Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Verint Revamps Applications in Information-Driven Approach

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 20, 2012 11:55:32 AM

Verint is one of the major players in the contact center market, with two suites of products that support contact centers and voice of the customer analysis. The company’s website shows that these suites have been put together from a combination of in-house developments and acquisitions (Blue Pumpkin, Witness Systems, Mercom, Iontas, GMT and Vovici are among them). Although this strategy has allowed Verint to create comprehensive suites of products in both areas, it also created  issues with integration of the products and a lack of commonality in the user interface. These concerns were the main factors that kept Verint from being ranked as highly as it might have been in our last Value Index for Agent Performance Management (APM).

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), 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, Workforce Management, Verint

Merced Acquisition Spurs NICE Changes

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 19, 2012 10:06:24 AM

Last December NICE Systems announced a definitive agreement to acquire Merced Systems. I have been covering both companies for several years, and initially it wasn’t obvious to me why the acquisition made sense. My colleague Mark Smith wrote about the deal and expressed concerns about how the acquisition would impact both sets of customers and both organizations. Now it turns out that the Merced acquisition will have a much bigger effect on NICE than expected.

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

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

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)

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)

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)

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)