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Perspectives: “Customer Analytics Research Reveals Required Capabilities for Software”

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This week, we’re featuring a recent article by Richard J. Snow, VP and Research Director at research firm Ventana. In his article, “Customer Analytics Research Reveals Required Capabilities for Software,” Richard reiterates the importance of finding the right customer analytics tool for your company, especially since today’s customer data comes from so many different sources. In an age where customers are engaging with your company across numerous devices and platforms, Snow says that it’s essential to use the right customer analytics tools to help improve customer service and the outcomes of this engagement.

Ventana’s research explores the amount of time companies spend on customer analytics, the most important customer analytics, and new technologies for customer analytics to explore usefulness and influential factors. From the data, they have found that the majority of this time is focused on data-related activities. This includes:

  • Preparing data (47%)
  • Reviewing data (43%)
  • Analyzing outputs (34%)
  • Determining root causes (34%)
  • Building models (30%)

 

Additionally, Ventana’s research pinpointed the most vital parts of cohesive customer analytics. Companies surveyed ranked the following as 1st priority for quality customer analytics:

  • Real-time (21%)
  • Advanced (19%)
  • Statistics (14%)
  • Predictive (12%)
  • Visual (10%) 

 

The 2nd ranked priorities for best analytics were rated as:

  • Real-time (14%)
  • Advanced (11%)
  • Statistics (14%)
  • Predictive (18%)
  • Visual (8%)

 

Companies studied also ranked what they valued most in new technologies to use for customer analytics. Results showed:

  • Collaboration (business & social) (62%)
  • Big data (60%)
  • Cloud computing (44%)
  • Mobile technology (38%)
  • Social media (35%)

 

Commenting on the research, Richard states that, "people now engage with companies increasingly electronically, often using smart mobile devices – they are more connected and can do things much faster than ever before, including look elsewhere if they are not satisfied with a company.” For the full report on why it is so vital to know your customers, be sure to check out Richard’s informative post.

 

 

 

Customer Engagement Center Newsletter - Spring 2014

An informational resource with trends, innovations, and best practices on how Analytics and Big Data are facilitating the strategic move from "contact centers" to "customer engagement centers."

Ventana Research Survey Results

Survey Results: Next Generation Customer Analytics Research Study

Ventana Research’s most recent research benchmark study sponsored by Transera examined new ways in which companies use analytics to support customer-facing activities and improve customer experience and the technologies and applications used to support them. Read more ...

On-Demand Webinar: Next Generation Customer Analytics 

Hear Richard Snow, VP & Research Director at Ventana Research and Rich Guth, SVP, Analytics Marketing at Transera, talk about what your peers are doing today and what they hope to do for their next generation of Customer Analytics. Register now to get the webinar recording ...

 

Education Corner

Customer Engagement Analytics Best Practices & Benefits

View this Aberdeen Study Infographic to learn the top six strategies best-in-class organizations use to realize business benefits from Customer Engagement Analytics.

Whitepaper: Omni-Channel Customer Care

According to Aberdeen Group Research, best-in-class companies (in terms of customer retention, sales, customer lifetime value, etc.) with an Omni-channel customer interaction strategy or formal CEM program leverage their cross-channel data to improve business outcomes of customer interactions. Read more …

Whitepaper: Global Routing and Contact Center Management

Read this whitepaper to learn how companies with investments in legacy on-premise contact center technologies and multi-site contact centers can maximize customer experiences and business outcomes with cloud-based contact center software using analytics-based rules.

 

Articles of Interest

New 'Rage Survey' Shows Consumers Are Fed Up

Frustration is mounting as Americans get increasingly irritated by poor products and shabby customer service. Read more... 

Forrester's Top Trends For Customer Service In 2014

In order to keep customers satisfied and loyal to your brand, these are the top trends that you should be paying attention to. Read the article...

2014: The Year Big Data Adoption Goes Mainstream In The Enterprise

Gain a better understanding of organizations’ big data initiatives, investments and strategies. Read the article ...

 

Product News

Transera has several exciting functional and usability enhancements available for its ACD and ACE products. See below for a partial list. Contact the Transera Support Team for more in-depth product update information. 

Automatic Call Distribution:

‘Search as you type’ in EP-DN Mapping Page
Reset of Password from the JukeBox & Dashboard Login Page
Download CDR's for All Intervals in a Day per Queue from the HRS UI    
Persistent Column Re-ordering

Analytics Based Customer Engagement:

Motion Charts 
Agent Activity Records 
Support of Statistical Metrics (min, max, median etc…) of columns    
Saving Formulas
Support 15 minute, 30 minute (& none) Intervals in Compute Interval
 

Events

April 6-10, 2014
Marco Island, FL

May 6-9, 2014
San Diego, CA

June 9-13, 2014
Las Vegas, NV

 

Transera In The News

“Transera Deepens Its Salesforce.com Integration”

Transera's integration with Salesforce will allow customer engagement data from the Transera platform to be automatically populated into Salesforce and presented to the contact center agent. Read more ...

