Contact Center Solutions
THE Bottom Line
Is your organization a vendor or a buyer of contact center solutions such as voice recording, customer management, digital chat or customer experience analytics? Are you concerned that you may be over-spending or under-charging for contact center platforms?
Linx has undertaken numerous strategy research projects on behalf of our enterprise clients in the Contact Center Solutions (CCS) space. Through our comprehensive interviews with current and former industry executives we have developed detailed and actionable insights into key issues such as which CRM applications enjoy the highest return on investment; which omni channel digital solutions are appropriate for small and large enterprises; and what types of customer survey insights platforms, customer journey mapping solutions are right for your business.
For all of our projects, Linx relies on doing in-depth interviews with key executives at leading and niche players in the industry, including vendors, customers, and systems integrators / channel partners. Every study we do is based on specific and detailed interview protocols that drive toward actionable intelligence.
During the course of the numerous contact center related research projects we have undertaken Linx has been able to document and illustrate how CCS have become increasingly complex including solutions in the following key areas: customer communications, self-service options, WorkForce Optimization (WFO), back office management, and cloud-based solutions.
Our interviews with both customers and channel partners of CCS vendors illustrates the extent to which vendors in this space have historically tended to focus on various market segments (for example, we have documented vendors which focus only on large enterprise deployments or who are specialists in particular industry verticals like telecoms or banking). The latter group of vendors include large players in their specific domains such as Avaya, Verint Systems, NICE Systems, Genesys, Cisco, SAS, Microsoft, Aspect, Blackbaud, Constant Contact, Nuance, Amdocs, Interactive Intelligence, and others.
During the course of our numerous research projects in this domain we have interviewed niche players who offer specific point solutions involving leading-edge technologies. This includes companies such as Clickfox, Pablo by Kognitio, Hybris by SAS, Pontis, FlyTxt, TouchPoint, Thunderhead, Qualtrics, eGain, Genesys and LivePerson. All these vendors offer leading niche solutions in areas such as customer journey mapping, survey insights, chat, etc.
What does our research show?
CCS tactical efforts have a direct and actionable impact on customer experience:
Our interviews with industry leaders and our analysis of dozens of companies in the CCS value chain show that unlike other areas of the enterprise, the tactical efforts performed by the contact center directly impact the literal "experience" of the customer in the short term i.e., immediately after deployment. These tactical efforts roll into broader customer experience (CX) orchestration. Among these tactical efforts that we see in large contact centers are:
• Multichannel and "cross channel" interactions
• Journey modeling
• Voice of the customer, either standalone or combined with net promoter score efforts
While this list of responsibilities within the contact center is much longer, in speaking with the heads of contact center business units at large consumer-facing enterprises such as banks and telcos, our research shows that these three tactical efforts are the first-layer of interaction impacting the customer experience.
CCS tactical efforts also have financial and agent productivity benefits:
Our independent research into deployment scenarios of various vendors shows that vendors' contact center offerings directly contributed to customer experience processes and thus had a direct influence on CRM processes. These solutions also showed significant financial benefits, enhanced agent performance and improved processes and policies.
Multichannel and cross channel interactions are in increasing demand:
In undertaking research in the contact center solutions space, we have found that the requirement for multichannel and cross-channel interaction support and consistency has been rising steadily among large and even mid-sized enterprises. We have seen that as each new interaction format is invented (online-email-chat-SMS-video chat-social-mobile), the contact center has had to step up to the challenge of responding to an interaction from a customer through whatever interaction channel he/she chooses.
Adding to this complexity today, is the requirement to perform this interaction consistently through a "cross channel" interaction. Cross channel refers to the process of a customer moving from channel to channel while engaging with the organization within the same interaction. Existing contact center systems were not built with this sort of interaction in mind. Contact center vendors are creating the platforms that meet the demand for this "cross channel" interaction, so that the information about and within the interaction within the contact center system can be supplied, captured, referenced, and most importantly be acted upon.
A major vendor disruption cycle is underway:
Research also shows that major vendors in the CCS space are updating their platforms and are increasingly providing omnichannel customer journey lifecycle management, with both cloud and on-premise implementations. These solutions allow large enterprise customers to examine and analyze interactions between their employees and their customers and allows these interactions to be mapped out against the bigger picture of the enterprise's overall strategy, allowing enteprises to drive brand loyalty and revenue from improved customer interactions.
Customer Journey Mapping is being replaced with Customer Journey Modeling
Customer journey mapping has been a staple within the contact center world. This is where the journey that a customer takes when interacting with the organization is mapped for understanding and better optimization of the corporate resources and to "guide" the customer to how the organization wants him/her to behave. However, our research shows that this idea is being replaced with journey "modeling" where organizations must build a flexible architecture that is impacted by what the customer wants to do for an optimal experience. This is very different and impacts the broader organization and not the restricted world of the contact center.
How can Linx help?
Invest 30 minutes of your time with us on a complimentary webinar where we can determine together if our unique approach to actionable intelligence can have an impact on your organization.