Earlier this year I wrote that Verint Systems, which makes workforce optimization and analytics products for customer engagement, has changed its focus from individual product capabilities to packaged business solutions that include specifically configured versions of its products. The first of those was real-time personalized guidance; it uses several of the company’s Impact 360 workforce optimization products to guide agents in real time as they handle customer interactions. I wrote at the time I was expecting more of these from Verint, and now it has brought out three additional solutions, which I learned about during a recent briefing.
One is call avoidance. It targets three basic issues for any company providing customer service: to identify why callers call the contact center, why self-service fails to resolve issues and why there are repeat calls. Verint enables companies to produce analysis from which to develop action plans that address each of these; the goal is to have fewer calls to the contact center. A second is cost-to-serve; it focuses on understanding why customers are calling, which types of calls take the longest to handle and which agents struggle with certain types of calls or sections of a call, and it can route calls on critical subjects to a designated inbox. This analysis also enables companies to create action plans that speed up the delivery and handling of calls. The third is service recovery; it focuses on understanding the reasons for customer churn and developing action plans to prevent customers from terminating engagements.
Each of these packages uses a combination of products, at the heart of which is analytics, including speech and text analytics; they also include quality monitoring and predefined reports and analysis that focus on the specific business issue. Verint’s consulting services help companies set up the solutions, analyze the results and decide on action plans.
My research into agent desktop systems shows that two of the top challenges companies face as they try to improve customer service relate to groups operating in isolation and lacking consistent metrics across lines of business and processes. High on the list is that customer-facing activities, and for that matter processes, are not coordinated. The business impact solutions from Verint target such issues. They analyze data across systems, and thus processes, and create visibility into what is happening in critical business areas. Call avoidance, reducing cost-to-serve and reducing customer churn are three of the longest-standing challenges. Because they span lines of business, processes and systems, companies require a combination of systems to deliver the analysis and outcomes they are looking for. Verint is one of a few vendors that have a suite of programs that crosses these boundaries, and so it has an opportunity to take advantage of these needs; the company plans to deliver more solutions-oriented products in the next few years.
During the same briefing I learned how Verint is using a similar approach of combining products to address two other business issues: complaints and compliance. Its product for complaint-handling can find customer complaints made in the form of a survey or another written document and trigger an alert; using its text analytics the company can further understand what the customer is complaining about, and applying its speech analytics can determine whether customers are referring to the issue during phone calls. The combined analysis can be used to trigger appropriate action, which might include using the Verint desktop and process analytics to see how agents are handling complaint calls and in turn identify changes to processes and the desktop system. The compliance solution uses a similar approach but begins with speech analytics to identify noncompliance issues; this analysis also can lead to process and desktop changes, or involve training staff in dealing with certain call types, regardless of where the person sits in the organization.
All of these developments demonstrate that Verint is addressing one of its key issues. Much of its portfolio has been created through acquisitions, and for years it has faced the challenge of integrating these so they can address cross-functional issues. Each of these solutions does this and turns having a diverse set of products into a strength for helping optimize customer relationships.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director