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Interactions Analytics: Happy 20-Year Anniversary

August 2023

Now in its 20th year, the interaction analytics (IA) market is considered mature, with its solutions regarded as essential for most contact centers. Companies can easily buy IA applications from a wide range of competitors, including best-of-breed vendors, workforce engagement management (WEM) suite providers, contact center as a service (CCaaS) platform vendors, customer experience (CX) solution providers, business process outsourcers (BPOs), consulting firms, customer relationship management (CRM) system vendors, sales or marketing application providers, and others. However, features, functionality, and underlying technology vary greatly from one IA solution to the next. Some offerings are highly sophisticated enterprise-level business intelligence (BI) applications and others are more rudimentary, dedicated to identifying keywords and phrases. Prospects can find solutions that meet their functional, operational, and pricing requirements, giving enterprises the flexibility to acquire an application that matches their specific needs. 

Interaction analytics technology is very helpful in determining why consumers reach out to an organization (in voice and digital channels), which has been a primary contact center use case for years. Additionally, providing insights into customer and employee emotion and sentiment has proven effective in enhancing agent and department performance. But the value and contributions of IA increase when it is integrated into third-party solutions, such as a surveying solution to glean voice of the customer (VoC) insights from free-form comments or a sales solution to help representatives identify the best offer for a prospect. The recent addition of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology to IA-based applications is improving system findings and usability, and presenting many new opportunities for the future. 

The practical uses of IA technology and its enterprise-wide value continue to grow. IA is the foundational technology for a series of new applications that can make large contributions to companies by improving the CX and employee experience (EX) while increasing productivity in contact centers. Analytics-enabled QM is experiencing rapid growth, particularly now that the cost of these solutions has been rationalized and organizations are able to build a business case that justifies the investment. The time is right for AQM, as contact centers are under great pressure to increase the effectiveness of their QM resources. AQM provides the ability to perform timely QM on up to 100% of voice and digital interactions. While most enterprises use a hybrid form of AQM by augmenting system findings with a human QM specialist, the solution gives them a much broader view into what’s happening and why, at a fraction of the cost of staffing the function solely with live resources. 

IA vendors are substantially investing in many aspects of their solutions, and more enhancements are on their way. Modules for real-time guidance (RTG) and after-interaction summarization are relatively new, yet are already delivering benefits. Real-time guidance applications enable agents to overcome objections and do things right on every interaction, which improves first contact resolution (FCR) and increases the bottom line. After-interaction summarization automates the wrap-up process, eliminating a task that agents find tedious while reducing interaction handle time by 15 to 45 seconds. During the next 12 – 18 months, DMG expects the vendors to further develop and release applications that identify the follow-up activities discussed during interactions and to kick off automated processes to address them. DMG recommends that contact centers of all sizes that want to shake things up and improve their CX, EX, and productivity consider investing in IA and its complementary capabilities, including AQM, RTG, and after-interaction summarization.