Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Make It Simple for Customers To Engage with You

Posted by Richard Snow on May 8, 2012 10:01:02 AM

A recent research project involving 7,000 consumers carried out by the Harvard Business Review concluded that to retain customers and get them to buy more products, organizations must make it simple for people to engage with them, provide information they trust and allow them to weigh their options before they buy. The research found that consumers are bombarded with information and choices, and as a result they tend to go down the easiest route, which often leads them to take a blinkered view: I haven’t got the time and energy to consider options so I’ll take this one.

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

Customer Engagement Day Reveals New Issues and Opportunity

Posted by Richard Snow on May 1, 2012 11:15:47 AM

I recently attended the second in the series of customer engagement days organized by the Directors Club (GB & NI). The format of the event was the same as the first day that I wrote about and included three keynote presentations and three roundtable sessions where attendees discussed how organizations should engage with customers. As for the first event I chaired the roundtable on perfecting multichannel customer engagement in the contact center and gave a keynote on how social media is impacting the contact center.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Sustainability, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Genesys, InContact, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), Interactive Intelligence, IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Noble Systems, Verint

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)

The Customer and Contact Management Research Agenda for 2012

Posted by Richard Snow on Feb 21, 2012 11:03:33 AM

In all the years I have spent building contact centers and tracking this market, from both business and technology perspectives many things have not changed. Center managers are still under pressure to drive down costs, customers generally are not satisfied with the way their interactions are handled (perhaps less so), and organizations still aren’t making the most of customer interactions. However, as noted in my predictions for 2012, I am expecting more rapid change in the next couple of years than ever before with the advent of a collection of technologies that are already impacting business interactions with customer or by their actions.

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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)

Confirmit Provides Customer Insights through Surveys

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 30, 2012 11:08:33 AM

Ventana Research believes that to provide excellent customer experiences it is necessary to understand what customers want and their likely behaviors, and one direct way to achieve this is by collecting and analyzing customer feedback. The challenge for organizations in this regard is that most customers are reluctant to complete surveys unless they are provided at an appropriate time, in an easy-to-use format and through the channel of their choice. Confirmit’s Horizons products support collection and analysis of feedback from marketing campaigns, employees and customers. The core survey engine enables design and authoring of surveys, and add-on modules handle collecting data, panel management (of a panel of customers, employees or market segments to help focus business activities) and analysis and reporting. It was built on the Microsoft .Net platform, but the most recent release, version 16, extends support to other environments and browsers. This release also enhances security, scalability and availability so Confirmit can collect hundreds of millions of surveys for customers around the world. The product is available for deployment on-premises or as software as a service (SaaS).

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

Clarabridge Advances Customer Experience Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 13, 2012 8:37:39 AM

Clarabridge is an established vendor of text analytics products, which it sells both directly to the market and indirectly through an extensive set of partnerships with companies such as MicroStrategyIBM Cognos and Verint. Recently it has been marketing its applications under the category of customer experience management (CEM). To me, CEM is about personalizing and influencing the customer experience while an interaction is in progress. Organizations cannot do this without the right information about the customer, and text analytics is one of the primary tools that allows organizations to derive that information; in this way Clarabridge fits in CEM.

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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, Clarabridge, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

Customer and Contact Center Management in 2012

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 3, 2012 11:35:00 AM

After reviewing the benchmark research I carried out during 2011 into customer and contact center analytics, the use of technology in contact centers and the adoption of cloud-based contact centers and systems, I have come up with a list of critical investments that I predict will distinguish customer and contact center management in 2012.

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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)