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Analysts have been talking and writing about a “360 degree” view of the customer for years. Our own benchmark research intovr_customer_analytics_05_dissatisfaction_with_customer_analytics_updated customer relationship management shows that only37 percent of organizations are able to produce analysis and reports that yield such a comprehensive view. Other research into next-generation customer analytics reveals that the main issue in this area for nearly two-thirds (63%) of organizations is data availability. To make the situation worse, customer-related data is getting ever more numerous and complex. A principal reason for this growth is the number of communication channels consumers now use to engage with organizations and the type of data these channels produce. It includes call recordings, text messages, email, social media posts, customer feedback surveys, chat scripts and event data such as videos that users download. All of these types of data are unstructured , which makes them harder for conventional analytics tools to access and analyze.

Clarabridge is an established vendor of analytics that over the last few years has focused on helping companies deal with such data. Its portfolio of products is called Clarabridge CX Suite that includes CX Analytics, CX Social and CX Survey. The products capture data from a variety of sources; a big data platform provides the core tools to analyze large volumes of ventanaresearch_technologyinnovationawards_winner2016_whitestructured and unstructured data; analytics tools execute specific types of analysis; and a set of tools enables organizations to take action based on the results of the analysis. The focus on social media engagement with CX Social was recognized with a 2016 Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award.

Clarabridge offers three sets of tools to capture specific categories of data. One captures data from multiple types of surveys such as post-call surveys, NPS surveys, Web-based surveys and employee surveys. A second captures social feedback from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms. The other set captures interaction and related customer data from email, chat scripts, contact center agents’ notes, voice recordings, CRM data and other sources. Clarabridge calls these tools the “listening layer” because they enable organizations to capture data from these customer-related sources and connect it to a specific customer.

The big data platform and analytics tools are what the company calls its “analyze” layer. An advanced text analytics tool uses natural-language processing and other techniques to extract insights from unstructured text data. It allows users to set up rules to categorize interactions based on words or phrases they include, to derive caller sentiment at a more detailed level than I have seen in other products, and to spot trends. This layer also includes tools that allow users to create their own analysis, using any of the data captured at the listening layer. I especially like the ability to produce customer journey maps that focus on the customer life cycle, as they search for products, acquire products, use products and seek support – in other words, from marketing through sales and service, rather than on channel use, which many other products focus on.

The “act” layer I find to be the most important. It is divided into proactive support of front-line operations and business optimization. In principle these halves provide similar capabilities to put outputs from the analyze layer to use. In terms of front-line operations this goes beyond visualizing the information in different ways for different uses to recommend actions to, for example, contact center agents. From a business optimization perspective, it also goes beyond visualizing the information in different forms to show analysis across multiple data sources, role-based dashboards, side-by-side comparison of information and root-cause analysis. In conjunction these features allow organizations to make use of the insights they gain from using analytics beyond just producing pretty charts.

Clarabridge is cognizant that many advanced analytics tools are not easy for many business people to use. It therefore provides extensive support services that range from setting up access to data sources, customer segmentation and journey mapping; setting up topics, themes and categorization rules; interpreting emotion and sentiment analysis; using root cause analysis; customizing reports and analysis; redesigning interaction processes; to using the outputs to design a customer engagement strategy. Added together these services extend from help in overcoming the initial hurdles of using the tools properly to helping organizations get full business value from the products. These services and the product set provide a firm foundation and an ongoing process for improving business performance.

Our research into next-generation contact centers in the cloud shows that customer vr_ngccc_01_customer_self_service_will_increase_updatedexperience (CX) has become the true business differentiator: 70 percent of participants said that it is the primary way they expect to compete for customers. I believe a comprehensive view of customers that makes use of all available data, their business journeys and the business impact of customer engagement are essential components are starting a CX initiative and gaining maximum business benefit from it. So I recommend that organizations wanting to maximize the value of their customers assess how Clarabridge can help those efforts.

Regards,

Richard Snow

VP & Research Director Customer Engagement

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Evaluagent is a U.K.-based company founded in 2012 that is carving out a niche in the workforce optimization market. Whereas most WFO vendors offer broad portfolios of products that focus on operational efficiency to reduce the cost of agents, Evaluagent’s narrower portfolio focuses on the people side of interaction handling, particularly agent engagement and satisfaction. The company’s founders had in-depth operational experience of contact centers, and they set out to improve the job experience for agents over what they had encountered, which included cramped working conditions, demanding performance targets, hard-to-use systems and, worst of all, customers often shouting down the phone at them.

To support these efforts, Evaluagent offers three products: Call Centre Gamification, Quality Monitoring & Coaching and Call Centre Surveys & Insight. Call Centre Gamification, its primary product is based on a simple process: Define the outcomes (metrics) you want to achieve, collect the data to determine how well agents deliver those outcomes and reward those who achieve the desired outcomes. The product reinvents the age-old process of showing performance data on a wallboard, including the best performing agents. The difference is that, being software, it can be based on a wider variety of metrics and outcomes. The user interface is in tune with modern user expectations and, along with the application’s ability to visualize results, makes it fun to use. Rewards come in multiple forms such as points (which can be traded for a variety of rewards), badges and rating levels. The outcomes can be shared between groups or across the center, adding an element of competition to its use. Call Centre Gamification can sit alongside existing systems and use data from them as input to identify desired outcomes such as closing a sale or improving customer net promoter scores. The key is the user interface, which during a demonstration I found easy to use and should help ensure wide adoption. Managers can increase the fun aspect by creating challenges between individuals or teams, helping create a friendly yet competitive environment, all with the objective of improving overall agent performance.

Quality Monitoring & Coaching follows a morevr_ngccc_04_need_to_handle_interactions_better conventional approach, assessing agent performance against a set of predetermined questions depending on the type of interaction, analyzing the results to derive quality scores, and reporting on agent performance. The key is the analysis, which also has an intuitive interface and focuses on the key performance information supervisors and managers need to identify areas that require attention and agents who need coaching in them. The system includes collaborative capabilities so agents can give feedback and managers can track how agents improve. This is essential as our research finds that handling interactions has the utmost importance in a significant number (69%) of organizations according to our recent next generation contact center in the cloud benchmark research.

Call Centre Surveys & Insight also follows a basic approach: Create customer surveys, deliver them through multiple channels, collect responses, analyze them to identify issues and trends, and track key performance metrics. All three products run in the cloud and are backed up by services to help organizations adjust their cultures and processes to make best use of the systems, including the initial configuration of the software, integration of it into the organization’s existing architecture, and initial training programs. Information from one product can be used as input to the others so that, for example, customer feedback can be used to set a target outcome or to identify agent coaching needs.

Our benchmark research into the agent desktop correlates agent satisfaction and the likelihood of agents meeting key performance targets such as customer satisfaction and net promoter scores; very satisfied agents meet these targets twice as often as agents that are merely satisfied – a clear benefit of improving agents’ work experience. Evaluagent focuses on this experience, and for me its user interface is key to achieving its aims. It is  visual and intuitive, has several “point and click” capabilities to access information, and in short is fun. I have said before my concern is that the term “gamification” implies playing games to keep agents amused while they have nothing else to do. In practice it is far from that.  Yes, some challenges may resemble games, but it has a serious side in defining business-oriented metrics and outcomes, and finding ways to encourage agents and other employees handling interactions to reach or exceed their targets. I encourage organizations seeking to improve agent engagement and performance to assess Evaluagent’s approach and how its products can help.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

Follow Me on Twitter  and Connect with me on LinkedIn

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