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69 Posts authored by: andrewmishalove

shutterstock_366617948.jpgThe takeaway: While artificial intelligence continues to advance, it does not have the ability to replace humans in situations that require creative and flexible thinking.

 

Has Artificial Technology Progressed Enough to Replace Humans?

 

A recent discussion on Engagement Optimization started by Pulkit Jain brought up an unnerving question: Can technology surpass human brains? The technology he's referring to is artificial intelligence (AI). This technology - which, in recent years, has taken the form of self-driving cars at Uber and talk technology like Siri or Watson - has achieved some amazing things. But will it make humans obsolete?

 

The Fear of Artificial Intelligence

 

This fear of AI isn't new. When Deep Blue, a computer made by IBM, engaged in a match against Gary Kasparov, the world's best chess player, the world held its breath. Kasparov said he was playing on behalf of all humans, according to Time. He was thrown off balance by the computer's human playing style, leading him to forfeit the match to the computer. A piece of technology had beaten the best chess player in the world. That was in 1997 - and artificial intelligence technology has only continued to move forward.

 

As programming for AI has gotten better, we keep circling back to the question science fiction writers like Isaac Asimov grappled with in their stories: Can technology surpass human brains? And what does that mean if it can?

 

The short answer is: not right now. Technology is not presently able to outsmart humans. As ColdFusion noted in its YouTube series about AI, these smart computers excel at certain tasks, but none have mastered the "good at everything" element.

 

 

We are creating AI that can recognize general principles and apply them. They're savants, good with memorizing swaths of information, but struggling to apply that knowledge to changing situations. And that is the current downfall of AI - and the continuing strength of humans.

 

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     Turning right on red is a sign of flexible human thinking.

 

We can take our general knowledge of different subjects and apply it in atypical situations - think of the popularity of Malcolm Gladwell and his ability to link two seemingly unrelated topics. In addition, human learning is flexible. We can adapt the rules we've learned to changing situations. Take stopping at a red light, for example. We know we can turn right on a red light if there is no oncoming traffic. All a self-driving car sees is a red light, so it waits until the light changes (much to the chagrin of the human drivers behind it).

 

Another human benefit? Our brains can think creatively. While it is impressive that artificial intelligence can create a trailer for a horror movie, AI machines are having a harder time developing their own content.

 

That doesn't mean researchers aren't preparing for the day that AI will gain flexible and creative thought. Stephen Hawking developed the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at Cambridge University. Tech entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator, invested $1 billion dollars to OpenAI, a nonprofit looking to advance AI safely.

 

Importantly, a large part of how AI progresses depends on how humans - both AI users and creators - respond. As Altman mentioned, technology will continue to move forward - the only question is how we will keep up.

 

How do you feel about AI getting smarter?

big-data-big-year-2017.jpgPost by: Frank Sherlock, VP, International, Sales

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An Age of uncertainty is upon us” according to The Economist and many other sources.

 

Preparing for and being able to manage your business and your relationships with customers through such times will be critical. Your call centre is at the forefront of customer interactions. Utilizing the wealth of data contained in these interactions will provide the insights that you need to successfully navigate your way through 2017 and beyond.

 

We’ve put together a list of four great tactics for making sure that you use your call centre data to deliver the customer insights you need to turn a “year of uncertainty” into a “Big Year for your business”.

 

Take a look…..

 

[FULL BLOG POST]

 

This post originally appeared on CallMiner.

fitbit_800x500.pngThe Takeaway: Healthcare providers looking to increase customer engagement through apps can look to Fitbit for successful tactics, like multi-channel engagement and strong motivators.

 

If only more healthcare apps could be like Fitbit. When asked about his company's mission, Fitbit CEO James Park said:

 

"A lack of consumer engagement is missing…[it] is a critical missing element in many broad healthcare efforts such as population health and disease control."

 

He's right. An Accenture report found that only 2 percent of consumers are interacting with their healthcare providers. Why are Fitbit devices so popular? And what can healthcare providers learn from Fitbit?

