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Transforming the Enterprise and Call Center with Intelligent Automation (IA)

5 Capabilities Intelligent Automation (IA) Solutions Must Deliver to Align with Customer Demands

We live in a world that is connected, mobile and demanding. Enterprises must use Intelligent Automation to gain a better understanding of their customers’ demands, behavior and sentiment. This is essential to successfully manage the customer experience. Especially when today’s customers have other options, high expectations, and access to multiple channels of engagement.

Intelligent Automation Solutions

Managing big data resulting from everyday business with customers, employees and internal activities is another major challenge. It is almost impossible to analyze big data and produce actionable knowledge using manual methods. Other challenges include the lack of unification among enterprise systems and the absence of business process automation.  Deficiencies in producing real-time and holistic views of the overall enterprise operation pose a final challenge.

Conventional workforce optimization (WFO) solutions are not adequate since they do not make use of intelligence-based automation. They use an “inside-out” approach that focuses on aligning customer service with internal business processes.  IA-driven solutions use an “outside-in” approach that aligns business processes with customer demands.

CXM Driven by Intelligent Automation

To cost-effectively deploy IA solutions to most functions of an enterprise, solutions should offer 5 major, generic capabilities:

Capture

Access, capture and record data, media and KPIs from every entity engaged in enterprise functions. This includes data and media from telecom platforms, service request routing, customer engagement, multichannel interactions, transactions, IoT devices, CRMs, and ERPs.

Unify

Manage, normalize, convert, categorize, and prepare the captured data for the next steps of processing and analysis.

Analyze

Multichannel and cross-channel analytics use the unified datato produce actionable knowledge and insightful trends.

Decide & Learn

Rule-based or AI-driven decision-making and learning machines use the actionable knowledge and trends to automatically determine next best steps and actions.

Act

Automatically launch the best actions, reports and notifications determined by the decision-making machines.

The advantage of such capabilities is that they can intelligently automate enterprise and contact center functions related to both customer experience management (CXM) and business process automation.

Empowering enterprises to cost effectively and intelligently automate and unify customer experience management and business processes.

Organizations can intelligently automate the entire CXM process and customer journey before, during and after service. This includes customer service routing, engagement, processing and feedback management. During engagement, IA drives other applications such as automated QA and compliance management. IA also impacts voice and text-based Intelligent Virtual Agent as well as intelligence-based voice applications such as fraud protection and discovery of sentiment. Business process automation is enabled through intelligent robotic process automation, unification and process automation among dispersed enterprise systems engaged in delivering certain enterprise functions.

Deployment of and transition to Intelligent Automation solutions requires customer assistance programs to assure success and a rapid return on investment. Suppliers of Intelligent Automation solutions should offer customer-centric programs like consultations and proofs of concept.  Intuitive tools that help customers map their business processes to IA solution configurations should also be made available. Solutions offered as both on-premise software or SaaS make acquisition easier and help organizations meet their business and financial requirements.

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Data Unification – Don’t Confuse Your Customers

Data unification

Data unification helps customers transact business on the first contact.

The Data Unification Dilemma

Although there may be many internal discussions about enterprise-wide data unification, putting it into real-world practice is often neglected. In the new “age” of customer service, the one thing a company would never intentionally do is confuse and frustrate their customers. Yet time and time again, there are horror stories of customers interacting or calling into a company for service, support, or even to purchase, only to become a victim of the telephone hold and transfer syndrome. More often than not, the calling customer will have to repeat their identity and reasons for calling to every new call representative they are transferred too.

This problem is endemic in many organizations. Reasons for its existence are many:

  • Lack of call representative training
  • Poor or inadequate processes and workflows
  • Data silos where information is not shared or available to complete a customer transaction

Data Unification and Big Data

Today’s enterprises may utilize multi-site owned or outsourced contact centers. Each center can use multi-vendor and different PBX, ACD, Workforce Optimization (WFO), CRM or other enterprise platforms. All are confronted with the management of large quantities of “big data”. The challenge is collecting isolated data from multiple sites and platforms. The aggregation, normalization, data unification, and retrieving actionable knowledge – then enables them to act in real time to maintain the expected performance and the availability of the right skilled representatives, with the right expertise to assist their customers on the first contact.

Ripple Effect

Centralizing the presentation, and normalizing and analyzing the data and information regardless of the type of the platform, significantly reduces the time, effort, workload, training, costs, delays and human errors. Operating a business with data silos has many ripple effects. The lack of data unification leads to repeat callers who may get tired of being on hold and transferred, angry customers, highly stressed call representatives, customer defections and loss of business and revenues.

