Keith Dawson's Analyst Perspectives

About the Analyst

Keith Dawson

Keith leads the expertise in Customer Experience (CX), covering applications and technology that facilitate engagement to optimize customer-facing processes. His focus areas include: agent management, contact center and voice of the customer and technology in marketing, sales, field service and applications such as digital commerce and subscription management. Keith’s specialization is in natural language and speech tools with intelligent virtual assistants, multichannel routing and journey management, and the wide array of customer analytics. He is focused on how businesses can break down technology and operational silos to provide more efficient processes for two-way engagement with customers. Keith has been an industry analyst for more than a decade and prior was the editorial director of Call Center Magazine. There he pioneered coverage of cloud-based contact centers, speech recognition and processing, and the shift from voice to multichannel communications. He is a graduate of Amherst College.

Recent Posts

Zendesk Boosts AI for Enhanced Customer Engagement

Posted by Keith Dawson on May 31, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Zendesk held its customer conference – Relate – along with a session for industry analysts in May. Zendesk develops software primarily for customer service and support and automating aspects of the sales process through customer relationship management. The conference presented an opportunity for Zendesk to showcase several new technology developments that it hopes will solidify its position in the customer experience marketplace.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, Customer Experience Management, Intelligent Self-Service

The Path to Generative AI to Boost Contact Center Agent Performance

Posted by Keith Dawson on May 16, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become ubiquitous in discussions of contact center technology. Vendors are rushing to incorporate it into platforms and applications. And end users have understandably mixed feelings about where it makes sense to use and what its impacts will be. No one should be surprised that AI has arrived, especially for customer support: Software companies have been working on customer experience (CX)- -related AI applications for many years, and the fruits of those efforts have been gradually working their way into real-world tools, particularly chatbots. Solutions that help automate the self-service gateway to customer support are able to boost speed and efficiency in customer interactions, and this can lead to faster response times, reduced wait times, and improved first-contact resolution rates, all of which can have a positive impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, agent management, AI & Machine Learning, Intelligent Self-Service

Oracle’s Formula for CX Builds on Fusion Service

Posted by Keith Dawson on May 2, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Organizations are increasingly seeing the strategic benefits of enhanced customer engagement. But many are struggling to understand how to put a broader customer experience strategy into practice amid siloed processes and departments. Particularly in contact centers, new technology has to be melded onto existing platforms in ways that enhance experiences without disrupting operations.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, Customer Experience Management, Field Service

Customer Feedback Management Goes Way Beyond Surveys for the VoC

Posted by Keith Dawson on Apr 13, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Contact centers have long collected feedback from customers, usually through short surveys. It is very common for an agent or an automated system to ask for an assessment of the interaction that just occurred, hoping to get the customer's candid, instant view of whether they were satisfied. For the most part, what's learned in those short engagements is very narrow. It can be used for a customer satisfaction snapshot, and it can be used to find out if a particular agent is running into trouble. That is useful, but extremely limited in scope.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, AI, Customer Experience Management, Feedback, Surveys

Why Intelligent Self-Service Is the Tip of the Spear for CX

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 29, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Organizations looking to improve the customer experience and contact center operations should closely examine the processes at work in the front-end self-service environment. Technology advancements are converging at this gateway, including artificial intelligence, chatbots and knowledge management. The front end of the customer interaction offers a greater opportunity for customer engagement than most organizations realize.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Self-service, Contact Center, Knowledge Management, Chatbots, agent management, Intelligent Self-Service, Conversational AI

Qualtrics XM Platform Zeros in on Customer Experiences

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 27, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Modern business relies on having a clear, continuous understanding of customer perceptions and intentions. That insight is increasingly used to deliver them experiences that they would consider excellent, in turn leading to higher satisfaction and more profitable relationships. Qualtrics, a provider of Experience Management (XM) software, focuses on creating applications that analyze customer interactions and feedback so that different teams across the enterprise can better identify opportunities and challenges.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, agent management, Customer Experience Management

8x8 Pivots to Emphasize Contact Center Technology for CX

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 23, 2023 3:15:00 AM

At its March 2023 analyst conference, 8x8 described a significant pivot in its focus. Going forward the company will be emphasizing the Contact Center (CCaaS) side of its portfolio, which to this point has represented a small portion of its overall sales. It made several product announcements to bolster the argument that it can effectively meet the needs of complex contact center operations while continuing to provide business users with a UCaaS solution. The overall XCaaS platform is aimed at both markets, which have been converging for several years.  

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Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, Customer Experience Management

Making Automation Easier for Contact Centers

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 2, 2023 3:15:00 AM

Contact centers are very often keen on optimizing their costs through automation. Technology vendors supplying this market have recognized this need, and in the past few years, they have been putting workflow and automation tools front and center in their offerings. This has raised some questions among practitioners about the most effective strategies for implementing automated processes.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, agent management, Intelligent Self-Service

IoT Will Enhance Customer Experiences with Field Service

Posted by Keith Dawson on Feb 2, 2023 3:00:00 AM

The Internet of Things describes machines and objects that are enhanced with sensors and communication connections, enabling them to report on their operational status, including outages, faults or threshold conditions that require attention. The technology has gradually made its way into business and consumer systems over the past decade. Today, these connected devices are playing an important role in customer experience processes such as field service.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Field Service, Intelligent Self-Service

The 2023 Value Index for Customer Experience Management: Vendor and Product Ratings

Posted by Keith Dawson on Jan 25, 2023 3:15:00 AM

I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Value Index research, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The 2023 Ventana Research Value Index: Customer Experience Management is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. Drawing on our Benchmark Research, we apply a structured methodology built on evaluation categories derived from RFP responses submitted by customer experience (CX) vendors. These categories reflect the real-world criteria required by organizations for CX software procurement. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories: five relevant to the Product Experience — Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability — and two related to the Customer Experience — TCO/ROI and Vendor Validation.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, Product Information Management, Digital Commerce, Subscription Management, agent management