Contextual Routing and the Next Generation of Customer Experience Management Technologies

I joined LiveOps because of the company’s reputation for leading change in the industry and being on the cutting edge of technology, and I have yet to be disappointed. We were the first to offer a truly cloud-based contact center with our LiveOps Platform, the first to introduce a fully integrated multichannel desktop with LiveOps Engage, and now we will be the first to offer contextual routing technology within a cloud contact center platform. Our CEO, Marty Beard, touched on our acquisition of UserEvents and the company’s flagship product, CxEngage, in his blog last week, but for all my fellow technologists, I thought I’d follow up with a deeper dive into this technology, how it works, and its enormous potential to change customer experience management.

Last year was the year of Big Data. Everyone was talking about it: where to get it, what to do with it once they had it, and how important it was to understand. Big Data – i.e. huge repositories of detailed historical information about customer activities – is still important. We’re kicking off 2014 by asking you to visualize the combination of the knowledge gained from analysis of the past (Big Data) with actionable, real-time customer information.

And we’re not just asking you to visualize it; we’re delivering it with the integration of CxEngage into the LiveOps Platform. Big Data is most often defined by the three Vs: volume, variety and velocity. CxEngage comes in at the velocity stage and makes Big Data more actionable in a customer service situation, turning the mountains of information stored in back-office repositories into part of the solution to a real-time problem. Contextual routing allows for the intelligence uncovered from Big Data to be applied to events as they unfold, and paves the way for the creation of a visual map of a customer’s journey from start to finish, which will assist companies in fully understanding their customers.

How does it work? CxEngage laces together information across all channels (voice, email, chat, SMS and social, web, e-commerce, etc.) with relevant enterprise applications, such as CRM, ERP, and supply chain systems, to identify patterns of behavior. Once a pattern match is detected, CxEngage can notify a customer service manager, or engage the customer directly to help solve the issue or close the sale opportunity. This gives brands the ability to serve customers proactively, at the exact moment when they need the help.

For example, through contextual routing, a brand will be able to expedite customer calls because it already has tremendous context related to the request; it knows why the customer is calling based on website activity, web chat origination, or recent social media activity, and can change routes or queue priorities in response. Another example of where this technology comes into play is when a brand has intelligence across all touch points and can sense a customer’s frustration; an agent can then offer a customer live help before an issue has the chance to escalate.

We believe that contextual routing is going to change the definition of the customer journey industry-wide. The integration of CxEngage with the LiveOps Platform will serve as the foundation for a generational shift in customer experience management; it is the next step (leap, really) toward a cloud contact center that is guided by Artificial Intelligence. We still require that humans ultimately decide which action to take, but an AI-powered contact center is no longer just fun, futuristic talk. A customer service platform that is able to make decisions without human input is on the horizon, and LiveOps aims to be the first to reach it.

-Keith McFarlane, CTO, Cloud Platforms & Telephony, LiveOps

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