A way to solve the data silo effect, is the data unification across multiple platforms, devices, and platforms. OnviSource offers a solution called Universa™ that can normalize, centralize and contain the data for a unified view of the entire operation across multiple platforms and sites. It can also enable automated evaluation of operational performance and launch of actions such as alerts.

Universa can greatly benefit any company confronted with dispersed data silos by reducing costs and time-to-action, eliminating manual work, and accurately responding to real time events that can lead to a far better customer experience.

Customer Experience Data Silos Demystified

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Cross-Channel Analytics Transforms the Enterprise

Cross-Channel Analytics Transforms the Enterprise

Capturing and analyzing 100% of the customer experience at every touch point determines the alignment and the optimization necessary to significantly improve customer satisfaction.

Cross-channel Analytics Delivers Customer Engagement Management

OnviSource recently announced a new cross-channel analytics, enterprise-wide solution called OnVision. OnVision leverages an entire suite of workforce optimization (WFO) products to deliver insightful information and trend analysis related to customer interactions and experience across all channels and customer touch points.

“Inside-out” versus “Outside-in”

WFO is traditionally used as an “inside-out” approach to optimize the performance of the workforce within an enterprise in order to improve customer satisfaction. Today’s market is rapidly transforming to an “outside-in” method with first capturing and analyzing 100% of customer experience at every touch point. This determines the alignment and the optimization that is necessary to significantly improve customer satisfaction, and resulting in customer retention, growth, new revenues and favorable branding.

The transition of WFO to this new approach, called Customer Experience Management (CXM), requires an omni-channel method to capture relevant customer experience data from every channel; including calls, emails, chats, desktop transactions, customer surveys and social media. However, capturing 100% of information from all channels can produce a massive amount of data, or Big Data.

What Cross-channel Analytics can do for You

Cross-channel analytics can be leveraged in many ways including looking for data on a specific “subject” you want information on, to providing important data on events or issues you are not even aware of yet. For example, a customer may contact your business from multiple channels before making a purchase. They may fill out an online form, call for information, or send an email inquiry. All of these unique interaction touch points can identify and assist the customer. Unfortunately, the same customer often gets conflicting information, even pricing, depending on which channel they contacted. OnVision can dramatically improve the overall messaging and alignment for customer engagement.

Another example, this time from a corporate view, where a bank issues a new credit card. The bank wants to understand customer sentiment regarding the credit card launch from multiple sources such as social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), call center inquiries, email, text, and chat feedback. OnVision can combine all of the multi-channel analytics into a subject search, in this case, the credit card, and automatically report on the campaign from all of the different channels into one combined report. OnVision can also provide “proximity” searches such as “I like this credit card”, or “this is not a good credit card offer”, “I hate this credit card”, into a cross-channel analytics report.

Often businesses are not even aware of what they need to change to improve operations, customer service, products or processes. OnVision can discover as yet unknown issues or trends. For example, a sudden spike in complaints about a new product, across multi-channels, that might not have triggered an alert if they were only identified coming from one channel. Applying cross-channel analytics gives you trending and predictive analytics and a universal view of the entire enterprise.

The multi-channel analytics generates a huge amount of data. OnVision greatly assists managing the big data. It automatically analyzes the captured data from each channel and produces channel-dependent actionable knowledge. OnVision consolidates and filters customer interaction data across the entire enterprise into seamless, usable and actionable data. It is the next step in the evolution of workforce optimization and big data management, providing a customer centric approach to customer loyalty and improved satisfaction. OnVision fulfills the need for a solution in which WFO and omni-channel analytics are unified with big data management techniques. This provides a true customer experience management, or the next generation WFO, in a universal view.
Connections Magazine – Transforming WFO into CEM 

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The Workforce Optimization Evolution

Using WFO, CEM and Big Data Management to create unified, cohesive actionable knowledge.

Using Workforce Optimization, Customer Engagement Management and Big Data Management to create unified, cohesive actionable knowledge.

Why We Need the Unification of Workforce Optimization and Big Data Management

Workforce Optimization (WFO) has experienced rapid evolution in both the market demands and the solutions that responded to those demands. The evolution started with enterprises recording telephone calls with their customers for the purpose of record keeping. Then enterprises decided to gain some additional benefits from the recorded calls by sampling some of them and conducting manual QA in order to discover and improve their agent performance and/or better manage their liabilities.

