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1.jpgCallMiner is thrilled to be hosting its eighth annual LISTEN conference, where customer engagement professionals will have the opportunity to connect and share insights about their experiences with speech analytics.


Attendees can choose from more than 40 sessions, most led by customers, across five tracks including fundamentals and advanced, executive, and analyst and relational learning.  There will also be ample opportunities for networking and attendees can meet with CallMiner partners throughout the conference.


We look forward to seeing you there!




This post originally appeared on CallMiner.

Picture1.jpgCustomer experience is no longer just a buzzword.  It is – and should continue to be – an area of priority for any company regularly interacting with its customers.


Last year, we wrote a post outlining actionable tips for improving customer satisfaction, resulting in an improved customer experience and increased customer loyalty.


Today, we’ve further refined this list to bring you 7 tips, from a variety of CX leaders and online resources, for how your company can provide your customers with exceptional experiences.  Enjoy!




This post originally appeared on CallMiner.

1.jpgWaltham, MA – October 26, 2016 — CallMiner, the leader in speech and customer engagement analytics, hosts the eigth annual LISTEN conference – Boundless Connections — for users and customer engagement professionals at the Opal Sands Hotel in Clearwater Beach, Florida, on November 2-4, 2016. As testament to CallMiner’s growing customer roster and presence in customer engagement and experience, this year’s attendance at LISTEN has grown 40% over last year.

LISTEN brings together executives and data analysts from top organizations who are using and benefiting from speech and customer journey analytics. At LISTEN 2016, CallMiner will announce advancements in the extensibility of its platform and integration with the new community,

President and CEO Terry Leahy and Founder and CTO Jeff Gallino will kick off the conference with a talk about how companies are using technology in amazing ways to communicate, get answers and solve problems. They will also discuss the importance of being connected with peers, thought leaders and industry experts to leverage each other’s knowledge and experience. In addition they will unveil their vision for how CallMiner technology can help integrate siloes of data and extend that data across departments to break down siloes within an organization.

Keynote speakers at the conference include Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations; John Stepper, Speaker and Author of Working Out Loud; and Roger Weiss, President of The Collections Coach, LLC. In addition to the keynote speakers, attendees can choose from over 40 sessions, most led by customers, across five tracks including fundamentals and advanced, executive and analyst and relational learning. The full list of sessions can be viewed at There will also be ample opportunities for networking and attendees can meet with CallMiner partners throughout the conference.

At our 3rd annual LISTEN awards presentation during the conference, analysts who have had a significant business impact through their use of engagement analytics will be recognized. Other customers will also be recognized for: industry implementation awards they have won in 2016; outstanding improvements to their business with Speech Analytics; and community engagement. In addition, CallMiner held a contest for the best use of the Eureka API to extract intelligence from the platform and fuel 3rd party application use cases and workflows. The API contest winner will also be announced at LISTEN 2016.

LISTEN 2016 Platinum Sponsors are:, Listening Methods and Aspect. Gold Sponsors are: Five9 and Snowfly. Silver partners are: LiveVox, FidoTrack, Steel Magnolias, Nuance and Talkdesk. Most will be exhibiting at the LISTEN 2016 partner pavilion and some will also be demonstrating their solution in the Demo Theater.

About CallMiner
CallMiner believes that resolution is the fundamental driver of positive customer experiences. When contact center agents and others responsible for customer engagement are empowered by insight and feedback in real-time, they can dramatically improve the rate of positive outcomes.  With the tagline “Listen to Your Customers, Improve Your Business” our goal is to help companies automate the overwhelming process of extracting insight from phone calls, chats, emails and social media to dramatically improve customer service and sales, reduce the cost of service delivery, mitigate risk, and identify areas for process and product improvement.  Highlighted by multiple customer achievement awards, including six Speech Technology implementation awards in the past four years, CallMiner has consistently ranked number one in customer satisfaction, including surveys conducted by DMG Consulting and Ovum.

Media Contact: Maureen Szlemp | CallMiner Marketing Director | 319-573-3312.


call-center-best-practices (1).jpgWhat is an efficient call center?


While the answer may vary depending on whom you ask, a well-run call center is one where agents create meaningful relationships with customers at each and every point of interaction.


But the question is: What does it take to establish an efficient call center?


Earlier this year, we brought you a post outlining 4 call center best practices for retaining top talent and providing exceptional customer experiences.


Today, we’d like to expand on that list and give you 7 (more) best practices that can lead to a more efficient call center.  Take a look.




