Video in the Contact Center: A Solution Looking for a Market and Finding Modest Niches

Ken Landoline
Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Video applications are flooding the marketplace, making large gains in mindshare if not market share.  The technology has become better, simpler to implement and manage, and less costly to maintain.
  • Despite the popularity and growth of video in general, video conferencing penetration of the contact center has been minimal at best.  Implementation of the technology remains limited to niche segments of the customer care/helpdesk marketplace.

It seems video conferencing technology is infiltrating just about everything we do today.  Immersive telepresence, desktop video, room-based video, and mobile video on smartphones and tablets are becoming commonplace as the technology gets better and the cost and complexities of video solutions diminish.  Given this increasing acceptance of video in our lives, I wonder if and when video-enabled contact centers will become a reality.  As I discuss the topic with customer care executives and vendors of contact center applications, most tend to agree that there is a value proposition for video in the customer care environment.  The future benefits they see include video’s potential to enhance personalization, promote customer loyalty, and improve sales effectiveness as agents and customers see each other eye to eye.  Others mention video’s potential to enhance self-service functionality with pushed video clips as well as improvements in the wait in queue with the use of targeted advertising clips (i.e., video brochures).  In addition, customer care executives generally agree that the proper use of video in the contact center could be a significant competitive differentiator for those that get there first and develop the optimal blueprint for success. Continue reading “Video in the Contact Center: A Solution Looking for a Market and Finding Modest Niches”

Speech Analytics: The Time for ‘Listening’ to the Voice of the Customer Is Upon Us

K. Landoline
K. Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Hundreds of millions of minutes of customer care conversations are recorded annually in contact centers, but less than 0.1% of recorded conversations are ever replayed and analyzed.
  • Automated speech analytics, which can mine most of these conversations for useful information, is finally getting the attention of customer care executives as the technology improves and the ROI is validated.

I have been following the speech analytics market as it pertains to customer care and contact centers for the better part of a decade.  The application has only come into its own as it gained credibility through successes in the past two or three years.  Recently, there has been an uptick in sales at companies that provide the technology to monitor the ‘voice of the customer,’ such as CallMiner, Nexidia, NICE, Utopy and Verint.  There has also been a flurry of merger and acquisition activity among companies that provide contact center solutions and those that deliver customer feedback applications.  Verint acquired Vovici, a provider of feedback management solutions; Avaya purchased Aurix, a speech analytics company based in the UK; and Hewlett-Packard bought analytics platform provider Vertica.  I believe the industry is now leaving the embryonic stage and moving into a more mature phase of growth that will continue for the next decade. Continue reading “Speech Analytics: The Time for ‘Listening’ to the Voice of the Customer Is Upon Us”

The Perfect Customer Interaction: You Will Know It When You Experience It

K. Landoline
K. Landoline

Summary Bullets:         

  • Most customers would probably not be able to describe the perfect customer interaction until they experience it.  So, asking customers to describe their expectations will probably be an unsuccessful effort on your part.
  • ‘Personalization,’ ‘up-selling,’ and ‘cross-selling’ are often perceived as negative terms in customer service efforts.  However, experience tells me that, if used appropriately, they can enrich customer interactions and often lead to customer elation.

Most savvy customer service executives would tell you their goal is to use personal information to cross-sell and up-sell every customer that contacts their enterprise.  It’s just good business, right?  However, the terms ‘personalization,’ ‘up-sell,’ and ‘cross-sell’ have negative connotations with many customers who are worried about protecting their privacy and being forced to buy something they do not need.  Allow me to relay an experience I had with my financial institution that, I am certain, will open your mind to the benefits of personalization, up-selling and cross-selling. Continue reading “The Perfect Customer Interaction: You Will Know It When You Experience It”

First Contact Resolution – The Second Best Key Performance Indicator of Customer Care

K. Landoline
K. Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Because of its potential to cut costs quickly and boost customer satisfaction, first contact resolution (FCR) is gaining recognition as the major key performance indicator (KPI) of success in customer care settings.
  • More enlightened customer care executives realize that their happiest customers are those that never have to contact a customer care center at all.

Because of its potential for immediate, effective and powerful results, FCR is gaining recognition and acceptance as a major KPI across customer service operations. The ability of a high FCR level to affect revenues positively and boost customer satisfaction, while decreasing the cost of customer care by reducing redundant operations, makes its achievement a win-win situation for both the corporation and its customers alike. Continue reading “First Contact Resolution – The Second Best Key Performance Indicator of Customer Care”