Soon it became obvious that sampling is inadequate in discovering valuable information needed to effectively optimize the customer interactions, and 100% of calls needed to be monitored and scored. This however, required a large number of quality assurance (QA) personnel in order to conduct QA for all recorded calls, leading to a financially impractical proposition. This is when speech analytics solutions came to the rescue by automating the QA process for all recorded calls.

While the industry resolved one major problem, the next challenge was created when customers, in addition to interacting with enterprises through calls, started using other channels and touch points such as desktop transactions, emails, chat, and later social media. This necessitated the enterprises to capture all interactions from all channels, resulting in massive amounts of data being captured on a daily basis. This created yet another colossal challenge, namely, Big Data Management. This phenomenal growth also made enterprises realize that they needed to transform their definition of workforce optimization from agent transaction optimization, to a holistic and multi-channel Customer Experience Management (CEM).

The big data management challenge was partially mitigated by the creation of additional analytics solutions. These solutions addressed desktop screens and a variety of text resulting from emails, chat, social media contents, customer surveys, and structured or non-structured customer documents. Therefore, the market promoted omni-channel analytics as a pioneering solution to capture massive amounts of data from multiple customer touch points, analyze and transform the big data into actionable knowledge for each of the customer touch points.

Though this was great progress in converting enormous amounts of data to actionable knowledge. The omni-channel analytics solution offered actionable knowledge for each individual channel deposited in their own data bases.  However, another solution was still required to create a single and holistic view of the actionable knowledge for specific subject(s) across all channels, and across all customer touch points, by automatically analyzing the results of all omni-channel analytics and discover, aggregate, unify and present a universal actionable knowledge. The combination resulted in a solution in which the workforce optimization and omni-channel analytics were unified with big data management techniques, providing a true Customer Experience Management, or the next generation workforce optimization.

WFO_BDM_2

 

“81% of Enterprises Are Relying On Analytics To Gain Greater Customer Insights” – Forbes/Tech
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Customer Experience Predictions for 2016

Predicting the Future of Customer Service

One business prediction – you will lose customers to the competition if you can not provide a consistent and good customer experience.

Customer Experience Strategies

Many organizations are currently reviewing and planning corporate customer experience strategies and activities for 2016. As you review current processes and procedures and the things you would like to accomplish, looking into the crystal ball and predicting what the future may bring can’t hurt your bottom line.

One clear prediction for all organizations concerns the overall customer experience and how well your customers perceive their interactions with your company. According to Accenture’s 10th Annual Global Consumer Pulse Research, $1.6 trillion is lost by companies that disappoint customers with poor experiences. It’s a nearly 30% increase in the money up for grabs over the last five years as customers switch companies due to a poor customer experience.

Customers are savvy buyers. They demand excellent service from you no matter whom they interact with or how – by phone, chat session, or email.  They view every contact point as one company and expect a consistent experience. And it is no longer just a matter of how much something costs. Consumers, especially B2B, are more than willing to pay a small premium for a great customer experience that is handled cheerfully and efficiently.

Competitive Edge

If price is not always the winning factor, what else can distinguish your company from the competition? The competitive edge is found in delivering a great customer experience. This has to be an overall effort beginning with the pre-sale and continuing throughout the life of the customer relationship. When employees put the customer first, they create goodwill and a true partner relationship. A satisfied customer will continue to use your services and products if they are met with a familiar and pleasant attitude. More than likely, they will even forgive minor discretions or inconveniences if the overall experience is a good one.

This kind of relationship builds customer loyalty with many tangible and intangible rewards. You will receive repeat business, referrals and positive reviews of your company that yield growth and profitability. You will be able to establish your reputation and brand for excellent customer service through long term customer loyalty.

Customer Service Programs

Many companies today have accrued huge stores of customer interaction and/or Voice of the Customer (VoC) data. However, most are challenged with effectively turning it into operational assessments and actionable reports. New solutions for unifying and analyzing data offer users “Business Objectives”, such as an understanding of overall voice of customer, employee and customer feedback, customer journey and customer behavior-reactions. The benefit of these solutions is that they can automatically look for the related customer-centric activities discovered through analytics, integrate the metadata of each activity, and present it as it relates to their business objective. With this type of big data management, your company can really listen to and understand your customers’ true sentiment like never before.

