Tuesday, April 08, 2008
A Gathering of Topics
I really like the idea of voice powered services particularly the idea of dialling your to do number, and getting things done. Irish company Dial2Do are doing just that enabling you to dial in and start sms-ing, emailing, and god knows what more. Check out Jott (for Blackberry :) and Pinger for examples of other companies that help you get things done with voice. From what I can gather with Dial2Do the guys in there are looking for all sorts of modes and streams to make and post to, but if rumour is true then the guys in spinvox not only have a cool Blackberry application that lets you "see inside your voicemail" by sending you an email summary, but they may be opening their whole TTS (text to speech) engine to all other applications as an API. Hey, the more people use it, the more powerful it becomes, great strategic move from SpinVox (if its true). UPDATE: of course I intended to mention SimulScribe, a leader in visual voicemail, and they have a full API for their solution. Ah, so why is this stuff interesting to anyone from an enterprise point of view? Well, how about putting systems in place so that customers can use these kinds of tools to "get things done" with you? Why do I need to speak with an actual agent, if I can just phone your company IVR and leave a Jott/2do/Vox? Ever leave a message with a bank's voicemail and feel no one listened to it, that maybe nothing is being progressed? Ah, yes. That's why we phone in again, right? Strikes me that enterprise companies can learn a lot from what is going on in the consumer field right now. And how people make decisions, compare options, make recommendations etc all changes with the net. Forrester's Charline Li pointed out to her "twitter followers", that they had released some details about how they were looking to measure "customer engagement" "Engagement is the level of involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence an individual has with a brand over time. The four components of engagement are: Involvement— Includes web analytics like site traffic, page views, time spent, etc. This essentially is the component that measures if a person is present. Interaction— This component addresses the more robust actions people take, such as buying a product, requesting a catalog, signing up for an email, posting a comment on a blog, uploading a photo or video, etc. These metrics come from e-commerce or social media platforms. Intimacy— The sentiment or affinity that a person exhibits in the things they say or the actions they take, such as the meaning behind a blog post or comment, a product review, etc. Services such as brand monitoring help track these types of conversations. Influence— Addresses the likelihood that a person will recommend your product or service to someone else. It can manifest itself through brand loyalty or through recommendations to friends, family, or acquaintances. These metrics mostly come from surveys (both qualitative and quantitative). Our argument is that companies need to start tying these metrics together to make sense of how engaged their customers actually are—and then make product and marketing decisions based on that knowledge". I guess my "bridging point" here is that planned/ active interaction, and passive/ receptive interaction really need to be finely aligned, so that you communicate with your customers when they need it, and that you really listen, and make it easy for them to speak with you, when THEY need to. Services such as VoiceSage can really help you reach out, put in the "to-do", and manage the response/ action cycle. I don't think I'd be making any ground breaking comments to say that most organisations (at best) approach each of the 4 Forrester tenants of Engagement as point solutions, but for complete pictures, all 4 will have to be undertaken in an interwoven strategy.