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[June 25, 2004]

 

Q Intelligence Saves Cents, Using More Than Common Sense

 

BY DAVID R. BUTCHER


"Ah! That is clearly a metaphysical speculation, and like most metaphysical speculation has very little reference at all to the actual facts of real life, as we know them," Gwendolen glibly said in Oscar Wilde�s The Importance of Being Earnest, and oddly enough, such thinking can pertain to customer satisfaction and employee productivity in the telecommunications industry.

 

Most customers remain loyal patrons when their most recent experience with frontline employees was a good one, but many companies still rely on marketing gimmicks and incentives to bring customers back. Attention to customer satisfaction is contingent on the employees of these same businesses, but these employees frequently do not uphold to their distinction, and therefore do not attain the loyalty of their customers.

 

Here Wilde works, as gut instinct on the part of management is unreliable and simply theoretical as presumed customer satisfaction and employee productivity are often based also on limited observations and limited customer feedback. Many businesses don�t know exactly what the customers think about the company or product, as they also frequently don�t know the precise numbers involved in employee productivity, aside from occasional unorganized voice messages, �mystery shoppers� or letters of circumvention. Often, they simply speculate:

 

�I suppose our clients aren�t completely satisfied with being put on hold for 17 hours��

 

�Well, I guess Assistant Manager Peter Papadopoulos over in the Elephant Butte office may be calling customers �half-witted harlots� on the phone and going to the bathroom every 3 � minutes for who the hell knows (Smoke breaks? Irritable Bowel Syndrome?), when he should be doing...�

 

(And there is such a town in New Mexico, I swear.)

 

So how can customer-minded companies make Herculean business decisions if they don�t know their employee productivity or what the customers want, need or feel?

 

Don�t bother�it was rhetorical.

 

One option among others is Q Intelligence, San Diego-based Qualistics� new Web-hosted software solution that is meant to abet companies improve customer loyalty and increase profitability�through the performance of businesses� people. Q Intelligence is offered as a fully Web-hosted solution or as a licensable, resalable software platform. The Web-hosted solution is highly flexible and offers fast implementation across your enterprise.

 

This solution, called by its creators �the oracle of human insight,� is able to be used for a range of industries, from telecommunications to retail. It is now being determinedly pushed by its people for use within the telecommunications industry. Its raison d'etre is to enable large companies to monitor employee performance and customer satisfaction on an hourly continuance. Q Intelligence offers in real time which customers are dissatisfied, why they are dissatisfied and which representative was involved in the transaction. This hour-to-hour tracking affords companies to learn immediately from the customer, rather than wait until the end of the year or every couple of months for potential brainstorming of effective actions for desired results.

           

When used in the retail industry, Q Intelligence can collect customer feedback (about the company, product, service, etc) from virtually any touch point, but the two primary feedback collection channels are an invitation to take a survey, offered through the inbound call screener, and an invitation to take a survey offered through an automated outbound call to the customer following his or her interaction. The responses are organized and quickly acquiesced so as management may rapidly and efficiently acquire the information and take action.

 

The premise, when executed for telecom, is facile. The software uploads the data collection daily via outbound IDR with the telephone number being the common data point, tracking customers individually in real time. Then the information is turned over to the company for deployment of action. And the phone numbers are kept secure and confidential, according to John Potenza, Qualistics founder and CEO, when asked out of fearful skepticism (and possible paranoia) after having recently re-watched Francis Ford Coppola�s 1974 gem, The Conversation.

 

To stay on track, however, the key word here is �action.� Using an Oracle database platform and Web portals to provide services, Q Intelligence can deliver specific and actionable business intelligence across organizations for proactive alterations or plenary changes. The solution integrates database, IDR and Internet in replacing technology for capital, without the need for hardware or software. It can effectively recover dissatisfied customers and categorize incoming voice messages of complaints, track performance trends on every organizational level down to individual employees, determine competitive advantages and disadvantages of  products/services and focus on the service issues that have the greatest impact on profitability. It daily allows management to know the faults of managing branches. Along with the data Q Intelligence gathers, it incorporates a sophisticated business intelligence engine to ensure the right information is sent to the people who need it most. Based on user defined thresholds, the system will automatically send the appropriate:

  • Improvement strategies;

  • Tips;

  • Best Practices;

  • Congratulatory letters and

  • Training modules

 

Domino�s Pizza uses Q Intelligence to monitor the customer service provided by its frontline people at 7,300 locations around the world. And BellSouth monitors and improves its customer service provided by more than 25,000 field service technicians and call center representatives everyday.

 

According to Qualistics, using its solutions will benefit company users with:

  • Long-lasting customer loyalty;

  • Performance thresholds identify opportunities;

  • Persistent customer interaction;

  • Web-based global accessibility;

  • Instant reporting capabilities;

  • Immediate return on investment (ROI);

  • Nothing to setup, no waiting for IT;

  • No "shrink wrap" software to install;

  • No special hardware required and

  • Convenient central data storage.

Qualistics, a private company formerly known as Survey Express, has been providing products and services to help companies improve customer loyalty through its people since 1997, employing between 40 and 45 in San Diego. Presently, it ameliorates between 70 and 75 mid- to large-sized company clients. With Q Intelligence, the company offers to management a substantial and concrete solution, which is more than metaphysical speculation.

 

 

David R. Butcher is the Assistant Editor for TMC's Customer Inter@ction Solutions Magazine.

 


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