This post originally appeared on CallMiner.

At conferences, I’m often asked about mystery shopping, and it got me thinking: there are a lot of misunderstandings about what mystery shopping can and can’t do.


Some see mystery shopping as a simple check-in; others see it as too artificial for an accurate customer service evaluation. Many executives assume they get the same insights from reviews, social media, and direct customer feedback.



Others think it’s all about consumer retail, such as clothes shopping at the mall. They are wrong. Mystery shopping has tremendous value for B2B as well as B2C, and is vital to a thoughtful and well-vetted customer service evaluation.


Obviously mystery shoppers are NOT real customers, and don’t always reflect your average customer—whether that’s a machine parts distributor or a fashion-forward teen. What mystery shopping offers is a high-precision tool to improve customer service in your most vulnerable areas. In addition, it’s highly customizable for different goals. And because it examines what actually happens, it enables you to track actionable customer experience metrics.


Here's how to use mystery shopping to improve customer service:


1) Use mystery shopping to conduct a thorough, airtight customer service evaluation.


Designed and performed well, mystery shopping ensures that nothing slips through the cracks. It can test almost anything, plus track specific customer experience metrics, such as how associates:


+ Solve problems
+ Explain information
+ Represent your brand
+ Handle different personas (e.g. skeptical, confident, or angry customers)


Testing many things at once is an efficient way to target weak spots, focus on goals, and measure frontline performance against precise criteria.


2) Use mystery shopping for the most accurate apples-to-apples comparison with your competition.


You don’t exist in a vacuum; competitors are always part of the equation, but it’s hard to get an accurate comparison. Customer satisfaction surveys reveal how customers perceive you but they don’t measure concrete differences between you and your competition.


Mystery shopping looks at actual performance, using the same criteria to evaluate you and your competitors for an objective comparison. For example, for an investment strategies client, we used a high net worth persona to call nine of our client’s competitors asking similar questions about market volatility. This enabled us to show our client best practices from the field for handling this specific type of question.


3) Use mystery shopping to test your most difficult situations.


Most of your customer interactions are probably fairly cut-and-dry, with little risk involved. But for every fifty interactions, you might have one critical opportunity to keep or lose a customer. Mystery shopping is the best way to test how your frontline handles these high-risk interactions.


For example, for a client in healthcare, we designed a scenario in which a parent called in with her child having an asthma attack—a rare event, but critical to our client’s brand when it did occur. If you simply listen to twenty-five calls, it’s unlikely you’ll run across high-risk situations like these. Mystery shopping hones in on the moments when your brand and customer loyalty are most vulnerable.


In short, mystery shopping takes the mystery out of customer service. It ensures the most comprehensive customer service evaluation, accurately compares you with competitors, and tests high-risk situations. Done well, it provides actionable customer experience metrics, and uncovers clear steps to improve customer service.


Mystery shopping incorporates Interaction Thinking™, because it recognizes the fact that customer interactions are comprised of many nuanced details and elements. When designed to capture this complexity, mystery shopping pinpoints where you need to make the greatest headway. So, to improve customer service efficiently, incorporate expert mystery shopping into your current customer service evaluation program. You’ll have clear, actionable insights on where to improve most, and the concrete next steps to get you there.


About Interaction Metrics

Interaction Metrics is a customer experience agency that maximizes the value of experience planning, satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping, customer interviews, and customer service evaluations.  Only Interaction Metrics Findings Reports combine actionable customer experience metrics with specific recommendations for how to improve.


25 days left, and as you can imagine, the CallMiner team is working feverishly to prepare for our biggest and best Customer Engagement Analytics conference yet.  Hosted at a brand new resort, the Opal Sands is right in the heart of beautiful Clearwater Beach on the Gulf of Mexico, with every room being Gulf Front --- and when they say Gulf Front, they mean it. Every room has a balcony that practically looks down on the water, almost as if you're on a cruise ship. We own the entire hotel for the duration of the event, so everyone you meet at the bar or in the pool will be a fellow Customer Engagement analytics professional.



