Enghouse Interactive (News - Alert) is the largest division of 30-year-old Enghouse Systems, specializing in communications products. Its goal is to provide the best, most complete portfolio of solutions, fully integrated and connected with one common goal: to enable great communication with your customers. Over the years the company has grown that portfolio, and it now delivers a suite of products that include contact center management, unified communications, operator consoles, predictive dialing, workforce management, and speech analytics. CUSTOMER magazine recently spoke to Ernie Wallerstein (News - Alert), president of Americas Channels at Enghouse Interactive, about the company and how it addresses customer experience.
You’re in charge of EI Channels, what does that part of Enghouse Interactive do?
I run the Americas Channels business. Our group sells and delivers communication solutions through a network of channel partners in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Often those partners specialize in communications and networking using one or more of our partner platforms: Microsoft Lync, NEC, Avaya (News - Alert), and Cisco. We provide their selected technologies for contact centers and optimal customer communications.
Our goal has been to build a cohesive set of technologies that work together to enable great customer communications. Imagine this: A call comes in and is identified as coming from one of your business’s VIP customers, so it is routed with highest priority to the best agent to handle the interaction. The agent gets a pop-up of the customer’s information and history, along with the top-rated knowledge base articles for the products owned by the customer. The agent is able to ask for assistance, and a supervisor sees the request on her tablet, then joins into the conversation to assist in real-time. The whole interaction, voice and desktop, is recorded and the speech is analyzed, so that later the supervisor can coach the agent to help him get better. That scenario combines Zeacom with EI’s knowledge base, call recording and quality management software, and speech analytics technology to provide a complete solution. We’ve integrated it together into our new user interface, called TouchPoint, so users have a single unified application on the desktop. It’s an extremely powerful story.
What does Enghouse Interactive deliver that will drive the adoption of the multichannel contact center?
We’ve found that a very high percentage of contact centers, over 80 percent, provide some kind of text-based communication with their customers – e-mail, SMS, chat, and so on. And this percentage is increasing with mobile device usage. But most contact centers do not yet combine additional channels with voice calls in a universal queue. We position the advantages of doing that: the ability to prioritize based on customer value, not communication type; the unification of reporting and administration across types; the escalation of one communication type to another to better convey information. This has great value and a high ROI, as businesses can better manage and increase their levels of service.
CRM has been a hot area of investment in recent years. How does Enghouse Interactive enable businesses to make better use of their existing CRM systems?
We integrate out-of-the-box to over 10 popular CRM systems, including Salesforce.com, Microsoft (News - Alert) CRM, and Oracle. This allows us to automatically provide self-service information and handle frequently-asked questions based on database lookups, to identify and intelligently route calls and other interactions based on customer data, and to screen-pop CRM customer records when an interaction is delivered to the agent – this adds productivity and saves 20 seconds or more per call, every call. It also reduces errors by pre-navigating to the correct screen.
Delivering a positive customer experience while containing costs are two key areas of focus for many businesses today. How do Enghouse Interactive solutions help address both business imperatives?
Although it seems on the surface that these two goals are at odds, often they are actually quite aligned. For example, by making an agent highly productive, with CRM integration, knowledge management, coaching and scripting, and communication tools (like multiple concurrent chats, response templates, spell checkers, and so on), two things occur. The agent is more efficient, and requires less time per interaction, with fewer needs to transfer the interaction to someone else. And it is more likely the agent will provide what the customers need, making their experience better and increasing their satisfaction level. And since a good contact center management system allows both of these factors to be tracked, you get a constant view of both cost and customer satisfaction.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi