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Call Center Week 2017 Onsite Review


Presented By: CrmXchange

Call Center Week 2017 Onsite Review

A comprehensive education program featuring Master Classes on chatbot implementation and next gen staffing strategy…site tours of Zappos and Asurion …an array of solution provider workshops covering everything from personalized omnichannel service to employee engagement and eLearning to using voice of the customer data…journey mapping and messaging…book signings… an awards gala…an Executive Club for high-level attendees and CCW University for future leaders…keynotes that  included an address by LA Dodgers and Golden State Warriors Owner Peter Guber as well as executives from the Disney Institute, Amazon Frontier Communications, networking and special events in the exhibit hall. Those were some of the highlights of the 18th Annual Call Center Week, produced by IQPC, which was held from June 26 to June 30 at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

An audience of 2,000 attendees had the opportunity to meet with more than 200 technology solution providers, and hear from a roster of over 155 speakers. As always, CRMXchange was active both on the exhibit floor and behind the scenes to provide insight about a cross-section of the innovative new products and services becoming available to CX and contact center professionals. Suppliers of AI and machine learning solutions, chatbots, predictive analytics solutions and particularly SMS messaging for the contact center were in abundance.




Call Journey is an Australian-based supplier that operates on the premise that existing technology is still too complicated and not sufficiently intuitive. While such solutions may be connected, they are not efficacious enough to overcome the fact that customers aren’t happy with the current state of service. The focus of their EVS (Emotive Voice Stream) solution is on enabling companies to understand what their customers and staff are saying, feeling and meaning.  EVS helps companies connect to improve customer acquisition, build loyalty and improve the customer experience as well as enhance processes to eliminate manual errors and human bias and ensure better compliance. Paul Humphrey, Chief Commercial Officer for Call Journey, answered our questions.

Why is it important for companies to better understand the emotional tone of every conversation they have with customers?

"Flat" text info like social media scrapings, survey data, verbatim and agent notes generally don't give insights into the level of emotion of the customer. Customer emotions can change significantly in engagement with organizations, even within a conversation, and understanding emotion at all levels is important to be able to dissect what drives engagement (both positive and negative). This can aid areas such as product insight, brand engagement, agent performance and sales. A good reference would be a Temkin Group article.

How does your EVS (emotive voice stream) solution help businesses improve customer satisfaction and NPS scores?

When combining huge volumes of valuable, unstructured data from the volumes of customer conversations that occur daily with other enterprise data sets, companies see game-changing improvements in performance. By being able to “unpack” all of the rich data from the thousands of conversations that occur every day with their customers and prospects, organizations can tap into the TRUE voice of the customer. This data gives them a much more informed and enhanced understanding of what is driving customer experience. Typically, business entities gain factual insights into processes, product, customer journeys, personas, triggers/events, customer contact performance at an individual level and emotion and sentiment of the engagement at all levels.  

What tools do you provide to diminish customer churn, gain better insight on customer lifecycle and improve compliance?

Our platform provides a rich data set which typically augments other data sets or stands alone to give a view of performance of voice channels. Either as a flexible SaaS offering or on-premise if required, our platform gives unfettered access to conversations and the insights from them. Our customers can opt to ingest calls whenever/ wherever they like and can control the flow of calls/data. For example, they may wish to understand what’s driving certain traffic types/personas and they can then control the call profiles that are ingested into our platform to measure and understand areas like how/why customers interact and different points of their lifecycle journey or what is driving churn. In terms of compliance, many organizations use our platform to drive a broader compliance regime as such businesses “listen” to a very small percentage of calls for compliance. With our tool and flexible options, customers could run 100% off their calls through our EVS solution and get a quick, structured and calibrated view of compliance. Our solution can be further tuned for very precise compliance work. We also see customers using our platform to drive more specific work to their compliance environment for more effective outcomes. Finally, we also see some organizations reducing compliance headcount by introducing our solution and/or re-investing that resource into other activities.

Are there solutions similar to yours in the audio analytics space and if so, what differentiates Call Journey?

There are a few similar solutions in the market but we tend to differentiate in a few areas which are important to any conversation analytics program. Ultimately what it comes down to for our customers and partners is:

•           Accuracy of audio processing across multiple dialects

•           Ease of voice pipeline (get calls, process calls, deliver output)

•           Flexibility – we work with multiple platforms for both ingestion, processing and output, allowing customers do make the most of existing partners and environments

•           Flexible commercial models



Harver is a Netherlands-based HR technology company that claims to “replace the resume” with its AI-powered TalentPitch pre-selection platform. The solution seamlessly integrates with an organization’s existing HR system and employs predictive analytics to transform the recruitment process into a faster, smarter and more efficient operation. TalentPitch is a modular platform that uses statistical information and machine learning technology to determine which candidates will be the best performers. Businesses can match an applicant’s skills and personality with specific job requirements. Some of the criteria that candidates are faced with include “knockout questions” that can immediately establish whether they are right for the position from the get-go, personality, intelligence and language testing, as well as games that assess their skills.