 

Think Like a Brand

 

There are several components of the company's success: Fitbit as a brand has addressed a need in the marketplace. Surrounded by more Internet of Things products and a growing obsession with staying active, Fitbit created devices that give its users the ability to track fitness and health goals, making it one of the first devices to tackle the growing health trend while connecting a group of like-minded individuals. By addressing a pain point, Fitbit had a customer engagement strategy built into its product.

 

Healthcare apps have yet to do this. According to the Accenture report, only 11 percent of healthcare providers created apps that address at least one of three functions that customers want most.

 

In addition, Fitbit is using several platforms to stay in contact with customers. According to Simply Measured, Fitbit's presence across Facebook and Instagram, with the hashtag #Mondaymotivation, accounted for 20 percent of its highest performing posts.

 

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#Mondaymotivation works as an important external motivator for Fitbit users.

How can healthcare providers and apps mimic Fitbit's success?

 

UnitedHealth Group, out of Minnesota, has made headway in engaging customers with its app, Baby Blocks. Unveiled in 2011, the healthcare app serves as a poster child for a strong customer engagement strategy in the healthcare space. As noted in the group's press release, the app works to help expectant mothers on Medicaid attend all their prenatal and post-pregnancy appointments. Like Fitbit, it also reaches out to customers across multiple communication channels, sending out reminders through email and helpful tips via text message.

 

Set a Goal for Customers

 

A secondary facet of Fitbit's success as a brand is the interaction between its members. It's a form of external motivation: Friends can try to top each other's fitness goals on a daily - or hourly - basis. The goal paired with its immediate payoff is central to Fitbit's success.

 

Meanwhile, Baby Blocks, as a healthcare app, has created its own form of external motivation to reward its patients. Instead of points, it uses gift cards for maternity or baby clothes. And this is crucial in helping keep its customers engaged.

 

Wharton Professor Kevin Werbach, in his book For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business, warned against "pointification" or setting up loyalty programs with points associated with different tasks. Werbach argued that  points feel arbitrary. They are an intermediary accomplishment that could eventually lead to concrete rewards, yet fail to materialize fast enough. Just in the way you can immediately see if you've beaten your co-worker's number of steps for the day, patients using Baby Blocks can see a clear result from their efforts.

 

There is, of course, one huge obstacle for healthcare apps that Fitbit doesn't have to worry about just yet (though, if  a recent Q&A is to be believed, Fitbit will be moving into this space): privacy and legalities in the healthcare field. While this is a challenge, Accenture found that focusing on the functionality of existing apps may prove to be the most important part of boosting customer engagement.

 

What are you doing to creatively engage your customers?

customer-experience-data.jpgIn today’s fast-paced, consumer-driven marketplace, customer communications channels abound.  Gone are the days of simply picking up the phone and contacting customer service.  Instead, customers communicate with companies through numerous channels, including social media, email, live chat, and more.

 

So what does this mean for companies looking to provide optimal customer experiences?

 

In order to develop a full and complete picture of the customer journey, as well as truly understand their customers, companies must find ways to leverage the wealth of customer data at their disposal.

 

Here’s a look at how companies can best leverage customer data.

 

[FULL BLOG POST]

 

This post originally appeared on CallMiner.

Untitled.jpgThe Takeaway: Customer experience objectives should take precedence over technology when aiming for customer engagement optimization.

 

It's a simple question with a complex answer: What's the best way to improve the customer experience at your company? An obvious step in the direction is to optimize customer engagement. A recent survey found that "improving the customer experience" was the most common business objective among corporate leaders - but determining how to go about achieving this goal is not nearly so straightforward. As they consider different approaches and solutions, it is very easy for companies to lose sight of what really matters.

 

To make sure that customer engagement optimization remains the focus, you first need to identify your customer experience priorities. That requires taking a thorough look at the different types of customer interactions which occur throughout the organization.

 

Technology Is the Means, Not the End

Arguably the biggest misstep that companies make in this area is pursuing technological solutions as if they represent the final goal, rather than a means to an end.

 

This issue isn't limited to the contact center or customer engagement optimization - it crops up in countless areas. Writing for Forbes, customer experience expert Adrian Swinscoe noted that this kind of approach can lead to misguided thinking in the realms of big data, artificial intelligence and more. "I find myself wondering if we should be wary of getting lost in the technologies and their possibilities and whether we should try and mitigate against this by focusing on what we want our businesses to achieve," he wrote.

