Key performance metrics and other contact center–related statistics can sometimes cause number overload: Various metrics can be deemed critical -- ones that help improve operations, cut costs, or improve the overall customer experience. Looking to solve all three of these problems, Atlanta-based software company ClickFox has unveiled three business solutions based on customer experience analytics (CEA).
Anna Convery, chief marketing officer of ClickFox, says that contact centers today have myriad customer statistics flowing in through various interaction channels -- a volume of data that can be both a blessing and a curse. Putting it all together to create a clear strategy, though, is what has evaded so many centers. "Analytics help us to see how the customer -- one individual -- moves across an organization, as opposed to a series of individual transactions," she says.
In gaining that more-complete story, the end goal for many customer service departments is to determine how to better interact with consumers, delivering changes to the overall organization. All the while -- and perhaps more important in today's economic environment -- is tying any improvements in process and customer experience to improvements in the bottom line. Of the three separate CEA solutions ClickFox has unveiled, each purports to solve a particular problem in the contact center:
- ClickFox CEA for Operational Efficiency — using segmentation analytics to categorize customer interactions by channel type, frequency, and other attributes to help determine the cost and margin of each interaction as well as a cross-channel roadmap for reducing ongoing operational costs;
- ClickFox CEA for Customer Satisfaction — mapping end scores to specific interactions directly influencing daily customer satisfaction results, thereby enabling organizations to develop predictability templates to identify and manage key drivers of satisfaction; and
- ClickFox CEA for Customer Retention — comparing the baseline experience of non-churn customers in the hopes of identifying negative experiences driving churn, thereby targeting "leakages in customer retention" by identifying and responding to customers deemed at-risk.
Convery says her company is investigating another target area for a potential packaged solution, namely the growing interconnection between marketing and customer service departments. The goal, she says, is to gather information about how consumers feel about a given company, product, or service, and then use that feedback for new product development. "That's another area coming very quickly," she says.
For now, though, the three packages ClickFox is releasing for consumption represent a solid start, says Keith Dawson, senior analyst at consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Targeting specific problems with each analytics offering, Dawson says, is essential in driving adoption. "If you look at analytics as applied in the contact center, it's got a fairly poor record of adoption," he says. "Many will shy away from it because it has [historically been] difficult to discern exactly what problems it's going to solve in a real-world environment. When you put a specific business case to it…it's more attractive."
The three specific areas -- customer retention, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction -- are all significant problems today, particularly retention. "Some of the biggest industries -- telecommunications, wireless, cable companies, and financial services -- are experiencing high churn rates, and they are still investing in technology," Dawson says. "They recognize the importance of keeping the customers [they] have, and that puts churn front and center."
While it's early to tell how the threefold offering will help deepen or expand ClickFox's competitive footprint, Dawson says that we can expect other vendors to follow suit quickly. "You have to count on Nice [Systems], Verint [Systems], Envision [Telephony], and [Autonomy] etalk…which are all squarely in this space," Dawson says.
That said, Dawson notes that the model ClickFox has put forward -- analytics solutions geared to solve specific problems -- is the way of the future for this burgeoning space. "The approach ClickFox is taking by tying products to specific outcomes is a major step," he says. "It's putting the money where its mouth is and saying, 'Measure us by the outcome we'll demonstrate for you.' If ClickFox can pull that off, fantastic…. I expect other [companies] to start doing this as well."
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