Customer Care Initiatives Crucial in Today's Economy: ITEXPO Exhibitor

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Customer Care Initiatives Crucial in Today's Economy: ITEXPO Exhibitor

August 18, 2011

The economic downturn has forced most companies to reduce their operating expenses and refocus their priorities. For many, this transition involves spending more time and resources protecting their current client base, rather than investing in marketing initiatives to entice new customers.  

The renewed focus on customer care has opened up new opportunities for providers of performance evaluation, employee coaching and client feedback solutions, including call recording platforms, screen capture systems and dispute resolution technologies.

In an effort to get a pulse on this industry, TMC CEO Rich Tehrani recently conducted an interview with Justin O’Brien, vice president of Sales and Marketing at CXM Recording and Quality Monitoring, a provider of the aforementioned technologies.

Solutions that enable businesses to identify their customer support limitations – such as post-call customer satisfaction surveys and integrated e-learning – will become mainstays in this economic environment, says O'Brien.

In addition, companies will continue to look toward virtualized and cloud-based solutions to minimize expenses and stay ahead of the technology curve, he added. O'Brien also sees PCI compliance requirements as a major factor moving forward for the call recording industry. 

Tehrani and O'Brien touched on a few other hot topics in the tech world, including the social media craze, the future of Google+ and the mobile operating system war, which O'Brien believes will eventually be won by Android due to its availability on a number of devices.

CXM's VP of sales also listed the reasons why his company is attending ITEXPO West 2011 – set to kick off on Sept. 13 in Austin, Texas – and detailed what visitors of their booth can expect at the show.

Check out the complete interview below.

How has your market segment evolved over the past year and what trends have fueled those changes?

The downturn in the national economy has resulted in organizations scaling back their marketing efforts, which in turn has resulted in a reduction of new customer acquisitions for most companies. In order to stay afloat, organizations have rediscovered the simple truth that customer care is the only sustainable competitive advantage...and more importantly, it is the most cost-effective competitive advantage. With the global inception of social media, organizations have embraced this truth with the understanding that customer care equals customer retention…Customer retention equals positive word of mouth…Positive word of mouth equals new customers.

Our CXM Recording and Quality Monitoring solution, among other similar applications focused on quality assurance, has thrived over the past four years as organizations understand that “internal” metrics such as Average Wait Time (AWT) & Average Hold Time (AHT) are no longer enough to ensure customer satisfaction and retention.

With offerings such as ours, organizations can now focus on “delivery” metrics, which focus on agent knowledge, professionalism and procedural compliance. Subsequently, you’ll find an increased focus on the development of new features that further enable organizations to pinpoint their customer care weakness into our application, such as integrated post-call customer satisfaction surveys and integrated e-learning.

What do you see as the next disruptive force in technology and how will it impact your market or business?

A global power outage! Yikes! Could you imagine? The incorporation of smart phones and tablets into our daily lives will keep the industry busy for a while…I hope.

In all seriousness, presently many tech companies are at a crossroads. Virtualization and “The Cloud” have really disrupted the market in all sectors. Companies are looking to save money. How do you do that? One was is to reduce your footprint, subsequently your staffing requirements. Entire rooms…heck buildings, are now being virtualized or hosted in “The Cloud.” 

Tech companies are presently at a crossroads as to whether they should embrace this shift or stay put. Fortunately at CXM, we have made every effort to stay ahead of the curve. From our inception to the present, CXM has always been a “client-less” solution with the ability to be virtualized and accessible via the cloud from anywhere.

How has the acceptance and adoption of the cloud model influenced your development cycle and process?

Not much…except every newly developed idea introduced in our weekly meetings is followed with: “How can we make it work in the cloud.” Fortunately, we embraced “The Cloud” before it was a popular buzz word. The greatest impact has been in marketing and showing ROI for us.

What is the most common request you are seeing from your customers? How is your company addressing these demands?

PCI Compliance. More and more organizations are recording calls and taking credit card details over the phone. New guidelines from the PCI DSS Security Council mandate that Credit Card Data must be removed from recordings if you wish to remain PCI Compliant.

At CXM, we offer a module called CXM ConForm that allows us to automatically, in real-time, identify when credit card details are going to be requested by the agent. With this intuitive identification process we know to immediately cease recording until the agent concludes accepted credit card details, thus effectively insuring no credit card details will be present in the recording.

How is the continued growth of social media changing service and product development strategies?

Thanks to social media, there is an increased demand to be able to quickly share information with peers and consumers. CXM support can now not only quickly email our customer base about new feature releases or software upgrades, but can now quickly tweet or post to Facebook to hundreds of followers.

In addition, it has further opened the line of communication our customers have with our development team. Customers can quickly tweet or post ideas for our developers to consider for future releases. Furthermore, our solution now features many tools derived from social media tools that allow users to quickly share calls, post bulletins and receive testing and training.

Will Google+ become bigger than Facebook and Twitter? Why or why not?

Oh boy…I hope not…I can’t handle another account!

As businesses continue their move toward virtual workforces, how are you meeting the need for increased mobility?  What barriers are keeping others from adopting mobile strategies?

The CXM Recording Solution is fully functional in a virtual environment. The availability of our tools and features via your smart phone and tablet are currently being tested and will be available for release shortly.

Why haven’t others adopted or embraced new mobile technologies or strategies? For some it is lack of knowledge, others lack of desire, but most commonly, I discover, it is due to lack of foresight. In order to succeed and grow, you have to imagine what technology is going to be, rather than see it for what it is today. I see virtual offices, chat and smart phones 5 years from now, not as supporting tools and devices, but as the primary tools being deployed and utilized---why? Everything is driven by the dollar. Virtualization and mobilization saves money! 

How do you see the mobile operating system war (iPhone vs. Android vs. RIM vs. WM7) playing out?

iPhone and Android will battle it out the same way Mac and Windows have battled it out for the last 10-plus years. RIM and WM7 are late to the game and don’t bring anything revolutionary or relevant to the table. In the end, Android will “win” due solely to its availability on a variety of devices.

Is HTML5 the game changer many predict it will be?

I think the jury is still out. Certainly, HTML5 has made development of websites and apps easier and less expensive, but for those with substantial dollars invested in previous HTML code, is it worth the change? I dunno…

What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO West in Austin? What do you see as being the biggest trends at the show?

5th Street…I heard there is a lot of fun to be had there! ITEXPO brings about the latest and greatest technologies and some of the brightest minds in the various industries. Moreover, I enjoy speaking with consumers candidly and discovery what issues their organizations are facing. Often, these discussions lead to creative solutions and hopefully that solution becomes recognized innovation that can be adopted globally through our services at CXM.

Who should visit your booth at ITEXPO and why?

The CXM Recording and Quality Monitoring Solution is a robust, cost-effective and scalable solution designed to minimize liability, increase first call resolution, increase dispute resolution and most importantly deliver a competitive advantage through improved customer care.

CXM is perfect for small, medium and large contact centers, as well as municipalities and emergency response centers that are looking for an easy to use tool that will enable them to record calls, record desktop activity, grade calls, better train agents, analyze and report trends through speech analytics and much, much more. 

CXM is a cutting edge tool that can be designed and scaled to meet any organizations unique needs. More importantly, not only do we preach customer care, we deliver customer care to our end users…I guarantee it!

To find out more about CXM Recording and Quality Monitoring, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2011. To be held Sept. 13-15 in Austin, TX,  ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit CXM Recording and Quality Monitoring in booth #508. Justin O’Brien is speaking during “Hearing the Voice of the Customer Leads to Songs of Success.” 

Don’t wait. Register now. 

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Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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