The solution incorporates company/culture video tours to help candidates know more about their potential employers as Harver’s algorithms gather relevant data and calculate the likelihood of applicants’ success in a position. TalentPitch ameliorates many of the traditional pain points which are so common in staffing contact center operations, including the excessive time and high cost of recruiting as well as the vagaries of the selection process. TalentPitch offers the perfect blend between informing candidates on the one hand, and measuring their suitability on the other. Applicants get to know all about the organization and the job they are applying for, while businesses get to know all about the applicant.

The company recently raised $8.1 million in Series A funding from Insight Venture Partners to scale global adoption of the solutions and is part of a push that has resulted in $11.4 million in added funding. Harver has an impressive roster of worldwide blue-chip customers, including such household names as Booking.com, Netflix, Zappos and more.  They assist in recruiting in 42 different languages and used Call Center Week to announce their official launch into the US market with their first office in New York City.




Stratifyd promotes its solution as a “Next Generation AI powered data analytics platform.”  It combines deep textual learning, natural language understanding and sentiment analysis to automatically identify and extract hidden topics, categories, and trends from a business’ textual data. The solution leverages high-performance statistical analytics to provide geographical, temporal, and predictive analysis to offer broad insight not only on what's happening now, but what may occur in the future. By bringing structured and unstructured data together, organizations can glean in-depth insights to better inform customer service management and develop a better understanding of their overall business performance.

Stratifyd serves a variety of industries across multiple sectors. Businesses rely on their AI- powered analytics platform to unify their data sources, provide contextual AI analysis, and achieve faster data-driven solutions. In addition to their ability to help companies better comprehend the voice of the customer, the platform empowers HR to retain superior talent by hearing the voice of their employees, provides insights on product development to gauge customer feedback and product reception. It also provides analytical understanding of market trends and research to help strengthen long-term strategy. 



Teckst is a telecommunications startup based in New York City. It is driven by a team of experts with a passion for enabling enterprise customer service teams all over the world to use text messaging to better communicate with consumers. This diverse group includes leaders from IBM, Bloomberg, General Assembly, Lockheed Martin, FitMoo, and Seamless/GrubHub. Matt Tumbleson, founder and CEO of Teckst, who was the Marketing and Creative Director of Seamless/GrubHub, operates on the policy that his company should to do everything possible to make clients completely happy with their solution. He elaborated in his answers to our inquiries.

With the growing body of evidence that clearly shows that customers want the ability to communicate with businesses via text messaging, what is holding back widespread adaptation?

The number one reason why companies are concerned with texting is because they are afraid of a deluge of new communications to their customer service teams. This says two things to us: they understand this is a service their customers want, and automations are necessary to help deflect, even if just as a vanity feature.

Texting wasn’t even considered for customer service a few years ago, yet the average consumer was sending hundreds of texts per day. Today, SMS is making a positive impact in the customer journey from start to finish. We’ve witnessed an accelerating growth of enterprises that have added text messaging in the past year.

There’s still plenty of room for growth. For texting for customer service to gain widespread adoption, there is still more education needed on the technology and the ease of implementation, staffing and training and for companies to get a handle on the ROI.

Why is it important that a two-way text messaging cloud solution for customer service teams can be implemented without the need for developers or IT intervention and can be integrated with every CRM system?

Customer service teams tend to be at the bottom of the list when the technology team meets for prioritization. Therefore, relying on the technology team to handle the implementation, or even utilizing a contract for a third party raises the barrier to entry. Teckst can be set up by our team here in NY in as little as a few hours with zero downtime.

How does your solution enable agents to use macros to quickly supply answers to common questions and send images, videos and emojis?

Teckst invented a feature that learns what agents type freeform to customers, then dynamically updates macros in real-time. Similar to Google’s autocomplete feature that helps write out the rest of a search query, Teckst’s suggestions feature is a guide that measures intent and delivers an answer quickly.

For customer service organizations, the fragmentation of multiple chat platforms and customer channels are a major integration headache, so we set out to build a solution that would easily service the largest companies. One reason we were able to generate early traction was because we make it easy for any enterprise to use Teckst. We believe it’s the only ‘off-the-shelf’ and scalable service that integrates seamlessly with CRM platforms and text-enable existing toll-free numbers for any enterprise.

Furthermore, behind every great company is a great team. We operate on the principle that if you focus on providing an incredible experience for clients and their customers, growth will happen naturally. After every launch, we have received an email underscoring the wonderful experience of working with our team–from engineers to accounting, everyone is focused on it.





