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Business intelligence company Verint Systems Inc. has introduced software that fosters collaboration among service agents and applies analytics to data gathered from customer interactions to build a more intelligent contact center.
Verint officially announced Kana Enterprise this week, marking the first major release stemming from Verint's $514 million acquisition this year of Kana Software, a maker of customer service suites.
The contact center analytics engine in the latest release determines which agent should receive a service request, based on the agent's expertise, the customer's native language and previous interactions with the call center.
The analytics are applied whether the request is made through a self-service website, a mobile device, live chat, social media or a secure messaging channel.
The intelligent routing system is an improvement over the more common practice of placing customers in a queue, where they wait for the next available agent.
Businesss intelligence in contact centers
A trend in contact centers is to extract business intelligence from the massive amounts of data gathered through customer interactions.
"Analytics and workforce optimization are hot topics and key areas where companies are focusing right now," Nemertes Research analyst Lisa Durant said. "Most organizations are at least evaluating analytics tools for the future, and most everyone is interested in workforce optimization."
Workforce optimization (WFO) software typically includes tools for agent performance management, quality monitoring, liability recording, coaching and speech analytics.
In addition, companies need to leverage unified communications and collaboration tools to involve contact center employees in other business operations, Durant said.
"Collaboration in the contact center and between contact center and other business units is key; that's how you get rid of the data silos and demolish the idea of contact center as an island," she said.
Kana Enterprise's new WFO capabilities include collaboration tools that let agents share and discuss customer issues in order to foster peer-to-peer learning. The feature is part of a knowledge base resource that agents can turn to in dealing with customers.
The new product, which has been generally available since last month, also introduces screen sharing that allows agents to share information with the customer in order to improve chances of making a sale.
The knowledge base and screen sharing capabilities contribute to "contact center success, as well as customer satisfaction success," Durant said.
To make maximum use of contact center analytics, companies like Verint will have to convince companies to provide access to customer data stored in systems used by other departments, Durant said.
"Companies keep customer information in so many places and systems that it can be difficult to convince them to dissolve the silos," she said.
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