“5 Ways to a Customer-Centric Contact Center”

Prem Uppalaru shares five ways companies can improve their contact centers and make them more customer-centric. Read the article ... 

“5 Things Contact Centers Can Learn From the Butterball Turkey Hotline”

The Butterball campaign’s model is often referred to as an example for branding and marketing, but the company’s contact center is really what organizations should be learning from. View the article ... 

“How to Make Your Customers Love You This Valentine's Day”

Rich Guth shares three ways to make every customer/agent interaction the proverbial “match made in heaven." Read the article ...

 

In Case You Missed It

Contact Center Optimization: Use Data to Deliver Superior Customer Care

This Aberdeen whitepaper reveals how best-in-class customer care organizations use analytical tools to improve customer satisfaction without incurring unnecessary costs. Read more...

Join Transera & Ventana for this week’s Webinar: “Next Generation Customer Analytics Best Practices Today and Tomorrow: Research Results”

describe the imageThis week, Transera and Ventana Research are hosting a free educational webinar, “Next Generation Customer Analytics Best Practices Today and Tomorrow: Research Results.” The webinar will review the results from the Ventana Research Benchmark Study, sponsored by Transera.

The webinar features Richard Snow, Ventana’s VP & Research Director. In the webinar, Richard will show you what your peers are doing today and what they hope to do for their next generation of customer analytics across sales, marketing, customer service and the contact centers.

As Ventana has found in their benchmark study, more than half of companies say it is crucial to improve customer analytics. As we mentioned in last week’s blog post, as customers continue to engage with companies through a multitude of channels, the onus is on companies to put this rich data into context in order to establish a holistic view of these customer interactions. Here is your opportunity to see how to get ahead of the competition with a superior analytics strategy. Richard will discuss:  

  • Most common uses for customer analytics
  • Most common customer metrics in use today
  • Roles and responsibilities for customer analytics
  • Most popular tools used today and in the future
  • Key drivers for improving analytics processes
  • Most popular data sources and visualizations
  • Future role of Big Data and Predictive Analytics

 

I will join Richard during the webinar and share a recent Transera customer success, where we were able to increase sales by 5% with customer analytics. 

To join us for the webinar, please sign up. The webinar is scheduled for 10 am PT / 1 pm ET, Thursday, March 20th.

We look forward to seeing you virtually this Thursday!

 

Survey Says: Most Companies Still Rely on the Old-Fashioned Spreadsheet for Customer Analytics

describe the imageLast week, Richard J. Snow, VP and Research Director at research firm Ventana, published a blog post summarizing results from Transera-sponsored study “Next Generation Customer Analytics.” This followed a second Ventana research report around customer engagement, which looked at the various channels through which today’s customers interact with companies. Ventana’s research highlights an on-going discussion that we’ve been having on the Transera blog:

As companies begin using big data in customer engagement activities, they need to establish a unified view of customer interactions across these disparate systems. Companies that build and maintain such a unified view understand their customer care program results better, know what they are like to do business with, and as a result, delight their customers by delivering timely and personalized sales, service and support.

Data from Ventana’s study shows that companies:

  • Use up to 8 different channels to engage with their customers. 
  • Generate enormous volumes of customer data, much of it unstructured, including call recordings, text messages, chat and Web scripts, CRM notes and social media posts. 
  • Still analyze this rich and potentially valuable data with the common spreadsheet as their primary analytics tool! What????? Still???? 

The problems with this method are numerous. For one, as the study clearly points out, although spreadsheets meet individual users’ needs for ad-hoc analysis, they are inadequate for enterprise processes such as customer analytics. Most companies surveyed by Ventana said that using spreadsheets makes it difficult to produce accurate and timely customer analysis, not to mention the fact that most spreadsheet users are self-taught and thereby not experts in drawing conclusions from customer data.

The integral takeaway from the research study was a look at how analytics tools affect the customer. The objective of those insights is to know how best to implement new technologies, and in turn improve customer experience. Data from the study showed that:

  • 26% of companies surveyed utilize a specific customer analytics tool. Those businesses received 6 benefits on average.
  • The primary benefit achieved was better customer experience, which 55% achieved.
  • There were 7 additional benefits achieved. Companies achieved the following benefits nearly equally:
  1. Improved analysis of business needs (52%)
  2. Improved positioning of business units (51%)
  3. Enriched sharing capacities throughout business units (49%)
  4. Higher productivity (49%)
  5. Significantly more efficient business processes (47%)
  6. Quicker opportunity reactivity (47%)
  7. Superior competitive advantage (47%).
  • While the above are clear reasons for adjusting customer engagement strategy, the research, surprisingly, does not indicate that occurring. A mere 29% of study participants noted they would make any changes within the next year.

