engagement issues in roundtable discussions, such as “the rise of the social enterprise,” “listening to the voice of the customer” and “mobile customers require a mobile strategy.” In addition to presenting a keynote on the state of social media in customer service, I chaired a discussion on “perfecting multichannel customer engagement in the contact center.”

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

Cicero’s Desktop Helps Users Work Smarter

Posted by Richard Snow on Mar 8, 2012 9:54:39 AM

Cicero provides what I call a smart desktop product. The software allows users to hide multiple applications behind an easy-to-use interface and build rules to complete tasks more efficiently and effectively, for example, specifying  what field to complete next or the next question to ask a caller. It enhances customer experience management by enabling users to focus on the customers rather than on how to access the various systems, data and information needed to resolve interactions. 

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Voice of the Customer, Cicero, Analytics, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)