Verint is an established vendor of workforce optimization, advanced analytics and self-service products for customer experience management. Recently it announced its acquisition of Contact Solutions, whose products complement Verint’s. The acquisition adds analytics capabilities and fraud detection software, both of Verint will incorporate into its existing products. Contact Solutions also brings to the merger IVR and My:Time, two innovative products that add to Verint’s portfolio for customer self-service.
Initially I wondered why Verint would want Contact Solutions’ IVR; after all, it is commonly thought that customers hate IVR and don’t want to use it. I myself don’t believe that customers hate IVR per se but rather hate the way companies set it up. Here the Contact Solutions product can help. It is smart in the sense that it can access information about callers’ previous interactions with IVR and modify how it handles a new interaction. For example, it can retrieve a caller’s preferred language from a CRM system and present the IVR options in that language. For callers who often ask the same question, it can automatically present that information before offering a menu; for example, it can present the balance of the caller’s account if he or she usually asks for it. The result is that menus and information can be personalized to each caller, likely improving the experience.
My:Time allows customers to engage with companies on any mobile device and switch between devices without disruption, but it does more than that. The customer journey is a hot topic that tracks how customers move across channels in dealing with the company. My:Time makes this effort seamless. For example, a customer might start by searching for a product on the company’s website but not complete a purchase. My:Time captures this encounter and posts it to a log stored in the cloud. If the customer subsequently starts looking for the product again using the company’s mobile app, My:Time retrieves the stored information and begins the dialogue at the point it was broken off. The same is true if the customer still cannot complete the purchase in the mobile app and calls the contact center. My:Time picks up the dialogue where it finished and enables the agent to complete the interaction without having to backtrack over information the customer has already entered. In this way, customers can get an omnichannel experience that crosses from one channel to another.
Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement confirms what everyone is talking about: The top priorities for almost three-quarters of companies are to improve the customer experience (74%) and improve customer service (70%). It is evident that many consumers are going digital and would rather resolve their own issues using their mobile devices than call a contact center. However, the reality is that a large number of interactions will spread over time and across several dialogues, on multiple devices, and a substantial percentage will end up with the customer calling the contact center. As I remarked earlier, consumers don’t simply hate IVR, but most of us hate having to repeat information as we change devices or are passed between agents. My:Time helps organizations overcome this challenge. I recommend that companies assess how it, in conjunction with Verint’s other products, can help them produce true omnichannel customer experiences.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director