Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Barriers to Omnichannel Customer Communications

Posted by Richard Snow on Jun 11, 2013 10:52:38 AM

In never ceases to amaze me, the number of new terms and acronyms the contact center market generates. Just as everyone is getting used to the fact that customers interact with companies through multiple communication channels (multichannel for short), someone invents the term omnichannel and we all have to get our heads around what this means. My research into the contact center in the cloud shows that companies now support on average nearly five communication channels, and although the traditional channels are still the most common, as the chart shows, there are signs that new channels such as chat (used by 37%), social media (29%), text messaging (22%) and video (5%) are on the increase.

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Topics: Call Center, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Contact Center, CRM, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Echopass, Enghouse interactive, Five9, Interactive Intelligence, LiveOps, Mobile Apps, NewVoicemedia, Operational Performance, Sales Performance, Social CRM, Social Media, Unified Communications, Voice of the Customer, Customer Experience, Analytics

Interactive Intelligence Reveals Ambitious Plans for Customer Service

Posted by Richard Snow on May 20, 2013 10:08:58 AM

At its recent user conference, Interactions 2013, Interactive Intelligence (Nasdqaq: ININ) showcased its extensive product portfolio and its ambitious plans to improve the products both technically and functionally. I have written more than once about the complexities of building a contact center, which is getting even more complex as companies begin to support more channels of interaction as inbound ones are distributed around the organization including sales (59%), marketing (46%) and CRM team (41%) and distribute to many different contact center sites according to our customer relationship maturity research. To keep up with developments, I divide contact center systems and applications into five groups:

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Call Center, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Feedback Management, Customer Service, Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Mobile Apps, Operational Performance, Sales Performance, Self-service, Social CRM, Social Media, Speech Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Voice of the Customer, Workforce Force Optimization, Customer Experience, Analytics

Astute Solutions Supports Integrated Approach to CRM

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 5, 2013 11:53:52 AM

Like all analysts, I have a series of classifications to help group together vendors with similar capabilities. My challenge is to create categories that align with most users’ expectations so I don’t confuse readers when I define which category a vendor falls into. My “big five” are WFO or agent performance management (quality monitoring, workforce management, training and coaching, remuneration, and agent-related analytics); contact center infrastructure, including cloud-based systems (multichannel interaction management, routing, CTI, and rerecording); CRM (marketing, sales and customer service); customer experience management (agent desktop, self-service, customer feedback management, knowledge management); and contact center and customer analytics (transactional, speech, text, event, process, multichannel, predictive and big data). Occasionally a vendor comes along that defies these classifications. Astute Solutions is one such. It describes itself as providing “best-of-breed CRM Customer Service, Social CRM, Contact Center, IP Communications, Knowledge Management, Mobile, and Self-Service solutions specifically designed for enabling customer-centric business strategies” – quite a mouthful.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Call Center, Cloud Computing, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Feedback Management, Customer Service, Interactive Intelligence, Mobile Apps, Operational Performance, Self-service, Social CRM, Social Media, Unified Communications, Voice of the Customer, Customer Experience, Analytics

Interactive Intelligence Embraces Business Process Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Aug 22, 2012 11:11:39 AM

The product page for Interactive Intelligence highlights what the company is best known for – IP-based business communications. This image is further strengthened by its flagship Customer Interaction Center platform, which offers organizations a fully featured multimedia contact center in the cloud. This offering includes multimedia communications in the cloud along with many of the capabilities that Ventana Research terms agent performance management. However, the company also offers a third set of products, which support business process automation. On first examination these seem somewhat tangential to the other products, but my research into customer relationship maturity shows the product sets are likely to converge more and more as organizations address the challenges of providing customers with excellent experiences.

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Topics: Call Center, Cloud Computing, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Feedback Management, Customer Service, Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Speech Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Voice of the Customer, Workforce Force Optimization, Customer Experience, Analytics

Salesforce.com Advances Customer Interaction

Posted by Richard Snow on Aug 2, 2012 10:53:03 AM

Since it was founded in 1999, salesforce.com has been driving other vendors and end-user organizations to rethink how they supply and purchase software. The company has grown from being a supplier of CRM in the cloud to a vendor with diverse offerings that include a development platform, an app exchange, platforms that support marketing, sales and customer service, knowledge management, desktop technology, collaboration, website development, social media support and analytics. Along the way it has also become a powerful marketing machine – which sometimes gets in the way of understanding just what its products do and don’t do, and where they all fit. This obfuscation also extends to its extensive range of partners, where again it is sometimes hard to know who it deals with and how.

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Topics: Business Collaboration, Call Center, Cisco, Cloud Computing, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Data Management, Customer Service, Interactive Intelligence, LiveOps, NewVoicemedia, Salesforce.com, Social CRM, Social Media, Speech Analytics, Text Analytics, Vocalcom, Voice of the Customer, Customer Experience, Analytics