But what's more important about this year's event is the content and the people.  We have an amazing set of educational and informative sessions across five tracks, something for every level of Customer Engagement Analytics user and executive. Interaction analytics fundamental sessions for executive and analysts, advanced sessions for our more seasoned executives and analysts, an entire track dedicated to round table discussions and working sessions, and some great demonstrations of the latest and greatest in technology from CallMiner and our strategic partners.  See the full schedule here:


Unlike any other, this conference belongs to the attendees.  We participate in over 40 events a year, and proud to say listen2016 has more end user content than any other event we attend.  Take a look at this impressive lineup of speakers: The sessions were recommended by past attendees, voted on and ranked by the community at, and almost all of the presentations are being delivered by the community.  This conference wouldn't be what it has become without you!


Building on the success of previous incarnations of LISTEN, in addition to traditions such entertaining activities, and the annual LISTEN Awards, we'll be adding some exciting new elements including the mobile app, with contact scanning capability, networking missions, and more.  If you've been to LISTEN in the past, you won't want to miss out on this one - if you haven't, make this your first of an annual tradition.  See everybody in 25 days!!


Product User Forums LISTEN 2016 LISTEN


View LISTEN 2015's highlight reel

The Takeaway: Enterprises are leveraging gamification in new, exciting ways. With customer engagement analytics, you can go even further with your gamification strategies.1.jpg


Gamification is quickly becoming a leading focus point for enterprises in countless industries. In previous blog posts, we discussed how companies can gamify their contact centers to better motivate agents and some of the leading contact center gamification success stories. In this article, we'll take a look at how companies are using gamification strategies for both employee and customer engagement beyond the contact center. Here are three of the most noteworthy examples.


1)  Gamification and Cybersecurity


Cybersecurity is, naturally, one of the more critical concerns that companies of all kinds are now grappling with. A number of organizations are turning to gamification to shore up their defenses in this area. Why? Because arguably the single biggest flaw in most cybersecurity efforts is simply human error. Despite company-wide efforts to protect data, employees frequently open untrustworthy emails, download questionable files and visit suspicious websites, all of which can present openings for opportunistic cyber criminals.


"Gamification can provide incentives for personnel to follow cybersecurity guidelines."


As The Next Web pointed out, workers have an unfortunate tendency to ignore cybersecurity rules and best practices. However, with gamification, companies can provide greater incentives for personnel to follow these guidelines, and also help implant these messages more firmly. As an example, the source pointed to cybersecurity firm Digital Guardian, which is using gamification to shift its focus from traditional threat-identification to a model that rewards employees for ideal cybersecurity behavior. Every time a user sends an email that does not trigger a security alert, for example, he or she may gain a point, and accumulating enough points makes the employee eligible for a prize.


Such an approach could be combined with customer engagement analytics tools to both keep an eye out for dangerous employee digital behavior and gain invaluable insight into company-customer interactions.


2)  Gamify Recruitment


Another new, innovative use case for gamification is recruitment, as Forbes highlighted. With gamification, organizations are creating strategies to excite interest among potential prospects. For example, the report noted that PricewaterhouseCoopers developed a game for students aimed at simulating what it's like to work for the firm. PwC's Noemi Biro told Forbes that among those students who played the game, nearly four-fifths subsequently said they wanted to work for PwC and 92 percent said they had a more positive opinion of the company. And PwC is hardly the only organization leveraging games and gamification-related projects to connect with high-value recruits.


This type of approach is particularly important considering that more straightforward approaches may prove less effective when it comes to millennials, as industry expert Tamer Rafla told Forbes. Specifically, Rafla emphasized that rather than traditional "push" recruitment efforts, gamification enables "pull" strategies that are more engaging.


Customer engagement analytics fits into this picture by providing the insights that companies need to design and implement effective gamification strategies. After all, in a very real way, customer engagement analytics act as the fuel for gamification programs.


Screen Shot 2016-10-06 at 2.31.35 PM.png

Gamification can help you recruit college students.


3)  Engaging Employee Onboarding


Once a company has succeeded at recruiting prospects, it needs to bring those new employees on board as effectively and efficiently as possible. This can prove challenging, but gamification can help, as TechCruch noted.


Rather than handing employees static manuals, organizations can gamify onboarding to make the process far more engaging. According to industry expert Thor Fridriksson, this is particularly true when it comes to younger workers, including millennials. Once again, analytics can deliver the insight necessary to make these efforts data-based and effective.


To learn more about gamification, check out our webinar, and for more information on customer engagement analytics, take a look at our new white paper.


And let us know: How is your company leveraging gamification?

The Takeaway: The IoT is fast approaching, and you need to adjust and adapt your customer engagement strategies and resources accordingly.