 

Instead, Swinscoe emphasized that companies need to identify their objectives first, and only then move on to choosing and deploying technology tools after those goals.

 

Establishing Priorities

With that in mind, it's important for decision-makers to look at how their clients are engaging with the company and identify the aspects of the customer experience most in need of improvement.

 

 

Addressing this topic, Harvard Business Review recently offered a tiered approach to recognizing customer engagement priorities:

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  1. Customer pain points: The most important goal should be to make every customer interaction as smooth and problem-free as possible. If there are any types of engagement causing user frustration, then the priority must be to find a way - which may or may not involve upgrading to a new technology - to alleviate these issues.
  2. Advanced customer service: If there are no obvious problems, the next priority is to identify ways of going further - reducing average call wait times below an acceptable threshold, for example.
  3. Get personal: Once that's been achieved, the next step in customer engagement optimization is adding personalization into the customer experience. Customized advertising based on an in-depth customer analytics solution would be one potential application.

 

Obviously, reaching that third and final level of customer engagement optimization is a tall task for many organizations, requiring a long and serious commitment to improving the customer experience in just about every possible capacity. Yet that is precisely what companies need to do in order to gain and maintain a competitive customer service advantage, which is itself becoming an increasingly important differentiator.

 

Technologies such as customer engagement analytics will inevitably play a major role in achieving these goals, but business leaders can only make the right analytics and other IT decisions after they've identified their concrete customer experience improvement priorities.

 

What steps is your company taking to upgrade the customer experience?

1.jpgLast week, CallMiner hosted our eighth annual LISTEN user conference and customer engagement analytics event.  LISTEN 2016, which took place at the beautiful Opal Sands Hotel in Clearwater Beach, Florida, featured sessions, keynotes, and roundtable discussions on speech analytics, customer experience, call center efficiency, and more.

 

At its core, LISTEN is an event designed to bring together executives and data analysts from top organizations who are using and benefiting from speech analytics.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways and highlights of LISTEN 2016:

 

[FULL BLOG POST]

 

This post originally appeared on CallMiner.

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!

 

[FULL BLOG POST]

 

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!

 

[FULL BLOG POST]

 

This post originally appeared on CallMiner.

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.

 

[FULL BLOG POST]

 

This post originally appeared on CallMiner.

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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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?

1.jpgKey Takeaway: Effective customer journey mapping + customer engagement optimization = success.

 

Understanding customer journey mapping is a critical step for businesses as they move increasingly toward omnichannel (see our recent white paper for more on that trend). Yet many customer engagement professionals remain foggy in terms of what exactly the customer journey is and, just as importantly, how to best leverage it for customer engagement optimization.

 

What Is Customer Journey Mapping?

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that there are several popular definitions of customer journey mapping. Siddharth Gaikwad, practice head of digital experience at Dell digital business services, told Knowledge@Wharton that it's "the definitive first step in the process of converting a current 'as-is' state to a future state that promises an enhanced customer experience."

 

Gaiwad added that customer journey mapping incorporates the "customer's expectations, experiences and reflections" across every touchpoint with a company.

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 2.05.37 PM.pngThe more precise your customer journey mapping, the more effective your customer engagement optimization efforts will be. The Salesforce UK blog emphasized this point, noting that understanding the customer journey equates to knowing when to expect customer interactions at every potential touchpoint. This in turn empowers companies to deliver a seamless experience to customers across channels.

 

Customer Journey Mapping Missteps

Those are the benefits, but they aren't guaranteed. In many instances, companies make mistakes with their customer journey mapping efforts which can significantly undermine these advantages.

 

For example, it's important for businesses to focus on analytics and metrics throughout the entirety of the customer journey. It's not enough to be aware of how your customers are engaging with your business - you need to measure how these interactions deliver relative to their expectations and, as the Salesforce UK blog noted, your brand promise. Customer journey analytics (also known as customer engagement analytics) will prove essential in this capacity.

