Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Enkata Launches Action Center for Optimizing Employee Performance

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 9, 2013 9:43:08 AM

Enkata, as I wrote not long ago is continuing to expand the range and capabilities of its products for optimizing employee actions while maintaining a firm foothold in analytics for the contact center and agents. Its latest release, Action Center, maintains this position with a focus on improving employee performance.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Speech Analytics, Enkata, Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

IBM Watson Engagement Advisor for Smarter Customer Service

Posted by Richard Snow on May 25, 2013 10:55:01 PM

Recently my colleague Mark Smith wrote about the IBM Watson platform. Mark is our expert on technically complex subjects like IBM Watson and‎ cognitive computing and the value it can provide to organizations and wrote an educational white paper on the topic. In fact IBM Watson was awarded the 2012 Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award. I focus on the customer and the customer experience, but I became engaged with the launch of the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, which uncannily brings the two together.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Mobile Apps, Self-service, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, IBM, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Cognitive Computing, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), IBM Watson, Text Analytics

IBM Making Customer Analytics Smarter

Posted by Richard Snow on May 10, 2013 11:33:44 AM

When it comes to today’s customers, companies have to be smart if they are going to anticipate and meet new customer expectations. These days IBM talks about doing most things in “smart” ways. Recently I was briefed on IBM’s Smart Customer Analytics, but it took me quite a while to find information about it on the company’s not-so-smart website. Surprisingly since business analytics is so important to IBM current and ongoing investments and is the top ranked technology innovation priority in 39 percent of organizations according to our benchmark research.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, IBM, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics

Customer Service Presents Major Challenges

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 7, 2013 11:33:47 AM

In today’s competitive markets, many organizations recognize that customer service represents an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition. However, our research into the agent desktop shows that providing excellent customer service is a real challenge in many areas, starting with managing the channels of communication required to offer customers a choice in how they interact with the company. My research into customer and contact centers shows that over the last 18 months, companies now support an average of five channels, including advanced channels such as chat, text messaging, video calls and social media. This presents a challenge for companies because these channels are often supported by different lines of business and the information delivered through them is not consistent. The net result is that customers don’t get a consistent experience across channels and so will often skip across channels until they get the result they are seeking. This situation is further aggravated because organizations are still most often organized into silos, with each line of business pursuing its own goals, objectives and metrics. This means customers get a different experience and different information depending on which line of business they are dealing with, and often are met with statements such as “that is not my responsibility” and “I can’t help because I don’t have the information.”

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)

The Collaborative Enterprise to Support Customer Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Aug 16, 2012 10:05:26 AM

I’ve challenged a lot of the hype about the social enterprise, because I feel “social” gives the wrong impression. For most people, social media is predominately about socializing. While everyone likes to feel that going to work is partly about interacting with friends, when it comes down to it running a business is about winning customers, selling them your products and services, and providing customer service when needed. In today’s competitive markets, none of these are easy tasks. As I look across four of our benchmark research areas: customer information managementcustomer experience managementcustomer feedback management and customer relationship maturity, I have come to several conclusions:

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Topics: 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 Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Force Optimization

Agents Performance Management is Hot for Successful Customer Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 16, 2012 12:23:44 PM

Our benchmark research into agent performance management shows that the majority of companies are not very mature in their use of people, processes, information and technology in handling customer interactions. Companies are most mature is their use of information, but even in this area they are hampered by their failure to use the latest technologies available to support their efforts.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, VPI, Call Copy, Enkata, Envision, Genesys, KnopahSoft, LiveOps, Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, coaching, Compensation, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), OnviSource, Training, Verint, Workforce Force Optimization

SAS Advances Customer Intelligence

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 18, 2012 11:22:22 AM

SAS is one of the largest and best-known independent vendors of BI and analytics. The company’s website shows  16 product lines, and product variations to match almost every business analytics requirement in any industry. One of its core products lines is Customer Intelligence, which I wrote about last year. Customer Intelligence consists of four main components: strategy and planning, information and analytics, orchestration and interaction, and customer experience – among all these interesting areas, only the last really indicates what the products do.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, SAS, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Customer Intelligence, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics

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)

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)

IBM’s Smarter Commerce Hits Most of the Right Notes

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 24, 2011 7:35:53 AM

According to IBM everything now has to be “smart,” and its latest announcement heralding smarter commerce addresses customer-related activities. I find it interesting, as I have been researching for some time about the need for a smarter agent desktop and smarter Web self-service. My perspective, derived from observations in my research, is that companies need to focus on effectiveness in providing positive customer experiences rather than today’s almost exclusive focus on efficiency in customer service operations.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Experience, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Commerce, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Sales Performance Management (SPM)