Posted tagged ‘LivePerson’

Top Attended Sessions from TSW Day 2

October 22, 2014

TSIA’s Technology Services World Conference kicked off on Monday with a series of keynotes and one round of breakouts. Yesterday was the first full day of the conference, and I wanted to give you a peek at the top attended sessions. With over 1,300 attendees, we had a lot of standing room only sessions (I’m happy to say they had to bring more chairs into my KM session on Monday). Clearly when you get 200 or more people attending a session, you know it is a topic that really resonates with service professionals.

Here’s a look at the five sessions from yesterday with the highest attendance:

  1. Create Customers for Life with Customer Life Cycle Management. The pressure is on for technology companies as investors are expecting high growth year over year. And while a company can achieve some of this growth through customer acquisition, many companies overlook the fact that the secret to high growth is by maximizing customer lifetime value and increasing customer retention. So how do you grow recurring revenue and keep customers longer? Customer life cycle management is the strategy that will help your customers get more value from your products and solutions resulting in more profitable client relationships. Hear best practices from Cisco and Cisco WebEx on how, with a disciplined approach to customer life cycle management, you can drive greater revenue growth and keep customers for life. Tom Lay – Director of Service Sales, Cisco Software Annuities, Cisco Systems; Tony Brucha – Director, WebEx Customer Success, Cisco Systems; Eric Jeffries – Vice President of Customer Success, ServiceSource, Inc.
  2. Driving Profitability through Customer Analytics. By gathering feedback at each step of the customer journey, organizations can create a thorough understanding of the client experience and optimally manage it. Learn how to create a holistic customer feedback program and about how a top 25 accounting and business consulting firm uses customer insight to drive its customer relationships, internal innovation, go-to-market strategy, and business development. Rike Harrison – Chief Marketing Officer, Wipfli; Koren Stucki – Marketing Director, Customer Analytics, Verint Systems.
  3. Transform Your Company to Humanize the New Customer Journey. Customers have been spoiled. Thanks to companies such as Amazon and Apple, they now expect every organization to deliver products and services swiftly, with a seamless digital user experience. Many traditional organizations can’t meet the expectation of the new social contract, where the customer expectation is “you should always be there for me when I need you and you should understand the context of my problem–don’t contact me when I don’t want to be reached.” How will your organization adapt to this demand for intuitive interfaces, around-the-clock availability, real-time fulfillment, personalized treatment, global consistency, and zero errors—the world to which customers have become increasingly accustomed? We will define what this new customer looks like and expects across every step along their digital journey–from awareness, consideration, purchase, and service, to advocacy. Dean Shaw – Chat Program Manager, SAS Institute Inc.; Alon Waks – VP, Product Marketing, LivePerson.
  4. Performance Support: Driving Your Customers’ Consumption and Success…and Your Revenue. Helping your customers achieve sustained consumption and adoption of your software is a key revenue enabler for you. However, the path to adoption is changing. Customers can no longer afford to rely on classroom training and binders of printed content. They look for agile, on-the-job solutions to go from novice to master and reduce help-desk calls. Customers need solutions integrated with their work to deliver “just enough, just-in-time, just right, just for me” support. Embedded Performance Support is an innovative approach to enabling user performance by providing on-demand access to integrated information, guidance, and learning. In this session, you’ll learn how ANCILE software can make it drop-dead simple for your customers to use and consume your software–and for you to introduce revenue opportunities. The results? Customer success and customer retention. Malcolm Poulin – Senior Director, Product Strategy, ANCILE Solutions
  5. Challenging the Tiered Paradigm: Case Study in Moving an Organization from Handoff to Swarming. Tiered support is a keystone of standard support operations. It works predictably, but it’s inherently flawed. Service requests are owned and passed from one person to another like products on a conveyor belt. Once the conveyor gets to a person who can solve the issue, it gets solved. But until then, it has to follow its course and time on the belt, which slows down resolution. Customers lose patience being passed from person to person, and inherently, communication is inefficient, people lose context and we make the customer repeat steps and information. And, along the path, everyone can be doing “our job” but the customer doesn’t get what they need. Imagine a support organization without boundaries – where owners drive solutions by taking accountability for the customer experience and bringing resources to collaborate – to swarm on the issue. Then move that model to real-time with live first-engagement models like chat. The customer has continuity, accountability and accesses the best resource for the problem as quickly as possible. Tear down the tiers. In this session, we’ll discuss one company’s journey through that organizational change and discuss the challenges and approaches to the transformation. Linda Hartig – VP of Global Support Services (GSS), Avaya; Dan Pratt – Director, Strategy and Business Transformation, Avaya.