 

Another common mistake in this area is to focus too heavily on understanding the here and now without also looking ahead to the future. Matt Kresch, writing for Microsoft's Dynamics Community, emphasized that this is a major mistake for customer engagement broadly. He asserted that customer support expectations and preferences change over time, and companies need to recognize and keep pace with these developments.

 

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In terms of customer journey mapping, this process should be not just descriptive, but also prescriptive - businesses can use this tool to determine their customer engagement goals for the future, as well as better understand interactions as they happen today.

 

Collectively, these two points highlight the simple but underappreciated fact that customer journey mapping cannot be effectively pursued without a complementary focus on customer engagement analytics. Together, these resources can go a long way to position companies for success in an increasingly omnichannel world.

 

How does your company approach customer journey mapping?

pci-compliance.jpgWith more than 40% of worldwide Internet users buying products or goods online, companies with e-commerce platforms have a responsibility to protect sensitive consumer information (credit and banking information, mailing and email addresses, user names and passwords, etc.).

 

But identity theft and fraud are all too common in a marketplace of more than 1 billion online buyers – and counting.

 

To ensure the safe handling of customer information in the call center, an interaction analytics solution can prove critical.  Interaction analytics reduces liability exposure by taking immediate action on any legal threats and de-escalates situations that might otherwise spiral out of control.

 

Take a look at 3 ways interaction analytics helps to maintain PCI compliance for call centers.

 

[FULL BLOG POST]

 

This post originally appeared on CallMiner.

1.jpgThe Takeaway: For gamification strategies to deliver improved customer engagement, you need to balance your business objectives with genuinely enjoyable incentives.

 

Gamification deployments are fast becoming more common - and more expansive. Business leaders now realize there are virtually no limits to how or where gamification strategies can prove valuable, as this approach has the potential to dramatically increase customer engagement and customer experience management in numerous capacities.

 

Of course, for gamification to deliver on this promise, it needs to be deployed correctly. This recent white paper, for example, dives into the issue of how to use gamification to improve contact center performance. In this article, we'll take a look at an even more fundamental issue for achieving gamification success: Should gamification be fun? The answer may not be as straightforward as you'd think.

 

Why Gamify?

To answer that, you first need to address the basic question of why a company should pursue gamification in the first place. Gamification's value lies in its potential to encourage desired behaviors among a given group. Many companies use gamification to train employees more quickly and effectively - in the white paper highlighted above, for example, you'll see how contests can motivate agents to achieve better performance. To see how these types of gamification programs can deliver results, check out this blog post.

 

Other organizations focus their gamification efforts on customer engagement. Forbes contributor John Rampton explained that gamification can be particularly useful for B2B companies that need to train and explain to enterprise users how to best utilize a given product. A gamified experience has the potential to be much more engaging, and therefore effective, than a traditional product demo or user guide.

 

That's why businesses have embraced and continue to embrace gamification. The next question is, how can organizations get gamification right?

 

What Makes Gamification Work?

This is where the element of fun enters the picture - and it can get complicated. There is a very basic tension inherent to gamification strategies. On the one hand, gamification's effectiveness is predicated on the idea of making users - be they employees or consumers - want to engage in the behavior the company desires. For that to happen, the "game" part of the gamification program needs to be fun and satisfying for everyone who participates.

 

The problem that many companies face here is that if a business leans too heavily on the "fun" side of the equation, then the game may come to dominate and the effort will lose its focus on the real objective of encouraging the right kind of user and customer engagement. In other words, it's very possible to make gamification too much fun.

 

Say, for example, a company implements gamification in its contact center by rewarding points to agent teams for completing calls in below-average times, improving first-call resolution rates and so on, and these points show up on a big, communal board and can be redeemed for free dinners and movie tickets. That will probably motivate agents quite a bit. In fact, if the rewards are tempting enough and the competition fierce enough, agents may start to focus more on earning points than what really matters: improving customer experience management. They may rush through calls or distract their rival colleagues, and the end result is bad for the business as a whole.

 

At the same time, though, if the gamification effort isn't fun enough - if the rewards aren't all that appealing, etc. - then there won't be enough user buy-in to make much of a difference.

