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Kyle Kovacs: The Ecosystem of Customer Experience Data

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It’s important for the various teams and people within the organization to have a direct and clear understanding of what data says and how to act on it.

As Manager of Solutions Consulting for Verint’s Experience Management division, Kyle Kovacs has valuable insight into collaboration strategies and technology innovations that can move your understanding of the customer experience light years beyond what you can gain from survey analysis. 

Verint was a sponsor for Simpler Media Group’s Digital Experience Summit fall event, which took place online on October 26-27. Kyle Kovacs led a session titled, “How to Achieve Integrated CX from On-Location and Digital Feedback.” In this session, Kovacs shared effective strategies for gaining fuller insight into the customer experience, whether your customers are onsite or digital. 

Simpler Media Group met with Kovacs to learn more about using behavioral analytics to dig holistically into the ecosystem of customer experience data.

Simpler Media Group: First, tell me a little about you. How did you end up in this field? Have there been changes in the industry that you didn’t anticipate when you chose it? 

Kyle Kovacs: I first got into this field in 2015 when I joined OpinionLab as an Implementation Manager, working to help customers deploy their digital feedback experiences. When OpinionLab was acquired by Verint a few years later, I moved into Solution Consulting for our broader Experience Management solutions. At that time, our customers were very much focused on using web, mobile and app feedback for “break-fix/find-and-fix” product opportunities. While that is still a huge benefit of capturing page and moment specific feedback, it is now imperative to have that feedback be a part of this larger CX omnichannel customer-journey ecosystem that contains direct, indirect and inferred feedback. Also, all of the platforms and data within that ecosystem need to integrate together. When I first started, I didn’t anticipate just how large that ecosystem of data could be since I was solely focused on the digital experience.

The Great Challenge of Enterprise CX

SMG: Tell us about a challenge that had a big impact on you. What were some learnings that you’ve carried with you ever since? Any advice you’d care to share?

Kovacs: Helping customers build their enterprise CX programs is a huge challenge, but a good one. While at times we are only providing them solutions and platforms to solve for part of that overall ecosystem, we have to take a holistic view of their enterprise to make sure we are solving problems and not creating silos and increasing friction across their CX organization. This can be a challenge, but my advice is to not be afraid to ask about the bigger picture and understand the full landscape of solutions being used in the CX program. There could be opportunities uncovered on how to link data or integrate products to increase efficiency and value.

SMG: What are some of the challenges and expectations organizations have needed to adjust to as consumer preferences have diverged in regards to the digital-first model versus the in-person experience? What further evolutions do you foresee?

Kovacs: There will probably always be a swinging pendulum of overall customer preferences when it comes to digital and in-location. While we know most customers start their journey digitally, we still see a large percent of customers finish their tasks in physical locations or via BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-up In Store) in retail, or in a branch within banking. Because of this it is incredibly important to listen to customers who have completed their purchases or tasks and those who have failed. This will better equip organizations with data and trends to adjust to customer preferences.

SMG: What are some new strategies organizations are using to build collaboration among on-site, digital and contact center teams? What are some strategies that seem outdated or less effective?

Kovacs: While it is not necessarily a new strategy, I think there is more of an urgency to unify data across the entire customer experience from all forms of feedback (direct, indirect, inferred) and have solutions/tools for front-line employees to act of the feedback in real-time or near-real time. It seems outdated to wait for an end-of-month report on customer satisfaction or NPS. There is still great value in that, but really good and mature CX organizations couple that with the ability to close the loop with customers much faster. Through unification of data across the customer journey can lead to increased collaboration. 

Learning Opportunities

A good example of this is using speech analytics in the contact center to identify and categorize digital failures – and being able to route that feedback to the digital teams to act on instead of sitting siloed in the contact center, or taking post-call feedback and operationalizing that feedback into quality and performance management programs.

Illustration with DX Leaders inside a red rectangle on top left, a headshot of Kyle Kovacs on the bottom left, Kyle Kovacs Verint written on top right, and the quote, "“When I first started I didn’t anticipate just how large that ecosystem of data could be since I was solely focused on the digital experience."

Going Beyond the Proverbial CX Survey

SMG: Given the limitations of surveys, how can organizations leverage new technology to better understand the customer experience?

Kovacs: There are great technologies and solutions out there to help customers go beyond surveys at every customer touchpoint and channel. We see this digitally through session replay and behavioral analytics that can help identify pain points in the digital journey when no feedback is provided, or intelligent virtual assistants that can help customers and potential customers complete their journeys and decrease channel hopping. In addition, analyzing unstructured data from chat, email, and voice conversations via Speech and Text analytics is more valuable than ever, since the reality is that most customers don’t provide survey responses.

SMG: As companies continue to grow more agile in their response to business insights, what do executives need to know about data literacy?

Kovacs: They need to know that simplicity in the data can be the key to actionability. We know that it is incredibly important to have the executive level view of all data. However, it’s important for the various teams and people within the organization to have a direct and clear understanding of what the data is saying and how to act on it. We see this being done by identifying the critical moments within the customer journey and being able to measure those moments or tasks, and keeping that framework or metric across all channels and teams.

Watch this DX Summit session on demand here

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