One would think that with the technological advances that we’ve made in the customer analytics arena, companies would realize the business value of using dedicated analytics tools to better know their customers. What’s holding them back? I invite you to take a look at Snow’s blog post to read his assessment of what it will take for companies to break away from dependence on spreadsheets and on to more customer-centric data analysis tools. 

Industry Perspectives: Customer Service Takes a Turn – Is this a Trend or Simply a Misstep?

describe the imageThis week’s Industry Perspectives comes from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which last week reported that online shopping satisfaction is at a 12-year low. Specifically, online shopping satisfaction dropped 4.9 percent to 78, the lowest score since 2001. 

But the drop can’t be too much of a surprise given the customer service nightmare that UPS and FedEx experienced this past holiday season. An influx of last-minute online shopping, paired with weather-induced shipping delays, resulted in many, many unhappy customers.

David VanAmburg, director of ACSI argued this incident was the root of the customer dissatisfaction. “People expect a great experience when they shop online. This time it didn’t happen and it became a splash of cold water in the face. But I think this is more of a glitch or a blip rather than a long-term trend that there’s something wrong with online retail.” 

Either way, this index report and infamous holiday season blunder are bound to have lasting impacts on the customer service industry as a whole. Here at Transera, we believe three factors will be key to preventing history from repeating itself:

  1. Understand that expectations of American consumers are simply higher than they used to be
  2. Break down the barriers that silo customer data so that you can understand customer expectations based on their behaviors
  3. Harness big data and predictive analytics to anticipate customer behaviors, expectations and intents so you can meet their needs in a timely fashion and keep them happy.
How do you think the American Customer Satisfaction Index will shape industry trends for 2014? Is big data the secret to customer service success? And are there any other underlying issues that are causing this dissatisfaction?

Industry Perspectives: Transforming the Customer Experience

describe the imageThis week, I’m continuing our Industry Perspectives series by highlighting Kate Leggett’s blog post, “Forrester’s Top Trends For Customer Service In 2014”. In the piece, Kate explains how the recent shifts in digital communication, mobility, and the acceleration of innovation are impacting customer expectations. The article highlights the top 12 customer service trends for 2014 that enterprises should pay attention to in order to ensure excellence in customer service.

 My favorites fell into two of her four categories:

  • Personalize Customer Service Interactions
  • Focus on Productivity for Optimized Service 

Here are some quotes from my favorite trends Kate lists.  If you are familiar with the product roadmap we’ve been working on for the past few years here at Transera, I think you will see why. 

Decisioning Will Power Offers, Actions and Connections

Kate says: “In 2014, customer service organizations will continue to investigate methods to recommend agent “next-best actions” during the service resolution process to offer service tailored to the customer’s unique needs and past purchase history. Predictive analytics will continue to be explored to recommend the right content to customers, and connect customers to agents in order to increase satisfaction and reduce overall costs.

Analytics Will Improve End-to-End Service

Kate says: Customer communication channels and touchpoints are managed by different organizations within a company… Forrester reports that 58% of companies inconsistently measure, or fail to measure their customer’s cross channel journey.

The Agent Experience is No Longer an Afterthought

Kate says: “Customer service agents, who use tens or even hundreds of disconnected applications during their workday, are demanding that their solutions be more usable, so that they can focus on solving the customer’s issues and delivering differentiated service.”

Customer Service Organizations Are Adopting SaaS Solutions for Agility

Kate says: “Forrester data shows that 15% of organizations have already replaced all or most of their on-premise customer service applications with software-as-a-service (SaaS)solutions; and 24% complement their existing solutions with SaaS. The main benefits of SaaS include increased business agility, and speed of deployment, and allowing for more focus on other projects critical to the success of the business.”

As the person leading product management here at Transera, I have been championing these very trends.  That is why our Customer Engagement Analytics offering:

  • Uses big data technologies and techniques to collect and connect all the data from the various contact center channels and systems
  • Applies predictive analytics to this data to determine how best to serve customers in their “context” based on their history and intent
  • Uses the analytics to match customers with the best agents and arming the agents with the data they need to serve the customer better
  • Is offered as a SaaS solution to minimize our customers’ capital outlay, reduce their time to value and accelerate their ROI

The next few years should be very exciting and innovative ones for the contact center industry. I’ve been looking forward to them.

Match-Making in the Contact Center

In honor of Valentine’s Day, last week, CMSWire posted an article written by Transera that likened customer relationships with personal relationships. The piece, How to Make Your Customers Love You This Valentine's Day, took three best-practice tips for happy, healthy, successful relationships and applied them to customer relationships in the contact center. We encourage you to give it a read, it’s interesting how well they apply, and the marketing team here at Transera had a blast writing it.

