• April 30, 2008
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Genesys Opens Its Intelligent Customer Front Door

SAN ANTONIO -- Just a few days after officially launching its Intelligent Customer Front Door (ICFD) solution to help enterprises optimize the critical first touch point in customer care, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories announced at its G-Force customer conference here yesterday that partners and enterprises are already lining up to deploy the offering.

In addition to Voxify, which is providing its Conversation Engine to the ICFD, today Nuance Communications announced that its natural language-based Call Steering solution is one of the key components of the ICFD. TuVox has also provided technologies.

"The ICFD is being embraced by application providers," Paul Segre, president and CEO of Genesys, told attendees -- but more than that, he added, "we view it as the direction the industry needs to go to provide better customer service." As part of the announcement, Genesys revealed three other ICFD deployments: Air France, T-Mobile, and Belgacom.

Genesys' ICFD comes in direct response to several recent studies that have shown that consumers' first impressions are indelible to how they perceive a brand or company. In fact, 33 percent of customers have higher expectations for customer service than they did a year ago, and 44 percent of defecting customers cite a bad contact center experience as the primary reason, according to Segre.

The ICFD solution facilitates advanced self-service applications in business contact centers by:

  • Discerning the identity and intent of a caller in just a few steps;
  • Gathering relevant information from data or workflow to understand the context of a call;
  • Determining how to treat callers based on established business rules; and
  • Matching the most relevant and available resources, including self-service, proactive notification, automatic call back, or live service to deliver the best customer service experience.

The ICFD solution, Segre says, takes the industry out of the traditional view of the call center "because the contact could be coming from the phone, email, the Web, or the store.

Brian Bischoff, global vice president of voice platform sales and solutions, explains the solution as a way to route calls based on the context received from the original speech-based IVR. "It helps you understand the caller and the context of why he's calling," he said. "ICFD ties that in with what's going on with the rest of the business. Did he call before? What's his value as a customer?"

To make those determinations, ICFD ties into other central back-end systems, like CRM, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and other applications. "Customers made large investments in their CRM systems and have done a great job with them," Bischoff said. "ICFD now leverages the CRM software to drive interactions based on preferences. It gives a universal view of the customer and the ability to act upon it.

"It works with calls in the call center, but it should also go the other way so that the teller at the bank knows that [a customer] was on the Web site looking at mortgage information and can act upon it too," he concludes.

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