 

This can be a difficult balance to achieve, but it's absolutely essential for maximizing the value of gamification programs. So what factors should you consider to make sure your gamification effort is fun but also remains focused on your ultimate engagement objectives?

 

1. Identify Goals

The easiest way for a gamification strategy to get off the rails is if the fundamental goals are not fully fleshed out and clearly identified. Without firm, established targets, a company may naturally shift the balance increasingly toward making the gamification program fun, as that will lead to greater engagement. But unless customer engagement is the goal in and of itself, then this should not be the primary guiding light for the gamification strategy, either at its inception or as time goes on.

 

2. Use Customer Engagement Analytics

With the goal or goals identified, the next key to ensuring the right balance between fun and results is to closely monitor customer engagement analytics. After all, it is difficult, maybe even impossible, to develop the perfect motivation system at the onset, without any data to work with. Basic results - such as the number of participants, the rewards meted out, etc. - will provide useful baseline insight, but more thorough analytics are necessary to see precisely how users are engaging with the gamification strategy. Are the incentives encouraging the desired behavior, or do people seem to be solely interested in collecting badges or other rewards?

 

3. Constantly Reassess

With the analytics in hand, you'll be able to reassess how the gamification program is working, then make subtle changes. Critically, this should happen on a continual basis. By fine-tuning along the way, you'll be much better able to strike that ideal balance between fun and effectiveness.

 

Tell us: What strategies are you using to make your gamification fun and engaging without losing sight of your goals?

2.jpgThe Takeaway: Customer engagement analytics can supplement or even replace traditional marketing research, delivering more accurate and comprehensive insight.

 

Customer engagement analytics solutions have the potential to deliver an unprecedented degree of insight for enterprises. When first deploying this technology, most companies tend to limit their focus to the contact center, where the raw information is collected in the form of customer phone calls, emails, live chat, social media and so on. Increasingly, though, businesses are discovering that customer engagement analytics insights can be equally powerful - and sometimes even more effective - when utilized beyond the contact center.

 

Our latest white paper dives into this issue in much greater detail. In this blog post, we want to take a moment to highlight an especially promising application of this approach: marketing research.

 

Moving Beyond Surveys

The potential of customer engagement analytics insights for marketing research is arguably most apparent when it comes to the well-worn customer survey. As we discussed in this earlier blog post, customer satisfaction surveys - one of the more common types of marketing research - have many inherent flaws, including limited scopes, rigid topic focus and unpopularity with participants. This does not mean that surveys should be abandoned entirely, of course - they still offer significant value - but it's important to recognize their limitations.

 

Even the Marketing Research Association, while defending the customer survey, acknowledged, "Within the sphere of marketing research activities today, few have lower prestige than the simple survey."

 

In that previous blog, we focused on the advantages customer engagement analytics offer compared to surveys when it comes to marketing research. Now, let's take a look at a sample use case.

 

Accurate Insights

In our white paper, we gave the example of an electronics retailer and how it could use customer engagement analytics to address product issues before they become serious problems. Let's now say that this same company is trying to measure the effectiveness of a recent marketing campaign promoting a line of HD TVs.

 

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Did your latest marketing campaign deliver? Find out with analytics.

 

Naturally, sales figures will be the ultimate measure here. To get more granular and specific, though, more in-depth marketing research is necessary. A customer survey would reveal a fair amount of information, but that can't compare to the level of insight the company will gain through the use of customer engagement analytics.

 

With this approach, the firm can examine every instance of customer interaction, searching for and identifying uses of key phrases relating to the marketing effort. Immediately, this can provide a more accurate sense of the level of awareness the campaign achieved. From there, the analytics solution can reveal consumer sentiment surrounding elements of the marketing effort by examining the actual words that customers naturally use when engaging with company representatives. This is all without the artificiality inherent to asking consumers to describe their own reactions, via survey or otherwise, and without imposing any sort of burden on these individuals.

 

With this rich, comprehensive insight, the marketing team will be much better able to craft effective future campaigns, thanks to their newfound ability to quickly and efficiently learn how to best target their ideal demographics.

 

How can your company's marketing research efforts benefit from customer engagement analytics?