TEN DIGIT CommunicationsTheir “TDC BRIDGE” platform bridges mobile text messaging with the traditional voice-based landline – creating a fully integrated solution designed to meet the needs of customer service representatives. The patent-pending SMS text messaging platform-as-a-service offering presents a cost-effective, innovative customer care solution for contact centers. The projected result is improved customer experience, increased agent satisfaction and enhanced productivity all due to eliminating unnecessary friction between consumers and clients’ contact centers.

TEN DIGIT is unique in that they can route SMS traffic to the best qualified agent (similar to how ACDs route voice interactions).  The system can understand the language the customer is typing, transcribe the information, and provide the text to the agent. The agent types in their native language, the system transcribes and then sends the information back to the customer in their language.  The company’s resale agreement with IBM gives them a path to contact centers.  They also claim to be the only company that has the capability to provide secure messaging for regulated industries.

TEN DIGIT CEO and Founder Gary Brandt elaborated on the concept in his answers to a series of questions posed by CRMXchange.

Why do you believe that most conversations now start with people's thumbs but only sometimes precede a call?

Conversations start with thumbs because people don't like talking on the phone, they consider a phone call an invasion of their time. According to Pew research study, 1/3 of American's prefer texting to talking on the phone which makes it the most frequent form of communicating. Texting precedes a call because it is more socially acceptable.

Also, texting allows for the ability to multi-task as well as hold several conversations at once. You can text mom and your friend while making dinner or cleaning the house.

Another reason is privacy. If you're at work and your mortgage is late, do you want to speak with the bank on the phone in front of co-workers? Do you want to have to excuse yourself to go into a quiet room? Texting allows greater accessibility, discretion, noise reduction and can connect to networks when voice signal may be weak or spotty.

While most Americans use text to communicate, a significant percentage do not feel comfortable interacting with a bot. In what business communication situations is only a human response acceptable?

That is the exact reason why our TDC BRIDGE platform doesn't remove human interaction 100%. People need human interaction and often get frustrated when using a chatbot since sometimes bots can't solve the customer's problem. For those times when customers and agents are unable to get satisfactory resolution through messaging, we installed the “push to talk” feature -- which is available for any business situation from health care to buying a house – to connect the customer with the same agent involved in the messaging conversation.

How does your TDC BRIDGE platform bridge the gap between mobile text messaging and voice-based landlines to create a fully integrated solution for customer service representatives?

TDC BRIDGE Intelligent Messaging helps agents handle multiple conversations at once, promoting seamless interaction between platform, agent, and customer. Benefits include:

- Combines human and artificial intelligence to improve agent timeliness, accuracy, and compliance.

- Drives 20% to 40% increase in productivity through multiple ‘call', handling, friction-less routing, automation and real-time transcription.

- Eliminates annoying ‘on-hold' experiences.

- Increases C-SAT through timely interaction, unified authentication/escalation, skills-based routing and experiential learning.

Through features like ‘push to talk’ and ‘push to see,’ customers and agents can seamlessly transition between messaging and voice or video conversations.

What differentiates your messaging solution from others available on the marketplace?

TDC BRIDGE offers over 100 distinct features including: carrier-grade SMS Text Messaging, CRM Integration, Automations, Language Translation, and Encryption to name a few.  Our platform is ready to use immediately and doesn't require any extra setup or implementation from IT, we simply hook onto the client’s existing CRM system. TEN DIGIT's Contact Center and Enterprise business model offer SMS Messaging with carrier-grade reliability, service availability and feature functionality – including delivery receipts.  We offer text language translation, ‘recording' of texts such as that of a recorded line for IVR. The platform is HIPAA-compliant and can be used for a multitude of regulated and unregulated businesses


Verascape delivers the sophistication of cloud-based, self-service via the voice and mobile channels, by combining state-of-the-art speech automation and text messaging technologies, with real-time customer data integration. The result is on-demand, personalized and intuitive self-service solutions that provide timely answers to critical ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘what’ ‘why’, and ‘how’ questions. This enables companies to operate more cost-effectively by saving on the cost of call center agents. They believe that offering customers excellent service anytime they want it, with no wait time and improving first contact resolution are among the most important factors in defining a brand.  They also offer their clients a unique performance-based fee structure.  Mike Browning, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, provided additional insights on their strategy.

How does your Automated Customer Experience combine updated speech recognition and SMS messaging technology with real-time data integration to empower companies to not only serve their customers better but more cost-effectively as well?

Verascape’s cloud-based Automated Customer Engagement Platform (ACE) helps companies reduce costs in their contact centers by automating certain call types at a fraction of the cost of having them handled by a live agent, sometimes by as much as 75%. This frees up their live agents to focus on revenue-generating and more complex customer service issues.  ACE seamlessly integrates with a company’s current telephone and data infrastructure, so there is no need to purchase new equipment or change what they already have. It is also multimodal, meaning that we provide automated self-service across different channels like voice, text, and mobile web.  

