This article originally appeared in the Sept. 2011 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions
CSI’s new Virtual Observer 4.0 (VO 4) features speech and enhanced dashboard analytics, integrated scoring, screen capture, performance and trending reports, along with e-learning and VO Live for real-time agent monitoring and assistance. VO 4 is also available via web browsers with all the same robust QM features as in the client-server version.
Customer Interaction Solutions recently interviewed Rich Marcia, CSI’s marketing director, on analytics issues. Here is the discussion:
CIS: What business needs are you seeing a growing demand to meet and why?
RM: I am seeing high demand for tools which focus on the customer experience (retention). It’s more and more vital to retain your current base versus spending tremendous monies chasing new business. There is also strong interest in supporting web chat as a channel. One of our customers, a large expo producer, has noticed a large percentage (20 percent) of customer traffic now flowing through that channel. A good many other customers say they can see a point where web chats will exist alongside recorded calls, screens and e-mails.
CIS: Individual customer interaction channels have been housed in silos, making it difficult to obtain 360-degree insights via the information they collect on which to perform analytics. What strategies do you recommend in response to break these down?
RM: It’s becoming more apparent that the applications we use today and in the future will be required to be open and to offer an API for easy access to data to enable realtime multichannel analytics, otherwise you will need to build a custom connector every time you’re looking to share data with other applications.
CIS: Firms appear to be more so in an “I-want-it-yesterday” mode when it comes to information, intelligence and insight. Are you seeing this and what are the drivers?
RM: This is most definitely the case. We’re now fashioning our performance reporting data as real-time, multi-level widgets which can be inserted into any users’ custom dashboard environment. The main drivers for this would be a need for speed in all areas of business analytics. The faster you get your data, the faster you can analyze it and make decisions based on it. We’ve equipped VO 4 to offer a wide range of dashboard analytics to meet this demand.
CIS: Social media has rapidly emerged as an important new channel. Discuss the benefits and the challenges in obtaining insights from the social channel via analytics.
RM: Many companies are now using social media to interact with customers. These channels are recognized as just another recordable interaction method such as by e-mail, chat, phone, SMS, Twitter (News - Alert) and Facebook. Catalog/retail customers are early adopters in bringing this into their recordable events stream.
CIS: Analytics solutions have been criticized for being expensive and cumbersome to install and maintain, limiting their potential use. Please discuss.
RM: Our performance reporting has always been included as part of our robust quality optimization suite. We’ve also included our trending reports, dashboard designer and real-time dashboard analytics with the core Virtual Observer solution. Customers who have added our Call Insight Speech Analytics module have also received real-time data reporting as part of the package. We don’t view analytics as an “optional” component. It’s a “must-have”. Our visual Phonetic Discovery report updates in real-time and displays phrases detected from the speech index. The larger the phrase, the more frequently it is found.
CIS: What new and enhanced multichannel analytics solutions have been developed in response to contact center requirements and which address these issues?
RM: Our road map for VO 4 and beyond is to incorporate aggressive quality optimization enhancements which are unique to our space and provide instant value to the contact center. We’ve completely rewritten our reporting and fine tuned our dashboard presentation to deliver a very clean multi-level summary of live real-time information. We’ll be taking advantage of the web environment to continue bringing enhancements and useful tools for our customer base.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi