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Happitu Executive Interview

Rob Dwyer, VP, Customer Engagement and Robert Nolan, Creator and Product Architect, Happitu

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In this CrmXchange interview, Sheri Greenhaus discusses Happitu with Rob Dwyer, VP - Customer Engagement and Robert Nolan, Creator & Product Architect. Happitu primarily serves businesses with a focus on improving voice interactions, offering tools like Happitu Guide, which aids agents in delivering consistent interactions, and Happitu Vision, a speech analytics and sentiment analysis tool. These solutions cater to a wide range of businesses, including small family-owned enterprises, and aim to enhance customer interactions and streamline processes.

Sheri: Can you provide our audience with an overview of Happitu?

Rob Dwyer: Certainly. Our solution has evolved from a single product to a platform with multiple offerings. Our original product, Happitu Guide, is an agent-facing workflow and scripting solution that is designed to guide agents through each interaction, ensuring they follow the correct processes and have the words that work in any given situation. The built-in knowledge base ensures agents have access to the relevant information and tools they need during these interactions.

Coming from an outsourcing background, we had been using an internally-developed tool like this for about two decades. Many of our customers expressed interest in using it, so we decided to create a commercial product available even for those not using our outsourcing services.

Subsequently, we developed a new product called Happitu Vision in response to customer needs. It's a speech analytics and sentiment analysis tool that provides insights into voice and chat interactions.  Originally, we were trying to address a specific problem for one customer, but we soon realized it could benefit many others. We conducted testing and recognized its scalability, helping various customers across different industries identify customer and agent sentiment, trends within customer interactions, and ways to enhance agent performance and reduce call volume. One key advantage is that Vision can instantly analyze 100% of phone and chat interactions, a feat that is absolutely cost-prohibitive with human call and chat monitoring.

Sheri Greenhaus: Are you integrating the two products, where your system listens and alerts agents through Guide about what to say?

Rob Dwyer: Our approach is post-call analysis with near immediate results. We're in the final stages of integrating the two products, but rather than focusing on real-time listening, we're exploring how to leverage what agents do within Guide to improve our NLP models without requiring additional human intervention. Using the data tags provided by agents naturally through the process of using Guide, they can help build context for our neural networks and train models faster than any other method.

Sheri Greenhaus: As you apply tags and the system becomes smarter, can it infer other occurrences?

Rob Dwyer: That’s the goal with our NLP models for Vision.  In Guide, we already have the capability to perform automated, post-interaction actions based on what just occurred. This could involve tasks such as updating a record in a CRM system, sending an email to a designated recipient for follow-up with a customer, or transferring the interaction to a different queue for another group to handle. In essence, we can automate various processes after the agent's involvement, streamlining operations.  The same tags that drive these can help improve our language models as well.

Sheri Greenhaus: When considering your two product lines, Vision and Guide, which one generates more interest?

Rob Dwyer: It largely depends on the customer, and this aspect is quite intriguing for us. We receive nearly equal interest in both products. For outbound sales campaigns, Guide tends to be favored because it helps maintain message consistency and ensures a structured sales process. However, we've observed a growing interest in speech analytics technology in general. This interest has significantly driven our business forward, primarily because it now performs exceptionally well compared to five years ago when transcriptions were less accurate and expensive. Today, we offer affordable solutions that even small businesses find accessible, and they greatly appreciate the insights they receive. Often, customers initially express interest in one product but later discover that both could be valuable to them.

Sheri Greenhaus: I understand that Guide is easier to justify in a sales context and more directly impacts revenue growth. However, I imagine it also benefits customer service agents by reducing training time and ensuring they deliver the right message.

Rob Dwyer: You're absolutely correct, and you've touched upon one of the primary use cases for Guide.

Robert Nolan:  As Rob mentioned earlier, Guide offers two critical benefits: it boosts agent confidence and provides valuable insights into what happened. The problem we often found was that decision paralysis would set in and clients weren’t sure where to start.

