Verint is a well-established vendor of workforce optimization systems. It recently acquired KANA Software, as I discussed, which enabled Verint to move further into the customer engagement market. Now Verint has combined the two companies’ range of analytics products to create Verint Engagement Analytics.
The new product supports a four-stage process to understand customers’ preferences and engage them. It begins with data capture, using tools to address both structured and unstructured data. It can thus capture transactional data such as is included in CRM and ERP systems and billing records and combine it with records of interactions such as telephone calls, emails, customer portal chats, social media and web-based self-service which are major channels found used in over half of organizations today per our next generation customer engagement benchmark research. The second step is to analyze all available customer-related data and create a complete picture of their activities. The product includes all the core capabilities that most users expect of analytics, including the ability to visualize outputs in user-defined formats, and it also has some advanced capabilities. It can produce detailed customer analysis that includes a “customer health score,” which can show key information about a customer in a single graphic, such as type of customer (bronze, silver, gold, platinum; corporate or consumer), products purchased, status, spend, current sentiment level and change in spending patterns. Such graphics enable users to quickly identify issues that might need addressing. The analytics includes predictive capabilities that can help identify potential issues or anticipate behaviors that the company might want to address before they happen, such as taking action to retain an unhappy customer. Another capability can produce what Verint terms contextual metrics and KPIs, which in simple terms means that the product uses advanced algorithms to automate the production of emerging customer-related metrics such as customer effort and net promoter scores.
Yet another capability combines transaction and interaction data to produce journey maps that show not only how customers use and move across channels but also the business outcomes of those journeys; for example, it might show that when customers start off on the website but end up use the IVR systems, a decrease in customer satisfaction scores is likely. Our benchmark research into customer relationship maturity finds that about two-thirds of customer-focused companies use journey maps to improve interaction-handling processes and the customer experience. The ability to link journeys to business outcomes can help companies further optimize both aspects of customer service and provide an opportunity to rethink how they interact with customers and prospects.
The last two steps take Verint Engagement Analytics into performance management. The products “plan” process uses outputs from the analytics to identify actions to improve performance by changing strategy and applying information-driven planning and change management. The final step – engage – supports sharing the information across the organization, pinpointing process and training changes and enabling new ways of thinking about how to engage with customers to provide better service and align the customer experience with the company’s brand messages.
As is common these days with much new software, Engagement Analytics is available through cloud computing, and Verint offers services to help customers get up and running easily.
Our research into next-generation customer engagement finds that organizations are increasingly focusing on the customer experience that is found in almost three quarters of organizations while still keeping a careful eye on costs. The idea that “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” has been around for a long time, and I believe it applies to customer experience – if you don’t know your customers and understand your relationship with them, how can you provide superior customer engagement? To gain a complete picture, you have to use all available data, analyze it in as many ways as possible and visualize the outputs in ways that make it intuitive for users to grasp. Verint Engagement Analytics enables these activities, so I recommend that companies evaluate how it could help them improve their efficiency and effectiveness in engaging with customers.
VP & Research Director – Customer Experience