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Creating a positive customer experience

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Coveo federates content, which is different from federated searches. "Most systems have some kind of search built into them," continues Berry. "Federated search combines answers from all the different search engines, but does not understand the content." With federated content, the information can be ranked for relevance, normalized, and then analytics can be run against it. In addition, federating content allows a more effective expertise location capability, because it is based on a broad view of corporate knowledge rather than on a single profile.

Real-time analysis

Routing customers properly and providing them with the needed information are core actions, but rigorous analyses are needed to monitor customer satisfaction and other performance measures. Most contact centers monitor such measures as wait time, first call resolution (FCR) percentages and call time, as well as conducting brief surveys of customer satisfaction. As important as those metrics are, they are retrospective measures and do not address problems in real time.

Only recently have real-time analytics become feasible, especially in the area of speech analytics. Interactive Intelligence provides a contact center platform that offers real-time speech analytics that allows supervisors to be alerted about problem calls and address them in progress. "The challenge in a contact center is not that there is too little information but that there is too much," says Joe Staples, chief marketing officer of Interactive Intelligence. "How can a supervisor know which call needs immediate attention among all the agents who are speaking to customers at any given time?"

Interaction Analyzer, the Interactive Intelligence speech analytics application, spots selected key words that indicate a problem during a call, such as "cancel my order," or the phrase, "you people," which is rarely said as a compliment. "These alerts are projected onto the supervisor's screen," says Staples, "and for hot words spoken that are strongly negative, the supervisor can ‘whisper coach' the CSR through the headset to provide guidance during the call."

Contact centers are now being seen as not just a cost center but as a way to differentiate a company's products through better customer service. "In the past, cutting call time in half might have been the goal, supposedly to reduce costs," observes Staples, "but if doing so meant the customer had to call back and in addition was annoyed and frustrated, the larger purpose was not achieved."

Since preferences vary by age and other demographics, the most critical aspect from a customer experience viewpoint is to offer interaction options across multiple channels, while integrating records from all the interactions. "Telephone is still the preferred channel overall," Staples explains, "but depending on the age group and the product in question, other channels may be more appealing."

Monitoring social media presents special challenges, but is particularly important given its fast-growing role in customer interactions. According to Dimension Data, fewer than 10 percent of companies even measure the cost and time to support social media. Products from companies such as Medallia and Clarabridge capture and report on review websites and text messages, as well as from traditional sources such as contact centers. It will become increasingly important for organizations to not only capture that information but also integrate it effectively with input from traditional channels.

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