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        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

        The underlying idea behind trying to manage customer experiences is that of the journey: that customers follow a path through distinct stages, with different needs and modes of contact at each stage. The default mode for controlling experiences has long been to react to what the customer does and, to a great extent, build an enormous and costly infrastructure around having to wait for customers to decide to engage. Contact centers do a fine job of handling incoming communications, sorting them...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, Customer Experience Management

        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

        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...

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

        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

        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....

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

        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

        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...

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

        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...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, Customer Experience Management

        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

        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
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