The ongoing recession has made customer retention, always an important metric, more important than ever, as many companies struggling to stay afloat are making that effort the business strategy du jour. Hoping to help contact centers fight that never-ending battle, Camarillo, Calif.–based Voice Print International has unveiled VPI Empower, its newest suite of solutions to elicit more insight from recorded customer calls.
VPI Empower is composed of several modules, including:
- VPI Capture Pro, a solution for call- and data-interaction recording that provides unified recording for Voice over Internet Protocol, time-division multiplexing, and hybrid environments with centralized Web access, analysis, and administration;
- VPI Quality Pro, enabling optimization of the quality-monitoring process with analytics-driven call selection, targeted evaluation and coaching, and actionable insights; and
- VPI Performance, delivering information from calls through real-time Web dashboards, reports, and desktop tickers, enabling root-cause performance analytics.
To Ted Lubowsky, managing director for West Orange, N.J.–based industry-analyst firm DMG Consulting, VPI has identified the leading edge of the workforce optimization (WFO) industry: analytics. "What's most important is that this release is headed toward an analytical approach to quality monitoring," he says. "It's certainly the wave of the future, and this is a good start for VPI. It's a major step in rounding out its solution to provide more value back to its customer base."
Catering to the needs of customers was precisely what VPI was trying to do, says Mike Mercadante, the company's vice president of product management and its chief technology officer. "We've seen more customer demand [for] getting…more information quickly," he says. Customers, he adds, are clamoring for the ability to "understand what's in these large stores of media and get to the interactions that matter quickly."
Mercadante says that the suite enables contact centers to be more selective about which agent calls they scrutinize. "We're moving away from a random sampling when you look at three to five calls over a month's time for an agent, which could be 4,000," he says. "That's not statistically significant to any issue. However, if you [select] five calls about cancelled orders [from] a subset of the 4,000 calls -- 300 -- that is a more meaningful sampling."
Lubowsky says that these types of solutions not only help the contact center, but also the entire enterprise. "This has so much value potential for anyone involved with agent performance, improvement, coaching…not just average handle time and quality," he says. "Also, enterprise information that comes from these tools enables [the company] to understand why customers are calling, the issues, and determine [a more complete view of] the customer experience."
While the technology for desktop analytics has been around for some time -- perhaps 10 years, by Lubowsky's estimation -- adoption remains low. In fact, he says, only between 300,000 and 500,000 agent desktops are equipped with these kinds of analytics. "That's a pittance," he declares. "Right now, it's an extremely hot market because everyone is looking to cut expenses, be more efficient, and coach agents better with a product that will have an immediate impact."
This is even more important for the small-to-midsize business (SMB) space, in which VPI primarily plays. "SMB contact centers and businesses need just as much intelligence as the large guys," Mercadante says. "They may not have the same budgets, but they still want results and returns right away -- not 'sometime in the distant future.' That's why we believe this solution is a better match for what this market is looking for."
Lubowsky says that he expects VPI will be able to deepen its competitive footprint now that it has a more-powerful offering for quality monitoring -- one piece of the WFO pie. "Tie that together with a nice performance management product, slick dashboard, real-time reporting, and running a ticker across an agent's desktop," he says. "By providing real-time analytics of what's going on in the contact center to supervisors and agents alike, more-valuable data can only help the business. [The new release] will get [VPI] further in the door on the contact center side of the business, not just [for] liability and recording."
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