New Year – Old Plan

You don’t want to become a company that experiences big losses from losing unhappy customers. Success ultimately depends on how well you treat your customers, even more so in our “socially-enabled” society, where a negative post can have an immediate and dramatic effect on your business. As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos passionately said, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” Don’t repeat last year’s mistakes. Be a winning company that gains opportunities by investing and planning in customer loyalty strategies that reinforce your brand, boost your reputation and deliver a great customer experience.

The Cost of Unhappy Customers (Infographic)

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The Ascent of Text Analytics

Use text analytics to uncover true customer sentiment.

Valuable customer insight from all data sources is not utilized to its full potential.

The New Frontier – Text Analytics

In this era of progressive improvements to the customer experience, many companies are searching for new avenues to gain insight into the customer journey using text analytics. Text analytics can be defined as a process for analyzing unstructured text, extracting relevant information, and transforming it into useful business intelligence. Large corporations such as Walmart, Amazon, and Google collect massive amounts of customer data in the Petabyte range and beyond. As enterprises of all sizes struggle to uncover true customer sentiment from unstructured data sources such as social media, surveys, notations in CRM software and service notes, blogs, and many other sources, this valuable customer insight is not being utilized to its full potential.

Preventing a Poor Customer Experience

However, most companies use only a fraction of the customer data that is readily available to them. One of the value propositions for using text analytics is its ability to analyze and classify huge quantities of text and automatically extract meaningful data that really needs to be scrutinized. This yields customer experience information that previously might not have been known or recognized, and used to prevent a repeat, poor customer experience. Text analytics reveals insights into why something is happening. For example, a visitor to a website might not be able to find a product or suitable answer to a question. Text analytics can be used to discover if the issue is related to content, FAQs, or navigation problems.

Root Cause Analysis

The data gleaned from text analytics can also be used to determine the root cause of problems (known or unknown), and companies can begin to anticipate or predict problems by analyzing customer interaction data. Just as speech analytics can unveil customer sentiment by automatically identifying key words and phrases from customer telephone calls, text analytics adds to the wealth of unstructured customer information that can be extracted, transformed and loaded into subject-oriented categories delivering new possibilities for enhancing the customer experience.

  • Trend analysis
  • Tool to make strategic business decisions
  • Predict and forecast customer behavior patterns
  • Deliver an improved customer experience
  • Companies are realizing that all employees must listen to their customers, or they will become fair game for the competition

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Why You Need Data Analytics

Data Analytics identifies real business problems.

Leveraging data to identify real business problems can work for you.

Importance of Data Analytics Solutions

The ability to leverage analytics for all of the business data your company collects in order to solve real business problems is now more affordable than ever before and available to every organization. Implementing and applying automated analytics solutions are essential for understanding all facets of your business. As many companies continue to focus on improving the overall customer experience, analytics can help you understand your customer’s sentiment from any touch point (telephone, email, text, social media, etc.).

Not As Complicated As You Thought

Although there are many different types of analytics solutions available on the market, such as front office (contact center specific) and back office (transaction processing) the secret is to partner with a vendor who will help you every step of the way. Once you select a vendor, this is accomplished by first discovering the root causes, pain points, or product and service issues that may be impeding performance or profitability. Some common items or “notions” that analytics can reveal:

  • Excessive customer complaints about a certain service or product(s).
  • Trends and discovery of repeat calls (“called before…”, “calling again…”, “not fixed…”, “still a problem…” etc.) – over time more samples can be discovered and added to the analytics search, strengthening the discovery of repeat calls improving first call resolution.
  • Compliance issues (internal compliance to defined business processes and external or regulatory compliance).
  • Repeat call subject (desktop screen or transactions) representing the repeat call can be defined by user, and automatically and in real time detected by desktop analytics – actions can be taken in real time, such as coaching, notifications, and next-best-action.
  • Monitoring social media sites to understand the voice of the customer (negative and positive), the competition, your brand and reputation, and selling opportunities.

Starting with a defined notion of the relevant data you want to uncover is key to your success. A vendor must allow you to use your own data for clarity, in small digestible bites, to initially demonstrate the viability of the analytics program. Set up an internal team to own the new analytics program. Run the solution as a test program, review the results, implement recommended changes, and review the outcome (benefits, ROI, etc.). You want a vendor that will educate and guide you and do the work for you, sharing results along the journey. Once you are comfortable with the technology the vendor should be able to create a tailored solution for you without a custom price, and continue to assist your future usage, growth and progress.