Congratulations to these members and partners for creating such dynamic content that really spoke to the needs of the audience. Thanks for reading!



Announcing Finalists for TSIA TechBest in Adoption: Changepoint, LivePerson and Verint Systems

October 8, 2014


Each Spring I launch the TSIA Member Technology Survey, which tracks adoption, satisfaction, and planned spending across 24 categories of tools and services common within service operations. The survey reveals which solutions are most popular with TSIA members, and it is interesting to find out which vendors see growing adoption. One thing is certain: When the percent of members using a particular solution sharply rises, it indicates that provider has the right messaging, the right tools, and the right price for technology service organizations. Proven success within the TSIA membership means the solution meets the business needs of users, is delivering value, and doesn’t require extensive implementation or customization to be effective.

Comparing the results from 2013 and 2014, the three TSIA partners that saw the largest increase in member adoption are Changepoint, LivePerson and Verint Systems. These three firms represent the finalists in the 2014 TechBEST Best in Adoption Award and will be interviewed in the TechBEST Showcase that opens Technology Services World today in the EXPO Theater. The partner with the highest year-over-year gain in adoption will be named the winner during the opening EXPO on Monday, October 20th.


  • Changepoint. Changepoint is the leading global provider of Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions. The world-class product portfolio offers an unparalleled breadth of PSA and PPM capabilities, meeting diverse market requirements in both functionality and spectrum of delivery methodologies. From the largest and most complex enterprises to small and mid-sized organizations, Changepoint offers robust solutions that are available on-premise, hosted or in a pure SaaS model based on the specific needs of its customers that are located around the world and across industries.


  • LivePerson. LivePerson is the leading provider of live digital engagement solutions for business of all sizes. Through predictive intelligent targeting, LivePerson’s multi-channel platform, LiveEngage,  helps brands understand their site visitors’ intent and value, enabling them to meaningfully connect through the most appropriate type of engagement—including chat, voice, video, and content —and do so across all channels and devices. Through LiveEngage, businesses experience increased sales, improved service levels, while maximizing online marketing efforts. LiveEngage effortlessly manages all online customer interactions, and is simple enough for small business clients while still powerful enough to meet the requirements of our enterprise clients. In addition, LiveEngage is able to learn from every interaction, creating a feedback loop that enriches intelligence and optimizes future engagements, further enhancing business results.


  • Verint Systems. Verint® is a global leader in Actionable Intelligence® solutions and services. Its customer engagement optimization software and services help organizations optimize their workforces, improve enterprise processes, and enrich customer interactions to make them more engaging, contextual, and personalized while providing employees with information for delivering service more effectively. The Verint solution portfolio brings together proven workforce optimization and customer analytics solutions with advanced customer service capabilities from KANA®, A Verint Company. It includes workforce management, voice recording, voice biometrics, quality monitoring, speech analytics, text analytics, enterprise feedback management, engagement analytics, performance management, desktop and process analytics, elearning and coaching, along with knowledge management and other multichannel customer service solutions. From interactions in contact centers, branch offices, and marketing and customer care to the underlying back-office processes for service delivery, Verint solutions provide visibility into performance, operations, and customer intelligence across the enterprise.

To learn more about these partners, please attend the TechBest Showcase which opens TSW at 12:45PM on Monday, October 20th. Hope to see you there! And as always, thanks for reading!

Sneak Preview: TSW EXPO Theatre Sessions

April 16, 2014

Our Spring Technology Services World Conference is just a couple of weeks away at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and I wanted to highlight some sessions from TSIA’s partner network you won’t want to miss. On Tuesday, May 6, we have four special sessions taking place in the theatres inside the EXPO. Grab some lunch, pick a presentation, and get the most out of your EXPO time.  Here’s a look at the agenda:

  • I Know Social Media. What the Heck Is Social Support? In Theatre One at 12:20, we have this presentation by Jive Software: The term Social Media gets tossed about a lot these days. So, what is Social Support? At Jive, it includes Social Media, of course, but it’s much more than just monitoring Facebook and Twitter. True Social Support means meeting your customers where they are, even as their support expectations evolve and change. Doing this well equals meaningful ROI in case deflection and improved customer impressions. We’ll define the key deltas between social media and social support with a framework to understand which will delight your customers. We’ll also discuss effective ways to bridge the two and share results from businesses succeeding at this now. Also learn to imbue your brand’s messaging into your social responses, with emphasis on reaching Millennials. Customer Care is now social. Join us to discuss a strategy to make you successful. Presenter: Tim Albright, Senior Director Community Strategy, Jive Software, Inc.
  • Innovate in Customer Support: At Least Six Hard-to-Fix Needs Satisfied Through One Solution. In Theatre Two at 12:20 we have this presentation from Sykes Enterprises: Great support is what your users expect. Delivering this and successfully handling the multiple, and often opposing, goals of maintaining high quality while minimizing waste, managing costs, increasing access, and remaining flexible, agile and relevant is what your business really needs. Virtual Contact Centers deliver on this by using home-based agents. Imagine if your customer support could: Meet seasonal demands without adding real estate; Barely miss a step when bad weather hits; Handle unexpected volumes within minutes/hours instead of days/weeks; Match agent knowledge/experience to customer needs/interests in their own area; and draw on skills and abilities from virtually the entire population of North America. Your speaker, Nick Sellers, TSIA Partner Advisory Board member, will: Describe how to recruit, train, manage and engage the team safely and securely without seeing employees daily; Show how the operation scales and flexes to meet changing needs; and provide examples of how regulatory compliance, security, and other requirements are satisfied. Join this session for insights into how Virtual Contact Centers are changing the way that customer support is being delivered and business objectives met. Presenter: Nick Sellers, Senior Director, Strategy and Marketing, Sykes Enterprises.
  • Convert Stellar Service into Revenue with Enhanced Digital Engagement. At 1:10 in Theatre One, we have this presentation from LivePerson: Best-in-class companies know the secret to converting high value visitors: You need to engage them at the right moments with the right message with the right medium. Companies like Intuit are re-inventing engagement strategies by moving away from treating website visitors with a “one size fits all” approach. The secret to their success is in identifying, segmenting and targeting those who are high impact, and engage each differently to convert them into lifetime customers. With the help of LivePerson, Intuit drives product adoption by creating a customized path for their most valued customers, maximizing the customer service experience to drive revenue. Learn how to use technology to identify your most important customers and guide them through their service journey, resulting in increased lifetime value and creating brand advocates–while lowering costs along the way. Presenters: Tim Egolf, Customer Care Designer, Intuit Inc., and Alon Waks, Head of Product Marketing, LivePerson.
  • Product Support 2.0: Addressing the Shifting Demands of Customer Support for Products and Services Businesses. At 1:10pm in Theatre Two is this presentation by Cognizant Technology Solutions: Product evolution and customer expectations on the support experience are going through fundamental shifts. As the velocity of business accelerates and products move to an “as a service” model, technical support is increasingly becoming critical to business continuity for end customers. Customers of products and services are demanding a high-quality service experience – available anytime and anywhere. Business leaders expect their customer support organization to become a strategic revenue driver rather than solely be a cost center. Further, businesses want to gain deeper customer insights to determine appropriate cross-sell/up-sell opportunities. The combination of these evolving business demands is what we are calling “Product Support 2.0.” Cognizant has a successful track record of delivering a next generation support experience across software product generations – through desktop, web, mobile, cloud models. Cognizant integrates world-class support operations with business/domain consulting, product/platform engineering, IT delivery, and analytics capabilities. Combined with our best-in-class people practices and “customer first” DNA, we are transforming support operations for our clients globally. In this session, we will share some of our best practices and approaches around “Product Support 2.0” and how you can deliver greater value to your customers. Presenters: Cary Oshima, AVP, Technology Industry Group, Cognizant Technology Solutions; and Mahesh Jadhav, AVP, Business Process Services, Cognizant Technology Solutions.

Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to TSW! And as always, thanks for reading!


Announcing winners of the TSIA Recognized Innovator Awards: Spring 2010

May 5, 2010

The TSIA Recognized Innovator Awards recognize innovation in services technology, and are presented to partners of TSIA at our Technology Service World conferences. Partners submit applications for consideration, and case studies documenting business results are required. I announced the winners today during the closing awards ceremony at Technology Services World in Santa Clara, CA. The categories for the Spring 2010 TSIA Recognized Innovator Awards were:

