Friday, 06 November 2015 16:25

Verint is fervent about actionable intelligence solutions

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Its solutions include customer engagement, security intelligence, fraud and risk compliance. This gives organizations crucial insights and enables decision makers to anticipate, respond, and take action. 

Its main focus is on multi or omni-channel customer contact with an organisation and what that can do to reputation and brand. Omni-channel means ‘Dr Google’; the company website for FAQs and self-service forms; social media including Facebook, Instagram, blogs, Twitter; email; and often as a last resort contacting a real person in a call centre. By default, most larger organisations are driving contact to the web. Real people, even in third world call centres are costly and often represent the customers last straw or the oganisations last line of defence.

It has released an independent research by Fifth Quadrant that shows 98% of enterprises have, or have plans to, engage in some data analytics within the next 12 months to provide customers with a better, more tailored experience. More than one-third also now leverage text analytics, and approximately one-fifth use speech analytics to improve customer advocacy, customer satisfaction and their share of the customer wallet. In turn, these organisations are also benefiting from lower rates of customer churn. The findings are contained within ‘Leveraging Data Analytics to Optimise the Customer Experience.’

The report was presented to Australian journalists and analysts and showed (in brief)

  • The most prolific users of data analytics are customer-facing departments - customer service, marketing and sales, finance, operations and logistics, and business intelligence
  • Two-thirds of organisations believe they have good access to relevant and accurate data, but half also admit the data is stand-alone and not accessible in real time
  • Organisations that deliver a high level of customer experience tend to be engaged in data analytics activities to help organisations improve digital optimisation, new product development, real-time decision making, revenue and profitability, targeted marketing and operational efficiency
  • Another form of data is gained from text and speech analytics. This is predicted to almost double in the next 12 months to just over 50% (text) and 40% (speech). This growth is driven by the success of existing deployments as measured by customer satisfaction and customer retention metrics
  • Half of present text analytics users, and almost two-thirds of speech analytics users leverage analytics methods to optimise the customer experience

Research Director at Fifth Quadrant, Steve Nutall commented, “Our research clearly shows that data analytics is at the heart of any organisation’s transformation to a customer centric business and is imperative to success. The more sophisticated and mature organisations are using, fusing, and analysing data from multiple sources to deliver a complete and detailed understanding of the consumer. They are also able to demonstrate a return on this investment in data analytics which helps to secure additional resources.”

In simple English enterprises that know more about the customer and its interaction with them are more successful. Enter the world of data analytics.

Also present were Michael Stelzer, Vice President ANZ,  Verint Systems, and Brian Donn, Senior Vice President and General Manager APAC.

What follows is a comprehensive questioning of Nuttall, Stelzer, and Donn.

“Our take on customer service optimisation is to optimise both sides – the customer facing people and the customer’s experience. While training service agents in call centre procedures is important – it’s the analytics that give them a true insight into the customer’s needs. You need to pull data from both sides,” said Donn.

“We are at a critical inflection point. There has been rapid digitisation of everything [in the call centre, web, cloud] and we can use that data to deliver better customer experience, retention and outcomes. Call centres are costly and it is preferable for them to be optimised and supported by omni-channel assistance,” said Nuttall.

Stelzer could not resist a sales pitch, “Verint had its roots in call recording. It acquired MultiVision Intelligent Surveillance Limited, a networked video security business; CM Insight Limited, a UK-based, customer management company; Mercom Systems Inc., a interaction recording and performance evaluation company; ViewLinks Euclipse Ltd., an Israeli-based provider of data mining and link analysis software; Witness Systems, Inc., a workforce optimisation company; Focal-Info, a software company focused on web data extraction and analytics; Iontas, a provider of desktop analytics solutions; and last year we acquired Kana that provides on-premises and cloud computing hosted customer engagement optimization (CEO). It is a very complete suite."

He added that Verint had more than 5,000 staff with 120 in Australia and 350 in APAC. It spends over US$1 billion each year of R&D. It sells mainly through partners with call centre experience and has a high degree of customer facing in these instances.

Donn added, “Where we are different is that our offerings in customer analytics, workforce optimisation, and engagement management are the most comprehensive available and each ‘circle' of expertise overlaps to give us three advantages – smart moments, smart workforce, and engaged workforce. It gives organisations enriched transactions with the customer, it improves processes, and optimises the call centre workforce.”

We asked about the depth of customer analytics – what didn’t they know.

"About seven years ago we started using voice recordings to enable speech analytics. We can now convert it to text with up to 95% accuracy and up to 98% accuracy if just recognising key words and phrases – we call them categories. But we can also track sentiment – happy, sad, calm, despairing, resigned, and angry. It is all about addressing the customer’s specific needs and frame of mind - It is not quite yet Big Brother,” said Stelzer.

We spoke about real time data like sentiment analysis. Is it fair that the call centre operator knows more about the caller than they do? “It is available, it works, but not many call centres have used it – yet. It is absolutely the way to go because the call centre can identify if the caller has issues, respond accordingly, change the message, and ensure a better outcome. It is actionable intelligence,” said Stelzer.

The other important analytics included fraud analysis including voice identity validation and authentication, and feedback management. For example, voice identity authentication could bring up a customer’s file before the call is answered or channelled to the right call centre responder.

Feedback management helps to gain a better understanding of how well it has met customer expectations. It can be a simple questionnaire (on-line or via phone) for immediate post-transaction, or even sentiment analysis in answering a few questions. Customers can then be followed up to resolve issues.

We collectively joked that the message “This call will be recorded for quality and training purposes” needed to be changed to “and can tell if you are grumpy or not.”

Donn spoke about customer engagement, “We need to make customers feel valued and understood. We need to deliver personalised and efficient contact. We need to be able to answer questions and make decisions immediately. We need to protect the organisation's brand – because a customer is usually using a call centre as a last resort.”

“Equally the call centre agent needs real time assistance and contextual insights. It also allows us to match employee’s skills with customer needs and improves service quality and reduces risk of fraud and damage to the brand,” he added.

At board level is delivers clear insights into customer behaviour to shape future goods or services, It optimises the workforce, it creates consistent processes, and allows different departments to share insights.

Rather than bury you with the rest of the survey data here is an infographic.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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