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ResponseTek is a software vendor whose platform and services help companies collect and act on feedback from their customers. It supports a closed-loop process that collects feedback, analyzes it, provides customizable reports and analysis dependent on the user, and most importantly enables taking action based on the information. This allows companies to understand product and service issues, customer sentiment, intentions, and likely behaviors, and where necessary ensures the most appropriate actions are taken.

The platform consists of six modules. One is (ex)pressRT, which ResponseTek calls as listening module. It enables users to create surveys and render them to customers through any channel. Users can apply existing analyses of customers to personalize surveys, with the aim of making them more relevant and thus more likely to be completed. Users can apply text analytics to information gathered through surveys and social media posts to extract insights such as root causes of interactions and customer sentiment. This allows companies to gather customer feedback through the customer’s channel of choice and ensures users gain insight into a variety of customer-related tasks.

Another module, (ex)ploreRT , analyzes data captured by (ex)pressRT and combines it with other customer data to provide real-time reports, dashboards and scorecards showing a comprehensive view of customers and their relationships with the company. All the analysis can be customized down to the individual user level so all users see the information relevant to them and the tasks they are carrying out. Each user also has the ability to drill down from higher-level analysis to the underlying data. This allows user to focus on information important to them and drill down to underlying, supportive information.

A third module, (ex)ceedRT focuses on employee performance and the impact employees have on the outcome of interactions. From that analysis it identifies areas in which employees need to improve. It includes capabilities to set actions based on the analysis and to track that such actions are carried out, for example, specific training or coaching the employee should receive and that they take identified training and coaching. This allows companies to personalize training and coaching to address specific employee needs.

In contrast (ex)changeRT focuses on the customer. It uses analysis to initiate proactive engagement with customers and allows users to personalize interactions. This allows companies to proactively reach out to and build better relationships with them by showing their voice is being heard and acted upon.

The administrative module is (ex)ecuteRT, which provides tools for system administrators to set up, modify and run the system to deliver results required by business users. All five of these modules run on (ex)celeratorRT, a cloud-based platform that provides the environment, logic and common tools to support them. It provides a scalable, configurable, reliable and secure environment so that the system can be set up to suit individual company requirements.

Our research into customer feedback management finds that vr_cfm_benefits_of_capturing_customer_feedbackcompanies face people, process and technology issues with their customer feedback management and voice of the customer programs. From a people perspective, most don’t have sufficient resources to respond to the results of feedback programs (19% said this is their top people issue), 18 percent don’t have processes in place to make best use of the findings, and from a technology perspective, companies neither have the tools to identify the reasons behind customer interactions nor to collect feedback through all channels (35% each). The ResponseTek platform addresses all these issues, and being available in the cloud allows companies of all sizes to take advantage of it. It also allows companies to close the loop and assure customers that their feedback is being listened to and action is being taken based on it; currently only one-third (34%) of companies in our research can always do. Companies that have advanced feedback software and processes said that they have received a variety of benefits, most often improved customer satisfaction and loyalty (65%), improvement in their products and services (45%) and better focused employee training and coaching (44%).

It is obvious that there is no point in analyzing data if you don’t take action on the insights from it. The same is equally true of customer feedback management; in fact poorly managed programs encourage customers to stop giving feedback because they feel it is a waste their time; this likely undermines customer satisfaction as well. Regarding employee performance effective analysis of feedback can help guide responses to customers and identify areas in which employees need to improve in handling interactions. Companies that want to gain deep insights into their customers, their feelings and their intentions, and seek to establish excellent customer relationships would do well to put in place a closed-loop voice of the customer program. Those thinking about this should evaluate how ResponseTek can support those efforts.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

Calabrio is a vendor of workforce optimization software whose core product is Calabrio ONE. It includes the common workforce optimization applications: call recording, quality management, workforce management and analytics. The company is rated Hot in our 2015 Workforce Optimization Value Index, VR_WFO_VI_HotVendor_2015and its product suite is the highest rated in the Usability category. Since our assessment, each of the modules has undergone upgrades, Calabrio has introduced more cloud-based services, and its analytics has undergone extensive changes to support customer experience management. The aim of these enhancements is to provide a single view of the customer that includes customer interactions across all channels, help companies streamline processes through workflow and automation, support more users and provide more deployment options. The Calabrio ONE Cloud Edition supports the full suite in a multitenant environment and is scalable to support companies of all sizes. It also enables users to store data, such as call recordings, in cloud-based services such as Amazon Web Services. I have reviewed these enhancements and note the most significant changes.

Call Recording has been redeveloped and supports a wider range of browsers, making it accessible my more users. Quality Management now speeds up the quality assessment processes by routing items that need to be assessed to the most appropriate person using configuration capabilities in workflow. Its assessment forms are more flexible, and it has enhanced capabilities for one-on-one coaching. Workforce Management has new tools for creating schedules, which allow agents to create their own schedules that take into account their personal time constraints, intraday scheduling for flexibility to schedule shorter periods of time that take into account voluntary time off, overtime and tasks that flow over one or more days, and workflow that automates many of the administrative tasks associated with creating schedules, such as individuals trading schedules. System reporting has also been enhanced so that administrators and users have a more complete picture of how the whole platform is working.

In my assessment the most dramatic changes are in Calabrio Analytics. In past versions the product focused primarily on analysis and reporting of workforce optimization activities; now it has been extended to customer engagement. Through an expanded set of integration tools, the system can ingest both structured and unstructured data from business applications such as CRM, ERP, HR management and workforce optimization, as well as from communication channels such as audio, chat, email, instant messaging and social media. To process all these forms of data Calabrio has added analytics tools such as LVCSR for speech recognition and phonetic processing of audio, as well as text and desktop analytics. There also are more visualization capabilities included in prepackaged versions that support common business processes such as predictive vr_NGCE_15_supporting_multiple_channelscall scoring, marketing effectiveness, agent performance by net promoter scores and call flow analysis. As in the other modules, users can customize these and thus see the information they need in their preferred formats when they need it.

Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement finds that integration is the most widespread challenge (for 49% of companies) in supporting multiple channels of communication; each channel typically uses its own system. This research also shows interactions are handled by almost every business group within an organization, and each of these typically has its own system. To support companies in providing consistent, omnichannel experiences regardless of who handles the interaction, integration is the key. Calabrio retains tight integration between its applications and has increased integration with other vendors such as Avaya and Cisco; for example, ingesting survey data now can be integrated into quality management processes. This enables the suite of applications to share data, support processes that flow across business groups and processes, automate calculation of key metrics and allow users in one application to drill down to data managed by other applications, such as being able to see interaction data that was used to produce a quality score. Calabrio doesn’t solve all integration issues, but its improved analytics and integration capabilities help companies develop integrated workforce optimization processes and provide a wider view of how they handle customer interactions.

I recently wrote that the customer experience is critical to business success in today’s digital economy, but providing consistently superior experiences is not easy. It requires giving business groups and individuals share a single view of the customer, enabling actions to be based on a single set of rules, and training and motivating employees to handle interactions in ways that satisfy customers. Companies wanting to improve the people side of interaction handling should assess how Calabrio can help those efforts, and as they do so they should examine how its analytics capabilities can broaden their view of interactions and help improve the overall customer experience.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

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