The Internet of Things is one of the most exciting technological developments to emerge in recent years. As the IoT picks up steam, it will inevitably have a huge impact on companies in virtually every industry, opening up new opportunities - and creating new challenges.


Customer engagement could go either way in that regard. Handled correctly, companies can gain a major competitive advantage as they effectively incorporate the IoT into their customer engagement efforts. If they fail to adapt, though, the IoT may create serious headaches.


To best prepare for the age of the Internet of Things, you first need to appreciate these three key facts:


1)  The IoT will be huge


It should come as no surprise that the IoT is poised for major growth. What may be surprising, however, is the sheer speed and scope of this development.


"There will be nearly 21 billion connected things on the IoT by 2020."


According to Gartner, there will be approximately 6.4 billion "things" connected via the IoT by the end of this year, up 30 percent from 2015. Even more significantly, the research firm believes that there will be nearly 21 billion connected things on the IoT by 2020.


Similarly, the IoT market is poised to experience a 33 percent compound annual growth rate through 2021, according to Research and Markets, at which point this space will be worth $660 billion.


Given these figures, it's clear that the IoT's influence will not be limited to a few select industries. What's more, this level of growth will inevitably greatly impact not just businesses, but also consumers.


2)  Consumer expectations are going to rise


On that note: Perhaps the biggest impact that IoT expansion is likely to have on the consumer side is increased expectations. The Internet of Things is, in the simplest terms, a broad series of interconnected sensors, devices and machines, all collecting and creating massive amounts of data. Alex Bard, a senior vice president and general manager with Salesforce, explained that this will enable companies to identify service issues early, before they create real problems for their customers. As more businesses begin to deliver such preemptive customer engagement and support, those organizations that fail to adapt will be seen as less customer-centric.


That is why Harvard Business Review contributor Paul Weichselbaum recently claimed that the businesses that see customer engagement opportunities in the IoT will thrive while those that see challenges will come up short. To end up in the winning camp, though, firms will need to significantly update their processes and attitudes to account for a more data-focused approach to customer service.


Screen Shot 2016-10-05 at 7.16.37 PM.png


3)  Analytics will be key


That means analytics will be - and, in fact, already are - essential. Rick Hutley, clinical professor of analytics at the University of the Pacific, noted in a LinkedIn Pulse blog post that analytics lie at the heart of the IoT, but can only be fully leveraged when companies capture the necessary raw data. Similarly, Kissmetrics contributor Shayla Price emphasized the leading role analytics should play in customer engagement strategies.


To fully leverage the IoT for customer engagement purposes, then, analytics are invaluable. Those companies that start to move in this direction now will be best positioned to benefit as the IoT continues to grow.


What steps is your company taking to prepare for the Internet of Things?

Our company recently began working with a website optimization service. As the introductory phone call drew to a close, our new account manager asked me to take a customer satisfaction survey—and told me, “That’s how I get paid.”



This was useless, awkward, and inappropriate. It showed that what I had to say didn’t really matter. Plus, this was my account manager—there’s no way I’d give him a poor rating that might sour our weekly phone calls.


This entire approach to customer satisfaction surveys ran counter to Interaction Thinking™ because it overlooked how interactions can create value for the company and customer alike. The company could have gotten accurate data (we’ll get to that in a minute), and the customer could have had a great onboarding experience, unencumbered by feelings of obligation or guilt.


Furthermore, the survey was painfully generic. For example, one question was the ubiquitous Net Promoter Score (NPS): “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?” Not only is NPS so overused that many customers are numb to it—it’s often just irrelevant. Who would I recommend my account manager to? Most of us don’t discuss niche web services with friends. The rest of the questions were equally trite and focused on broad outcomes, not specific nuances.


By the way, if this had been a tech support call, linking employee pay to survey ratings could favor quick fixes that might seem right at first—but don't fully resolve the issue, and leave customers calling back a week later.


Now, about that data: unfortunately, this company’s survey only gathered selective, biased feedback and inaccurate customer experience metrics. It revealed no valuable insights about the actual quality of the customer experience, or how to improve.


If companies want to master the customer experience to build customer loyalty, they need satisfaction surveys that collect accurate, valuable customer experience metrics—while never sacrificing positive, worthwhile experiences for customers.


About Interaction Metrics

Interaction Metrics is a customer experience agency that maximizes the value of experience planning, satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping, customer interviews, and customer service evaluations.  Only Interaction Metrics Findings Reports combine actionable customer experience metrics with specific recommendations for how to improve.