Just like in our personal relationships, there’s tremendous value to be had with the right “match,” and in this case, matching the right agent with the right customer. But obtaining this perfect match requires:

  • Investing time in agents
  • Looking at the customer holistically
  • Prioritizing the customer perspective

Big data has a central role to play in making the perfect customer / agent match. A recent Forrester report on the future of customer service revealed two key things:

  • Predictive analytics will play an integral role in helping companies recommend the right content to customers, and connect customers to the right agents in order to increase satisfaction.
  • Customer service organizations will be investigating in methods to recommend agent “next-best actions” during the service resolution process to offer service tailored to the customer’s unique needs and past purchase history.

Contact centers collect tons of data from their customers, but whether it’s the first time a customer picks up the phone, sends an email or interacts with a customer service representative online, this data is typically stored in disparate systems. Linking data across contact center and business systems, and then analyzing this data across interactions, allows contact centers to make intelligent decisions about each customer engagement, leading to happier customers and better, more rewarding relationships.

Industry Perspectives: Contact Centers or Customer Engagement Centers?

describe the imageThis week’s Industry Perspectives comes from a recent article by Patrick Budmar for Australia-based ARN. In his article, Businesses to turn to multi-channel customer engagement: Gartner, Patrick highlights Gartner’s recent prediction that companies will continue to transition into multi-channel customer engagement centers. We all knew this, but the big news is:

With this accelerated shift towards multi-channel interactions, Gartner expects organizations to prioritize a real-time single view of customers by consolidating data from social media, mobile, voice and email channels.

Gartner’s prediction reinforces what is at the core of Transera:

As companies provide multiple communication channels for more and varied customer interactions, they must grab the opportunity to analyze and unlock the rich customer insights that are inherit in the data these interactions create.

Companies will then be able to adapt their processes and agent behaviors to sync with the context of each customer interaction thus evolving their contact centers into true customer engagement centers.

The difference between the two?

  • Contact centers focus on operational efficiencies and metrics
  • Customer engagement centers have a deep understanding of their customers’ relationships with the company and their needs at any given time.

Customer engagement centers make a larger effort to consolidate data from each customer touch point to ensure a higher-quality customer journey, ultimately creating happier and more loyal customers.

How do you think the industry will respond to Gartner’s predictions? Are contact centers ready to make the leap? Are customer engagement centers the analytics-based solution we’ve all been waiting for?

Until next week!

Industry Perspectives: Big Data – Mainstream for Most

describe the imageThis week, Transera is continuing our new Industry Perspectives series with a recent piece by Louis Columbus, a contributor for Forbes. In the article, 2014: The Year Big Data Adoption Goes Mainstream In The Enterprise, Louis highlights IDG’s recently conducted study on big data and enterprise predictions for 2014. The most notable of results are that on average, enterprises will spend $8 million on big data-related initiatives this year. The study also mentioned that 70 percent of enterprise organizations have either deployed or are planning to deploy big data-related projects and programs.

If this study is indicative of one thing, it’s that big data is becoming mainstream in the enterprise. However, if this mass data collection is an increasingly common practice, why haven’t contact centers caught on yet? We have loads of data: event logs from IVRs, agent and customer interaction logs from ACDs, agent performance and customer data in CRMs and Order Entry systems, web click streams and a variety of other data types and sources. This data meets the required big data attributes of variety, velocity and volume; surely we can derive some value from it all.

Like Transera’s Arnab Mishra discussed in a previous blog post, customer rage and dissatisfaction are growing problems with a viable solution – big data. But it’s not just the collection of data that companies should be investing in, but also the ability to put that data into context in order to improve customer satisfaction and produce better business outcomes. When used correctly, big data equals big opportunities. By making sense of customer information in historical and real-time context, this information allows contact centers to make smart, business-focused decisions more than ever before.

What do you think? Is the mainstreaming of big data the solution that call centers have been waiting for? And what kinds of new business opportunities will this data collection present?

Transera’s Customer Engagement Analyzer Wins Product of the Year

describe the imageIt’s a great week for Transera, as our Customer Engagement Analyzer just won CUSTOMER Magazine’s Product of the Year Award. The award recognizes products and solutions that improve the customer experience in the call center, CRM and teleservices industries. 

The Transera Customer Engagement Analyzer is cloud-based software that allows contact centers to capture, organize and cross-analyze customer interactions. This gives companies insight into every stage of the customer journey, leading to more profitable outcomes and more loyal customers.

Winning this award signifies the importance of knocking down organizational and data silos, and emphasizing analytics-driven customer engagements. We hope organizations will soon replace their focus on operational efficiencies with a new appreciation for metrics that drive desired business outcomes. 

We couldn’t be more pleased about receiving this honor. Congratulations to our product management and engineering teams, and to our fellow award recipients. The official TMC CUSTOMER announcement of the winners can be found here.

Here’s to an exciting 2014.

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