This expansion is continuing. NICE recently announced the NICE Engage Platform. This consists of three components: an enhanced version of its call recording product, interaction analytics combined with quality monitoring, and a series of packaged business solutions focused on real-time customer-related activities.
The key new feature is enhanced call recording. NICE has rearchitected the hardware and software so that it streams all recordings in real time. This not only makes the recordings available faster, but the system is more scalable. Recordings can also be backed up to speed disaster recovery. The administration capabilities have also been redesigned for easier use. The platform integrates the new recording capability with new interaction analytics tools, which include a real-time speech analytics engine. The engine can analyze calls as they are captured and, based on predefined rules, raise alerts to help users take actions soon after the call takes place or even during it. A new user interface makes it easier for users to search calls for particular words or phrases and learn the root cause of a call through a point-and-click interface. These outputs can also be input to the quality monitoring process to highlight individual agents’ strengths and weaknesses.
The final component follows NICE’s trend to package applications that address common business issues. The key feature is that they work in real time. Calls of course happen in real time, and as several consumer research reports have highlighted, if things go wrong during a call addressing it immediately is better for the business. So NICE’s packaged products support fraud prevention, authentication, compliance, speech analytics, agent guidance and process automation. The first three use real-time word-spotting and rules to help prevent fraud and false caller authentication and improve compliance. This can speed call handling and enforce adherence to interaction-handling processes. Real-time speech analytics uses word-spotting and root-cause analysis to identify customer, product and services issues, which then can be handled by real-time guidance to agents. My research finds that many companies are slow to adopt customer analytics. Packages such as these can help companies overcome misgivings about the value of analytics and thus help drive adoption.
Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement shows that the telephone is still the most popular channel of communication supported by companies (94% support it), and 2 percent more expect to introduce it during the next 12 months. The same research shows that companies have diverse and sometimes conflicting priorities for improving engagement that range from improving the customer experience to winning more business to saving on operational costs through process improvement. I don’t believe companies can achieve any of these without a complete view of their customer interactions, and for optimal results that view has to be available in real time. Yet my benchmark research into next-generation customer analytics shows that only 25 percent of companies have even deployed a dedicated customer analytics system, let alone one that works in real time. Interactions, especially phone calls, contain a wealth of insights about customers, employees, products and a company’s processes.
I recommend that customer service organizations evaluate the NICE Engage platform to assist in interactions. Perhaps start would be by evaluating a package, which can showcase the value of real-time analytics.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director – Customer Engagement