Multi-channel Delivery – Not as Expensive as You Thought

Analytics programs do not have to break the bank, and are now available to any organization. Many solutions are offered as on-premise, cloud services, outsourced programs, or hybrid packages. Take advantage of the delivery method that best fits your budget and business needs. Selecting the right vendor will enable you to benefit from the functionality and flexibility of multi-channel analytics solutions as well as cost effective delivery methods.

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Justifying Contact Center Speech Analytics

Contact Center Speech Analytics

Used with contact center best practices, speech analytics software can give a company a significant competitive advantage.

Contact Center Data Collection

No department within an enterprise collects more data than your contact center. According to Tony Filippone, executive VP, HfS Research, “Every contact is counted, routed, measured and scored. Agent performance is actively measured.” A Special Report from SearchCRM.com experts stated that, “Analytics is one of the fastest growing segments of the call center technology market. Speech analytics and other analytics tools are appealing because they allow companies to take action on unstructured data from customer interactions and gain rare insight about their customers. When used properly and with contact center best practices, analytics software can give a company a significant competitive advantage.”

ContactBabel research estimates that overall the time taken for a speech analytics solution to pay for itself can be as little as six months (varying up to 18 months). If you have followed best practice and can therefore demonstrate this fact, it will go a long way to saving you another battle with the bean counters by justifying the expansion of the speech analytics project into other areas.

Delivering ROI for Complex Solutions

If you’re having some difficulty selecting a workflow, speech analytics or other analytics and software solutions that you know will make your job easier, deliver a fantastic ROI, and can make you and your business more effective – we can help.  OnviSource has a special service program to do just that.  To make your vendor selection even easier on you, we will let you test the products before you purchase, and even better yet, test it using your own data, processes and methodologies. Ask about our Advantage Program that will be a lifesaver in helping you to understand, select and use the right solutions for your specific and often highly complex, business requirements.  We implement and test the best solution, including providing tailored and customized solutions.  We will be your partner every step of the way as we continue to monitor performance, managing to your expectations, including recognizing your profiled ROI.

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Unified Data – Your Job Just Got Easier

Unified Data Big Data Challenges

Computers and robotics perform more workplace functions than ever today.  However, there is still much investment and development for one-off systems, applications and business processes creating even more data silos in the enterprise. The cost of data choke holds has resulted in companies searching for, and investing in, the promise of Big Data and analytics solutions into manageable unified data. Key to the data silo dilemma is to unify data into a collaborative and holistic view of everything, utilizing workforce optimization solutions to combine front and back office interactions and processes and the resulting data for analysis and reporting.

Real World Issues Solved with Data Unification

For example, one Company that provides business information, data and marketing solutions required better processes to reconcile data.  The Company utilizes call center agents to perform outbound calls. Each call is considered a customer transaction that starts from the telecom platform, and is recorded and monitored by workforce optimization (WFO) applications. The transaction is then processed using the Salesforce.com, CRM tool. Each transaction requires validation by accessing and playing a specific call recording in order to validate the data and processes utilized during the transaction.

Without unified data, the manual data collection, reconciliation, and transaction verification process imposed extensive costs, labor and delays. It introduced many opportunities for human errors that could further reduce productivity and jeopardize the quality of data collection. Additionally, the Company did not have a unified view of processes and transactions across various platforms in order to improve performance and its customers’ experience.

Data Unification Solution to the Rescue

Deploying an enterprise-wide unification solution, automatically collected relevant, user-defined data from the Company’s enterprise platforms. The solution then normalized, unified and deposited the data in a single place. This significantly improved productivity related to the processing of transactions. Several additional solutions were also employed to provide integrated WFO, including call recording, quality assurance, and desktop analytics with PCI-DSS compliance.

Bottom Line Benefits of Unified Data

  • Unified data offers a significant improvement in productivity, reducing costs and eliminating human errors.
  • Customer transaction journey can be monitored and viewed from a single place in order to evaluate and improve the customer experience and/or processes.
  • One click from the CRM, enables the users to access and utilize the entire WFO set of applications to perform monitoring, quality assurance and analytics functions.
  • Access to previous transactions is simple, eliminating the need for labor intensive, time-consuming investigation and reconciliation of records.

The Company is now effectively managing data, protecting their business and complying with rules and regulatory requirements with the help of unified data.

How are you handling data unification and your disparate systems?

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