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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

Enghouse Interactive is one of three divisions of Enghouse Systems, a publicly traded Canadian company founded in 1984. The other two divisions provide network technology to telecommunications providers and applications for public and private transportation companies; Enghouse Interactive owns the company’s three contact center systems. The corporate group has a history of growth – it now has a market capitalization of more than US$1 billion – achieved both organically and through an aggressive acquisition policy. The same applies to Enghouse Interactive. Its three core products are built on three acquisitions – Syntellect in 2002, CosmoCom in 2011 and Zeacom in 2012. Each of these has been enhanced by a combination of in-house development and integration with other acquired products. The three products are maintained and developed independently, something Enghouse Interactive says will continue for the foreseeable future. However it is working to integrate its latest acquisitions with all three products, so each will gain new capabilities.

Maintaining three products, while at the same time integrating them with new acquisitions, is a resource-intensive and expensive task, but there is a rationale for it. Unlike some other vendors that target different markets with the same product, Enghouse Interactive markets the three products to different markets. Contact Center: Enterprise, based on the products acquired from Syntellect, is designed for large organizations. It is an adaptable, scalable, high-availability multichannel platform that supports thousands of contact center seats. It is available on private or public clouds. Contact Center: Service Provider, based on the CosmoCom products, aims at telecommunications service providers, which typically use it to provide outsourced contact center services to end-user companies. It is a multitenant cloud system available on public and private clouds. Communications Center is an enhanced version of the Zeacom product. Aimed primarily at contact centers with 20 to 500 seats, but with deployments up to 1000, it is sold mostly through approved third-parties. Like the other two products it is also available on public or private clouds. Having three products with separate origins requires Enghouse Interactive to support a broad array of capabilities, most of which fall into the category of contact center infrastructure in the cloud; we advise potential customers to carefully assess which product best matches the capabilities they require. This gap is being closed to some extent as all new acquisitions, of which there are several, are being integrated with all three product sets.

Over the last four years Enghouse Interactive has made four significant acquisitions to enhance its products in the areas of knowledge management, quality monitoring and outbound dialing:

  • TELREX was acquired in 2010. Its products include IP-based call recording, desktop usage recording and quality monitoring that supports agent evaluation.
  • Safeharbor was acquired in 2013. Its focus is knowledge management, and it has capabilities to create and manage different types of media-rich content, a search engine to help users find content that best matches their needs, and customizable portables that enable Web-based self-service and customer forums.
  • IT Sonix was acquired in 2013. Its products support historic and real-time speech analytics and agent scripting.
  • IAT SmartDial Solutions was acquired in 2013. Its products support blended inbound and outbound dialing, including predictive dialing.

Along with integrating all these products, Enghouse Interactive continues to enhance the core product sets, notably Enterprise and Communications Center. As well as making the architecture of the enterprise products more resilient, there are two other developments of particular interest. Enghouse Interactive has developed a new control room console user interface especially for the utilities market. This interface is easy to use, makes use of color has point-and-click capabilities and uses icons to display information and alerts. The company also offers new mobile capabilities, which are marketed as Mobile IVR Navigator, a name that doesn’t do justice to its capabilities. Rather than providing interactive voice response per se, it enables users to develop mobile apps for customer self-service and supports seamless transfer to assisted service if customers are not be able to complete interactions in the app.

There is also an update of Communications Center, version 8.1. One of the strengths of the original Zeacom product was integration with Microsoft Lync. These capabilities have been further enhanced to support more devices, automate outbound dialing, enhance call flows, queue up instant messages and escalate between communication channels. The new version also includes enhancements to the user desktops. The agent desktop has added more metrics and again the user interface has been updated to meet today’s user expectations. The operator desktop goes one step further and now supports visualization and animation of call flows so an operator can see which calls are in the queue and the priority of calls; it also has capabilities to manage and view call flows, an active directory of who is available to take calls and a view of transferred calls waiting to be answered – all of these enhance call management.

I have discussed in some of my recent perspectives that improving customer experience is paramount to business success, but it is no easy thing to achieve. Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement vr_NGCE_Research_06_changes_to_improve_engagementshows that organizations are anticipating the need to deploy systems to improve engagement, including collaboration, more advanced customer portals, mobile apps and support for social customer service. In addition our research on the contact center in the cloud shows that increasingly organizations are looking to deploy their contact center systems beyond their own premises. And all our research consistently shows that usability – much of which depends on the user interface – is the most important criterion as organizations select new systems. Supporting such a variety of features in one product is hard, and supporting them across several products, especially newly acquired products, is a major task. However, Enghouse Interactive addresses many of these requirements, so I recommend that companies evaluate the product set that suits their market to see how it can help improve customer engagement.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

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