That's the genesis of our latest product, Vision. Some of our partners had certain assumptions about why customers were calling and what the ideal process looked like. So, our aim was to highlight the important blockers and bottlenecks so that you can implement a data-driven process.

Sheri Greenhaus: Essentially, the systems perform tasks that a human could do, but they do it faster and can handle a larger volume. Back in my days of running a contact center, we used to query agents to identify issues. Listening to every call was not feasible.

Rob Dwyer: Our initial customer was a dentist concerned about the sales process when new patients called in. He had certain assumptions about the types of questions potential patients asked. With our system, we were able to identify every instance where someone inquired about Medicare, for example, instantly. Instead of him sifting through call recordings randomly to find these instances, we could pinpoint them for him immediately. It turned out that the inquiries about Medicare were far fewer than he had originally thought, going from an assumed 30% of calls down to around 4 or 5%.

Sheri Greenhaus: What size of businesses do you typically serve?

Rob Dwyer: It's quite interesting. While we do have some partners with hundreds of agents, our very first real customer had just three people answering phones. We work with numerous small businesses in the service industries, often family-owned, and they can't always afford large enterprise solutions. We find it fulfilling to solve problems for these small businesses. It's exciting to collaborate with owners and operators who may not receive much attention or use various tools, including homegrown solutions.

Sheri: Can you pinpoint your sweet spot when it comes to company size?

Rob Dwyer: Ultimately, our sweet spot is any company that handles a significant volume of voice interactions but lacks sufficient insight into what happens in each call to coach their staff effectively or optimize their business processes. This can be a company with 10 agents or 1,000 agents; scalability is not an issue. The challenges they face are consistent. What varies is their tech stack, and we are tech-stack agnostic, capable of working with various solutions. This flexibility appeals to the business owners we engage with.

Sheri Greenhaus: Can your system work with chat interactions, or is it exclusively for phone calls?

Rob Dwyer: That's an excellent question. We are currently working with a client who previously used Guide and now uses Vision. Around 70 to 80% of their customer interactions occur via chat. Therefore, we provide analysis for both phone and chat interactions. We can also easily separate and manage different communication channels for clients who use various channels across different departments.

Sheri: Can your analytics provide insights into the types of issues customers call about versus those they use chat for?

Rob Dwyer: Absolutely, we can identify and categorize issues effectively.

Sheri Greenhaus: Happitu evolved from Guide to Vision. What's next in your product development journey?

Robert Nolan: Our focus is to continue exploring how AI can help simplify quality management and deliver strategic insights. Our customers share this vision and help prioritize our product pipeline. Some of our most popular features occurred over check-ins with our customers, and they typically begin with a “wouldn’t it be neat if…”.  The limits to what we can do with this technology has yet to be determined and our customers provide focus on where we should push.

Rob Dwyer: While we have a general sense of business needs and monitor technological advancements, we closely listen to our customers. They tell us what they want and need. We believe we have a strong relationship with our customers, and one unique aspect is that many of our customer contracts are month-to-month. This compels us to consistently deliver value and fosters a strong bond with our customers, making them look to us for additional solutions.

Sheri Greenhaus: Can you share an example of a situation where you made a significant impact on a customer?

Rob Dwyer: Certainly, we had a customer who is a retailer in the medical industry, primarily processing orders online. They encountered an issue with the "Track my order" button in the emails they sent to customers. When customers clicked it, nothing happened. As you can imagine, this triggered a surge in inbound phone calls. We quickly identified the root cause within that spike in volume, allowing them to understand the problem's nature and resolve it promptly.

Sheri Greenhaus: Any final thoughts you'd like to share?

Rob Dwyer: One of our key strengths is that we're a small business. When we listen to your problems, we genuinely try to find solutions. If we're not a good fit, we'll tell you. We pay close attention to our customers and communicate with them in a way that makes sense for them, often through email or even dedicated Slack channels for support. We meet our customers where they are and help them solve problems, and I believe that sets us apart.