Impacting Customer Dynamics with Real-Time Next-Best-Action Guidance

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September 1st, 2010
Previous posts have focused on the importance and benefits of optimizing Customer Dynamics in today’s business environment, along with required tools and approaches for implementation. In this post, I’d like to look at one of those a little deeper.
Real-time guidance provides next-best-action recommendations while agents interact with customers. Imagine a virtual expert, next to every customer service agent, helping locate the information needed to serve the customer, providing suggestions on the most attractive up-sell or cross-sell offers, giving advice on how to quickly and accurately diagnose a customer’s problem or giving guidance on the right process steps to follow.
When viewed in the context of Customer Dynamics, real-time guidance offers a unique and powerful means to alter the outcome of customer interactions as they occur, delivering immediate business impact. In the past we’ve had to solely rely on advanced training or after-the-fact performance analysis to increase the probability of successfully handling customer interactions and creating positive experiences. Agent training and performance analysis are still very much valid and essential to improving agent and contacts center performance, but lack the ability to enforce desired behaviors in real time. Taken together, the combination of interaction and performance analytics, agent coaching and real-time guidance is a potential game changer, delivering a closed-loop process that provides unprecedented results in terms of operational efficiency, customer experience and revenue growth.
It’s in the crucial moments of truth during customer interactions that real-time guidance really shines ‑ an agent struggles with a knowledge gap while a customer holds, forgets the proper procedure to follow, tries to determine what’s the best up-sell promotion to offer or has trouble navigating multiple systems and screens.
Real-time guidance uses advanced analytical and decisioning engines to arrive at the right recommendation. Information from a wide range of sources enables real-time guidance to accurately determine next-best actions – the agent’s past performance, seniority, skills, and quality scores, customer’s history of interactions and transactions, even those occurring in other contact channels, what the customer says or the emotions they exhibit, and others.
From the agent’s perspective these personalized recommendations are presented within call-out windows at the appropriate moment within the interaction, in the form of links to relevant knowledge management items, best sales offer to promote, reminders on proper procedures and suggested scripts to handle customer objections.
Implementing real-time guidance provides businesses the opportunity to impact their performance across a number of key areas including:
  • Enhancing customer satisfaction by resolving issues quickly and providing a customized experience
  • Maximizing sales by identifying opportunities and matching the best offer to the customer
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance by delivering context sensitive instructions to the agent’s desktop
  • Improving operational efficiency by reducing handle time and improving first contact resolution
We recently expanded our real-time guidance offering by acquiring eglue, an industry leading provider of real-time process optimization solutions. eglue’s advanced capabilities significantly enhance NICE’s contact center next-best-action offering, providing a unique ability to alter the outcome of customer interactions as they unfold and a powerful tool to optimize Customer Dynamics.
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