Can you explain the principle behind your performance-based pricing structure?

We get paid when we do our job.  This is in stark contrast to the standard per-minute cost structure, where you pay for each minute of a call - even if it is not successfully retired.  We are incented to achieve the highest call retirement rates, which achieves the highest level of cost savings for our customers.  Additionally, we do not charge initial setup fees or ongoing maintenance fees. 

What are some of the challenging customer service applications that your solution can help businesses address?

The Verascape ACE platform handles a diverse set of call types including: taking payments, order status, backorder inquiries, returns instructions, nearest store locator, loyalty plan inquiries, subscription cancellations, etc.  We also have self-service applications for more complex issues like re-orders, purchase order authorizations, insurance claims status, road-side assistance, and others.  

What differentiates Verascape from other offerings in the marketplace?

For Verascape, it is all about self-service retirement rates.  We are obsessed with first call resolution.  We are the only company that is focused solely on automated self-service that utilizes a pay-for-performance pricing model.  Our shared risk pricing structure forces us to truly put our money where our mouth is.



Zacoustic calls their solution a “Customer Calibration System,” which looks at both how an agent and a customer score an interaction, then compares the two.  Through predictive analytics—followed by coaching-- front-line personnel can develop a better-informed perspective to help them predict how customers will react.  Once the agent comprehends more about how consumers feel about interactions, they can more accurately predict how subsequent customers will rate them.  Having a deeper understanding of customer behavior enables agents to make the necessary adjustments to consistently drive better results. Tim Lavin, President and CEO of Zacoustic, shed additional light on the supplier’s aspirations.

Can you explain what makes a customer calibration system valuable and the benefits of agents being able to predict customer survey responses?

Customer surveys are the purest measure of customer experience, but on average only 10-15% of customers respond. Of those that respond, approximately 25% are dissatisfied yielding even fewer surveys that can be used for agent-learning purposes. Therefore, coaching and big data insights stemming from this low survey response rate are vague and often inaccurate. Call centers lack sufficient data to drive process, product and behavioral changes to achieve their strategic customer experience goals.

Zacoustic enables agents to accurately predict customer survey responses, which generates the data and analytics necessary to transform the customer experience. Following every interaction, agents must predict how customers are going to respond to existing survey questions. Actual customer responses calibrate agents and improve their predictive accuracy. Once calibrated, agents produce a virtual 100% customer survey response rate. Calibrated agent survey predictions include: highly accurate customer experience, issue resolution, repeat contact, disposition, and AHT for every interaction handled. Zacoustic presents users with unprecedented big data insight opportunities allowing for targeted actions, which are most likely to optimize the customer experience.

What is “Match Percentage” and why is it helpful in determining the agent’s ability to infer customer preferences?

The percentage of agent predictions which match actual customer survey responses comprises the Match Percentage. For example, if the agent predicts that the customer is dissatisfied and the customer responds with the same answer, that’s a match.

Think of the customer as the “auditor” to the agent’s “predictor”. Zacoustic compares the actual customer survey response with the agent prediction and through this iterative process, agents achieve calibration.

We believe that the Match Percentage is the most accurate measure of the agent’s ability to understand their customers. Calibrated agents are more present in their conversations with the customer and further, calibrated agents are more likely to take actions toward proactively improving the customer experience when they sense the interaction is getting off track.

How do the insights your solution provides improve such metrics as AHT and FCR to build NPS and enhance the customer experience as a whole?

Insights gleaned through Zacoustic data improve knowledge bases, training and coaching sessions, and processes to rout out repeat calls and lower AHT.  Zacoustic data is leveraged to de-randomize the QA selection process to streamline finding valuable calls, as well as reducing the time and agent headcount needed to do so. 

Zacoustic operationalizes and increases NPS by providing customer experience, issue resolution, repeat contact, disposition, and AHT metrics for every customer interaction. This complexity of data makes it incredibly quick and easy to isolate the agents that are demonstrating best practice, while exposing those who are driving the greatest negative impact. Zacoustic allows operations to focus exclusively on those actions that are going to have the most favorable impact to the metrics.

What differentiates Zacoustic from other offerings in the marketplace?

Zacoustic bifurcates every customer interaction from the customer’s point of view of resolution and satisfaction. Voice analytics and other data mining techniques allow users to find individual and potentially problematic calls, but the data that comes from customer-calibrated agents creates a virtual 100% customer survey response rate which, due to our global patent protection, cannot be replicated by other offerings in the marketplace.


For more information on companies at Call Center Week, see our preview which ran prior to the opening of the event.