Optimizing The Customer Experience

by Sohini Bagchi    May 05, 2015

anil

Businesses across the globe are constantly refining their customer engagement strategies to ensure that customer experiences are beyond compare. This is especially true in a digital-mobile era, when brands are looking at ‘optimization’ or in other words strategic refinement of customer engagement by leveraging insights derived from data. Verint Systems, a leading customer engagement and optimization firm is focusing on enabling organizations to enrich customer interactions, improve processes and optimize their workforce. In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Anil Chawla, Managing Director, EIS, Verint Systems throws light on customer experience and its importance and explains how the company is innovating in this area.

What is the difference between customer experience and customer engagement in general. Why is customer experience becoming a must for companies to win over competition?

Given their close co-relation with each other, there is a very thin line of difference between the definitions for customer experience and customer engagement. Customer engagement encompasses an ongoing relationship with a product or brand, as opposed to customer experience which is measurable only at a single point in time.

Customer engagement is a more proactive approach as compared to customer experience which can be measured or understood only post the interaction has taken place. Companies don’t have to wait for a customer to act before they engage—they can reach out to consumers to inspire purchases, build brand recognition, solicit feedback, and gather information.  The idea is to build an ongoing dialog with customers that engender familiarity and some level of emotional attachment to a brand, product, or service. Given that customer engagement describes the level of interaction that individual consumers have, either directly or indirectly, with a particular company or brand over time, this is what is indispensable for companies to win over competition today.

The term includes all of the interactions that occur along the customer journey, whether those “touches” happen before, during, or after a transaction, and whether they occur by phone, online, or in person. It can also include customer interactions that may be independent of specific transactions, such as general endorsements or criticisms in social media or comments posted on review sites.

Tell us about your latest customer optimization suite? Which verticals are you targeting with this solution?

As a leading provider of Actionable Intelligence solutions, Verint offers a comprehensive portfolio of software and services for customer engagement optimization. Its end-to-end suite helps organizations optimize its workforce, improve enterprise processes, and enrich customer interactions. Verint Customer Engagement Optimization brings together Verint’s proven workforce optimization and customer analytics solutions with advanced customer capabilities from KANA, part of Verint. 

This broad array of functionality includes voice recording, voice biometrics, quality monitoring, speech analytics, text analytics, enterprise feedback management, engagement analytics, workforce management, performance management, desktop and process analytics, elearning and coaching, along with compelling multichannel customer service solutions, such as agent  desktop, case management, knowledge management, and email, live chat, Web self-service, experience analytics, experience community, and social media response management.

Verint is looking at targeting consulting, educational, professional, support and implementation services across Banking, Financial, Telecom, BPO, Retail and E Commerce sectors through their customer optimisation suite of solutions.

You have been mentioning terms such as Voice of Customer Analytics and Enterprise Workforce Optimization. Can you explain these terms in greater details? Why are these so important for today’s organizations.

Customer Engagement Optimization consists of both Voice of Customer Analytics and Enterprise Workforce Optimization. Voice of Customer Analytics helps organizations capture customer interactions, feedback, and journeys across multiple channels; analyze and interpret them in the context of business objectives; and respond more effectively to customer, business, and market demands. With these solutions, organizations can deliver consistent, contextual, and personalized customer experiences while providing insight for enhancing enterprise performance, customer and employee engagement, and consumer loyalty.

our Enterprise Workforce Optimization (WFO) solutions help organizations use the voice of the customer to drive operational excellence. Organizations around the globe rely on Verint’s customer-centric workforce optimization solutions to help them align their business processes around their customers’ wants and needs.  In doing so, enterprises can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty—while reducing operating costs, identifying revenue opportunities and competitive advantages, and improving performance and profitability

Both exists in a spectrum of experiences and is truly customer driven. It helps organizations transform the customer experience by delivering consistent, contextual, and personalized experiences that count, no matter which channels customers use to engage. It helps them broaden their focus from delivering single-point-in-time customer experiences to driving customer engagement, loyalty—and ultimately—revenue.

 Last year Verint acquired Kana Software. What is the growth strategy behind the same? What were the benefits post acquisition?

 Customer expectations have increased dramatically. KANA Enterprise delivers a unified and omnichannel customer service platform to fully meet the demands of the modern customer. The idea behind the acquisition is to form a unique and revolutionary combination that would extend Verint’s Actionable Intelligence strategy to customers across the globe. The collective solutions from Verint and KANA would enable organizations worldwide to implement a single-vendor suite to help transform customer engagement.

The acquisition has revolutionized customer engagement and empowered organizations to enhance customer loyalty, maximize revenue, reduce operational costs and mitigate risk. KANA has brought its approximately 900 global customers to the greater Verint organization, which already has the benefit of more than 10,000 customers worldwide. The combined customer base, which includes some shared customers, can benefit from a broader, complementary solution set from a single global provider.