• February 22, 2016
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

The 2016 CRM Service Rising Stars: NICE Systems Invests Heavily in Advanced Customer Support Analytics

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NICE Systems is a 30-year-old company, but it's not resting on its laurels. It made headlines in January when it announced plans to acquire Nexidia, a leading provider of advanced customer analytics, for $135 million. The move cements NICE as the largest, most advanced provider of cross-channel interaction analytics.

John Willcutts, CEO of Nexidia, acknowledges that the deal creates "a true analytics powerhouse."

Barak Eilam, CEO of NICE, called the acquisition "an important step in our mission to deliver the power of customer data and insight beyond the contact center."

The move also positions real-time analytics as central to NICE's strategy going forward. But even prior to the acquisition, NICE had begun placing a greater emphasis on helping companies improve operations with real-time and predictive capabilities.

Last summer, for example, it released Real-Time Fraud Prevention. Combining voice biometrics with speech and desktop analytics, Real-Time Fraud Prevention flags fraudulent callers within the first few seconds of a call. If a call is suspicious, contact center agents are alerted and provided with real-time guidance about how to proceed. A suspicious call can be halted or forwarded to a fraud department for investigation almost immediately.

NICE also released Adaptive Workforce Optimization (WFO), which can personalize customer interactions in real time based on agent personas. These personas, formed using factors such as customer satisfaction scores, average handle times, first-contact resolutions, and work experience, can be used in decisions about routing, scheduling, forecasting, on-boarding, and coaching.

NICE Journey VoC, released earlier in 2015, enables companies to use voice-of-the-customer feedback with predictive analytics and journey mapping to positively shape the customer journey in real time. Using key indicators, such as customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Scores, and customer effort, companies can evaluate how their customer experience stacks up against what they consider an ideal journey. They can also identify high-effort/low-satisfaction experiences in real time and proactively engage with customers to create immediate improvements.

That same thinking was a driving force behind NICE’s spring 2015 release of IVR Journey Analytics, which presents a visual map of everything that happens within IVR system interactions. IVR Journey Analytics, which combines customer journey mapping, speech-to-text technology, and text and speech analytics, can identify patterns of behavior and then optimize the IVR accordingly. IVR Journey Analytics also shows how many callers stayed within the IVR and how many transferred to agents or hung up without completing their tasks.

"NICE's IVR analytics solution enables organizations to revitalize the way they engage with consumers over this channel and create a more efficient and gratifying customer journey from start to finish," Miki Migdal, president of the NICE Enterprise Product Group, said in a statement at the time of the release.

Also launched in 2015: the NICE Complaints Management Suite, which helps manage customer dissatisfaction, prevents complaint escalation, and proactively addresses issues leading to customer grievances. It can even guide agents on handling interactions it flags as being at risk.

NICE also equipped existing applications with greater real-time and predictive capabilities, including its Fizzback voice-of-the-customer solution, which now draws on recommendations from active Fizzback users to provide deeper visibility into the customer experience and uses real-time and predictive analytics to help identify hot topics among customers.

In updating its Engage Platform, NICE extended its video and voice recording and playback capabilities and added one-click interaction management, intelligence-driven automated scoring, and do-it-yourself system management. NICE also integrated the Engage Platform with Vidyo's VidyoWorks video collaboration platform and Microsoft's Skype for Business.

NICE Systems

CEO: Barak Eilam

Founded: 1986

Headquarters: Ra'anana, Israel

Revenue in 2015: $1.1 billion

Employees: 3,600

Customer Count: 25,000

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