When I think of Customer Experience Management, there are three things that come to mind: a smart agent desktop that assists agents as they interact wiath customers; a natural language-driven customer portal that is personalized to individual customers; and customer feed-back management that allows companies to assess how their customers feel about their interactions with a company. My research earlier this year into customer experience management (CEM) showed companies still have some way to go in adopting the technologies that would help them improve in all three areas.
In respect of assessing customer reaction to interactions, the CEM research showed that companies rely heavily on someone listening to recorded customer calls. I believe this is far from satisfactory as my research into the use of technology in contact centers showed that companies mostly only listen to a very small percentage of calls, and even then the focus is mainly on agent quality monitoring. Companies would do much better to adopt best practices and assess customer satisfaction through customer surveys and analysis of the completed surveys. Ransys is one of a few niche vendors that support companies in doing this as part of their AttentiveTM suite of applications and only until recently have been getting credit for their products which is seen in their growth globally.
The Attentive Feedback Management supports all the core functionality you would expect of an enterprise feed-back system: survey design, survey personalization to corporate design requirements, click-of-the button multi-lingual support, repurposing so a single design can be used across multiple communication channels (telephone, portal, e-mail etc.), and reporting and analysis. The surveys can be configured to assess specific business issues such as agent appraisal, 360 customer feed-back, knowledge assessment etc. and who gets surveyed, how and when is driven by a rules-based engine which can be configured right down to an individual customer, agent, or indeed type of interaction level. The product can be configured to automatically attach different types of information to a survey such as call time, handling agent, customer value. Depending on the availability of such information, this might require some integration work but the result is a single point of access to all relevant information for much deeper analysis other than “simple” analysis of responses. For example a supervisor can see all the interactions for their team that have a corresponding completed survey and in the same analysis they can see relevant performance information (surveys for interactions that had a longer than targeted duration). This analysis form can be configured with action check boxes, which if completed automatically raise an alert (typically an e-mail) so that someone takes action based on the information; for example, call the customer back and try to resolve an uncompleted issue.
Combined with a reporting and analytics package, this last set of capabilities extends the Ransys product into what Ventana Research defines as performance management in that it supports the analysis of what has happened, identifies what needs to be done to improve and then enables change to either people (e.g. recommended training), process (e.g. the way interactions are handled), or indeed policy (e.g. how different customer segments are treated). The reporting and analytics is also highly customizable and supports a hierarchy of reports that can start at a high, summary level, and then drill down to individual agents, customers or surveys. It even includes a “lazy user” features whereby the reports and analysis can be automatically loaded into a pre-defined Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. This is part of my focus in research covering the spectrum of customer-centric performance management.
In today’s tougher economy, more and more companies are realizing that they need to understand their customers better and understand how well they are handling interactions – the so-called “Voice of the Customer” into the business. Ransys has advanced this with their product called Attentive Customer Experience where companies can be equipped and be in a position to respond to customer feed-back and make the necessary changes to improve customer loyalty, satisfaction and wallet-share, and ultimately survive. Those companies looking to adopt or enhance their capabilities in this area of CEM would do well to assess how Ransys can support them.
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Richard Snow – VP & Research Director