  • Innovation in Knowledge Management (KM). Creating, maintaining, and leveraging content to speed issue resolution and project success is not only a core process within every technical support operation, but increasingly field services and professional services are launching KM initiatives to share learnings from the field across a global operation. The Recognized Innovator in this category will provide documented case studies of how their technology and/or services are enabling service organizations to more easily publish knowledge and effectively use that knowledge to improve business results.
  • Innovation in Value-Added Services. As documented in Complexity Avalanche, value-added services (VAS) programs enable customers to fully consume purchased products and services, helping them quickly receive full business value and speed the repurchase cycle. In addition, VAS programs are providing new revenue sources for budget-strapped service operations. The winner in this category will have documented case studies showing how their technology or services are being leveraged to boost service and support revenues through delivery of value-added services. Examples could include:
  • Innovation in Emerging Channels. According to TSIA survey data, a quarter of TSIA support services members are leveraging video-sharing sites such as YouTube to communicate with customers, and 36% are offering some level of support via micro-blogging channels such as Twitter. Support organizations are struggling to not only identify which emerging channels to support, but there is little best-practice information available on effective customer management via social media. The Recognized Innovator in this category will provide documented case studies of how their technology and/or services are enabling services organizations to meet and exceed customer expectations for support via emerging channels without breaking the bank.

TSIA Research identified a panel of judges for the Spring 2010 Recognized Innovator Awards, including technology-savvy association members and partners, and several industry experts. The judges were: Kathleen Rege, Bluecoat Systems; David Kay, DB Kay & Associates; Chris Karp, Tektronix; Tim Matanovich, Value and Pricing Partners; Terry Clearkin, Bluecoat Systems; Liz Glagowski, 1to1 Media; Thomas Lah, TSIA; Esteban Kolsky, ThinkJar LLC; Mark Connolly, Logitech; Stacy Philippou, Intuit; Robert Guski, ADC; Melinda Schultz, Teletech; Shawn Santos, TSIA.

The Recognized Innovators for Knowledge Management are:

  • Lithium. The winner in this category is Lithium. Customer-driven content in online communities is changing the way companies approach knowledge management. Lithium, the leader in customer support community platforms, is pushing the envelope on customer content with their new Tribal Knowledge Base product. Lithium’s Tribal Knowledge Base is the first knowledgebase designed to be managed and maintained by an organization’s customer base.
  • Language Weaver. The finalist in this category is Language Weaver. To maximize adoption and success of self-service, knowledgebase content should be available in the native language of customers, but until now, manual translation has been too costly and time-consuming, and first-generation machine translation tools suffered from poor accuracy. Language Weaver has solved this problem with GlobalConnect, a product that plugs into knowledgebase applications and enables content managers to initiate automated translation of content articles—in one click—from within the knowledgebase application.

The Recognized Innovators for Value-Added Services are:

  • nGenera CIM. The winner in this category is nGenera CIM. TSIA Partners were invited to submit innovative service programs—not just technology—for award consideration, and nGenera CIM submitted their nGen Expert Services. The nGen Expert Services program optimizes ROI and customer satisfaction by increasing the number of features used and overall business value of nGen software to the partner’s customers.
  • LivePerson. The finalist in this category is LivePerson. A provider of online intelligent engagement solutions that facilitate real-time assistance and expert advice, LivePerson offers enterprise solutions that improve customer care and customer service acceptance ratings, while reducing contact center costs. LivePerson intelligent engagement solutions also help enterprises turn their call centers into profit centers by enabling online businesses to assess who—of thousands of visitors on their site—will need personalized assistance in order to drive first-contact resolution and ensure retention.

The Recognized Innovators for Emerging Channels are:

  • InQuira. The winner of this category is InQuira. With four out of five Americans now using social networks, the era of social networking clearly has arrived—creating significant implications for enterprises. Today, there are compelling rewards for embracing social communities and having this new social channel tightly integrated with a central knowledge platform. The InQuira Q8 knowledge platform uniquely enables enterprises to maximize these rewards. Featuring seamless integration between social communities and knowledge collaboration, InQuira delivers a new channel of crowd-sourced knowledge.
  • nGenera CIM. The finalist in this category is nGenera CIM. nGenera CIM’s nGen Social Media is a sophisticated collection of tools to identify, monitor, and respond to customer conversations on a variety of social mediums. To solve the problem of “not knowing what you don’t know,” nGen Social Media scans multiple social networking outlets using its Listening and Sentiment Analysis Platform. The platform swiftly identifies customer chatter, prioritizes the incident using sentiment-assessing technology, and routes the incident to the appropriate agent just like a traditional customer-initiated inquiry.

