Constellation ShortList™ Customer Service and Contact Center Software

Constellation Research is launching a new program, and I’m happy to share that the vendors that have been listed on the Constellation ShortList™ for Customer Service and Contact Center Software. The program offers buyers of technology a list of offerings to consider in their pursuit of digital transformation to provide the best capabilities to drive leading customer service.

The Constellation ShortList presents vendors in different categories of the market relevant to early adopters. In addition, products included in this document meet the threshold criteria for this category as determined by Constellation Research. This Constellation ShortList of vendors for a market category is compiled through conversations with early adopter clients, independent analysis, and briefings with vendors and partners.

Customer service and contact center software helps solve customer challenges faster by offering the right tools and support, regardless of channel or device (e.g., phone, tablet, email, chat, text, website, Facebook, other social networks). These offerings can effectively manage inbound communication for increased first-contact resolution, in addition to providing co-browse capabilities to allow visual communication for quicker query resolution. Additionally, they can support the reduction of cart abandonment and increase customer satisfaction with in-cart assistance. This type of software provides personalized care through the use of analytics, offering insight into customers’ behaviors for relevant, contextualized service that can predict future needs. Companies can identify new opportunities by integrating these customer insights into their companies’ innovation processes.

The software also creates seamless, online experiences with a knowledge base that learns from every interaction, enabling them to match content to consumer intent, which results in higher conversion rates. The top solutions also provide smart customer self-service, allowing customers to help themselves by fostering peer-to-peer support communities and eliminating the need to reach out to the contact center.

Constellation considers the following key criteria for these solutions: Self-service capabilities, case management, natural language processing for knowledge management and search, omni-channel and device customer journeys, mobile customer service and self service, queuing and routing, workforce optimization, predictive and prescriptive rules and advice, next-best action, natural scripting, customer feedback collection capabilities, IVR, visual IVR, inventory optimization, mobile enablement, social and digital engagement simplified user design (UX/UI), reporting and customer analytics, integration to IoT (Internet of Things) platforms and devices, data dashboard and data visualization.

Each Constellation ShortList evaluation will be updated every 90 days as needed. Constellation clients may work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion of this ShortList. Constellation can also provide guidance in vendor selection and contract negotiation.

The ShortList is determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects, market share and internal research. The Shortlist includes:

  • Aspect
  • Avaya
  • Cisco
  • Genesys
  • inContact
  • Interactive Intelligence
  • Oracle
  • Salesforce
  • Verint.

For more information about the ShortList, please visit the Constellation Research site.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Customer Facing Applications.

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Avaya Unveils Customer Engagement Innovations

Customers are More Difficult to Serve Than Ever. Is Your Brand Ready? Avaya, a Contact Center Infrastructure for 15 consecutive years unveiled customer engagement innovations that meet customer expectations where the rules of the game have changed:
  • 90% of people move between different devices[i]
  • 52% of customers are less likely to engage with a company because of a bad mobile experience[ii]
  • 89% of companies will compete primarily based on customer experience – up significantly from the previous two years[iii]
What’s the Big Announcement? At the conference, Enterprise Connect, Avaya spoke at the key innovations that redefine the customer experience battleground and keep companies ahead of the curve, based on technology that supports more than 5 million agents globally. The Avaya Customer Engagement solutions –which can be implemented through a fully hosted or hybrid cloud model to help ease the transition between existing and new technologies for digital business, deliver:
  • A flexible, robust foundation provided by Avaya Aura® and Elite contact center solutions, which continues to lead the industry now as a 100% virtualized, 100% software-based platform that eliminates the need for hardware-based media gateways to perform important call center functions.
  • Software-defined customer engagement that makes it possible to communication-enable sales and service workflows and processes through Avaya Breeze which can significantly enhance the customers’ experience.
  • A full stack, turnkey solution in Avaya Pod Fx (formerly Collaboration Pod), providing  everything needed to run an advanced virtualized contact center (applications compute, storage, networking & management) all racked, stacked, cabled and configured to remove complexity and streamline operations.
  • Maximum evolution flexibility through the new Avaya Secure Delivery offer which provides hosted private cloud communications for security conscious organizations (US).
A Notes from the Executives: Gary Barnett, SVP and GM, Avaya Engagement Solutions, said:  “The competitive battleground has shifted, requiring a new type of solution and means to respond to digital customer behavior. Customer expectations today will not wait for old contact center technology to get its act together. Speed is the new currency for business transformation – businesses need to understand, predict and respond to customer needs in less time than it takes for a spark to burnout. Avaya is the only company that can rapidly elevate the customer end game without the disruption typical of massive technical change.”
What Are the benefits of Avaya’s Approach?
  • Customer defined experiences for all channels and devices – traditional voice, web & mobile chat, social, email, WebRTC-enabled, one-click mobile video and calling from any device, guided co-browsing and advanced customer service applications that simply snap-in without massive technical support.
  • 360 degree customer context that makes it easy to map customer journeys across automated and assisted service channels.
  • Minimized effort on behalf of the customer or business to obtain or deliver optimal service by combining analytics and automation.
  • The ability to easily design workflows to create smart customer journeys that easily tap into enterprise CRM systems and bring other data into a single business process.
  • Unparalleled flexibility and scale for today’s multi-modal environments that allow companies to easily adjust to changing demands.
  • Simplified transition to new technology and refocus on core business advancing projects by leveraging a more secure, hosted cloud based delivery.
  •  Customer choice of deployment options, including public, private or hybrid cloud, premises-based and managed services to match business policies and objectives.

What’s Your CEO Going to Do About Customer Service? Is your company ready for the next generation of customer experiences? Customers are more fickle than ever. Who can blame them? Customer Service has not been an important aspect of many brands initiatives – at least they didn’t want to put the money behind it… so it did not met customers expectations. With customer expectations rising even fast in this always-on world, companies need their CEOs to get the message and support customer service.

Does your CEO get customer service yet?

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer-facing Applications That Drive Better Business Results
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Enterprise Connect 2016: Genesys Showcases Next Generation Omnichannel Customer Experience at Enterprise Connect

Enterprise Connect 2016 is a  leading conference and exhibition for enterprise communications and collaboration in North America. It is being held March 7-9th, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Genesys, a market leader in omni-channel customer experience (CX) and contact center solutions, will be particpating in the event.
Genesys and Microsoft Working Together:  The event will feature Genesys leaders in key industry discussions on topics that include contact center technology trends and managing customer journeys, as well as how Genesys and Microsoft are working together to enable collaboration between contact center agents and employees across the enterprise. Attendees can visit booth #609 to learn more about omnichannel customer engagement, take the Omnichannel Challenge and tour the possibilities of the Genesys Omnichannel Engagement Center solution with live product demonstrations.

A Note from the Executives: 
Scott Kolman, Vice President of Portfolio Marketing at Genesys said, “As the digital transformation revolution continues, many companies are searching for how to best modernize and enhance their contact center and customer experience. At Enterprise Connect, Genesys will show why omnichannel will be the standard in customer experience excellence and how companies can move toward an Omnichannel Engagement Center solution.”

If You Want to Hear from Them, Here’s the Schedule:
Genesys CX experts will share insights. Genesys leaders will participate in the following Enterprise Connect panel sessions and a joint presentation at the Microsoft booth to share insights and best practices on managing omnichannel customer journeys, cloud contact centers and market updates for the enterprise.

Monday, March 7 :  9:00am – 10:45am Eastern Time  Location: Sun B —Contact Center Market Update & Executive Forum and the participants are:

  • Scott Kolman, Genesys
  • Sheila McGee-Smith, McGee-Smith Analytics
  • Paul Weber, Interactive Intelligence
  • Chris Botting, Cisco
  • Paul Jarman, inContact
  • Karen Hardy, Avaya

Tuesday, March 8 : 1:15pm ET Location: Microsoft booth #162 Genesys and MicrosoftDelivering a Best-in-Class Omnichannel Customer Experience and the speakers are:

  • James Skay, Microsoft
  • Kay Phelps, Genesys

Wednesday, March 9 : 8:00am – 8:45am ET o Location: Osceola B Managing the Customer Journey and the participants are:

  • Chris Connolly, Genesys
  • Brandon Knight, Corvisa
  • Sheila McGeeSmith, McGee-Smith Analytics
  • Laura Bassett, Avaya
  • Barry O’Sullivan, Altocloud
  • Richard Kenny, Plantronics

Is Your Company Omnichannel Ready? Omnichannel engagement center solutions allow companies to more effectively manage workloads, empower their agents, and gain valuable insights that help drive business objectives—including new customer acquisition, product sales, and customer support. For companies, this move forward will provide the immediate benefits of higher customer loyalty, increased revenue, and better business outcomes, while paving the path for continued success.

The time is now to make sure you can serve your customers. Or they will be somebody else’s customer soon enough. It’s now or never.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Customer-facing Applications That Drive Better Business Results

 

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