Each of the winners and finalists were featured on Innovation Tours. Tour attendees voted for the best demo–a seven minute overview of the technology, the innovation, and business value. The Spring 2010 Best Innovation Demo Award was presented to: InQuira.

Congratulations to all of our Recognized Innovators!

Yes, Support CAN Sell: Lessons from the B2C World

October 14, 2009

I’m preparing for tomorrow’s webcast with LivePerson, “Live Chat: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly,” and we are going to talk about something we’ve never tackled on an SSPA webcast before:  upsell and cross-sell.

This is always a touchy topic for tech support, with some long-time support techs not happy about putting on a sales hat.  But trust me, it was also a controversial topic 10 years ago in the consumer support world.  I did some research on this during my time at Forrester, and many of the lessons learned by consumer companies can apply equally well to the enterprise support world.   I will be covering this during the webcast tomorrow, but here is a preview for you.

Lessons learned by consumer companies who incorporated sales into service

  • Include sales training in product training.  During training, include appropriate upsell/cross-sell offers along with technical training on common problems.  Newly minted support techs will learn both simultaneously, getting over the “service vs. sales” mentality.
  • Training must be ongoing.  Just like customer service skills, soft sales skills training should be ongoing, especially for those with low extend/accept rates.
  • In many cases, sales is PART OF servicing the customer.  One company told me, “When agents hear YES often enough, they stop thinking of it as selling.”  Some SSPA members (IBM, HP) already do this. If a customer is struggling with technical problems on older equipment, offering them a special deal to upgrade will solve the problem and create revenue.
  • Measure offer extends and accept rates, NOT total revenue generated.  Learn some new metrics.  “Offer extends” is what percent of the time an agent extends an offer to the customer during the call/chat/email.  “Accept rate” is the percentage of the time the customer accepts the offer. The biggest barrier at the start is getting agents to extend the offer, and soft sales training helps them work the extend naturally into the conversation.
  • Support techs/agents should be incented, not goaled.  Don’t give them a goal, because when the goal is reached agents stop selling.  Instead, provide incentives, such as a sales commission or per-accept reward.

Please join us for the webcast tomorrow if you can, I’ll expand on these points and have some other advice to share.  Thanks for reading, and I hope to see all of you next week at Technology Services World Vegas!

Proactive Chat Proves Hot Topic: Audience Questions from Webcast

April 13, 2009

Last Thursday I did a webcast with LivePerson about proactive Web chat.  I knew this was an area of interest because I receive so many inquiries about chat, and my blog posts about chat tend to generate a lot of traffic.  The live event yesterday had one of our largest audiences over the last year, and we received a lot of questions from the audience we didn’t have time to answer live.  If you weren’t able to attend the live event, here is a link to watch the OnDemand version.

Here are a few of the audience questions and my attempt at an answer:

  • Q: While you contend that chat works for technical support, how effective is it when dealing with a complex technical issue that may be unique to the customer?

We had a few questions from people who are still struggling with the idea that chat works for tech support.  While you support managers tend to deal with all the really complicated support issues, keep in mind that the majority of cases typically aren’t critical, and many members report that 50-85% of issues are procedural questions, not break/fix problems.  That said, certainly Web chat is not the ideal channel when there are detailed diagnostics needed, the customer needs to read some log file entries, or there is a hard down/data loss issue.  The key here is to have a process in place to immediatley escalate issues from chat to phone when necessary.

  • Does the chat need to integrate with the issue tracking system or the CRM system such that the session would be recorded and searchable later or can be converted to a ticket?
  • (more…)

Boost Utilization with Proactive Chat

April 2, 2009

I am doing a webcast next week with our partner, LivePerson, entitled “Can Your Support Center Afford Not to Be Proactive about Chat?” Web chat is always a popular topic with SSPA members, and something I’ve written about before.  Adoption of Web collaboration and Web chat technology has risen in the last couple of years (and I’ll share that data, including a preview of 2009 numbers, on the webcast).  However, though many members use desktop sharing and remote control, Web chat remains a minor channel, with only 1% of current incidents opened via chat.  

Web chat has some unique characteristics that make a good medium for support–as long as the problems aren’t too deeply technical.  For example, a chat request captures the context of where the customer is when they ask a question, it keeps customers in their channel of preference (the Web), and it lends itself to multi-tasking for both customers and agents. One of the issues I hear from members is that channel preference surveys often show chat as unpopular, and I will talk about why these surveys are misleading.

I went through 2+ years of member inquiries and compiled a list of the top FAQs about Web chat, which I will briefly address on the webcast: (more…)