Home > Columns > Executive Interviews

Verint® Systems Executive Interview

Ryan Hollenbeck, SVP, Global Marketing, Verint® Systems

What are the plans on the horizon for the Verint company in the coming year? 

This is an exciting time for the Verint company.  We have just spun out our Cyber business so that we can become wholly focused on customer engagement.  This allows our customers and partners to have confidence that everything Verint is working on – from development to services and support – is devoted to the customer engagement market.  It also gives us the chance to reimagine the Verint brand, leading with a new perspective that wakes up the market and takes advantage of this unique inflection point as Verint becomes a pure-play customer engagement company.  

We think customer engagement is the heartbeat of global brands.  And new Verint is uniquely positioned to help customers discover possibilities barely imagined a few years ago.  We want customers for life. We work to earn this right every day. 

Verint helps the world’s most iconic brands build enduring customer relationships by connecting work, data and experiences across the enterprise. With this approach, brands can navigate and thrive as they adapt to the future of work, eliminate the inefficiencies created by organizational and data silos, and deliver differentiated experiences at scale and consistently across every interaction.

How do you expect the customer engagement market to change in the future?   

It’s changing as we speak!  Powerful forces of change are having a profound impact on brands that will last for years to come. Consumers are going digital-first at an accelerated pace, with preferences for self-service and new social channels becoming the norm. At the same time, consumers have increased expectations for informed, relevant and authentic interactions – including human assistance when they need it.

The combination of these forces places pressure on companies to change how they engage with their customers. Brands must adapt to the future of work. They need to address generational shifts in their workforce and manage them as they work from anywhere. They need to balance a workforce of humans and bots efficiently. Brands have to work even harder to ensure that new organizational silos aren’t created as they interact with customers across an increasing number of channels – often with pressure to respond in real time. Many times, companies find themselves unable to meet the rising customer expectations with their current resources, which creates a gap between resources available and their ability to deliver the desired experience when they engage with a customer.

At Verint, we believe boundless customer engagement is the desired approach for navigating this inflection point.

What are some ways you think the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered the way companies do business?

The pandemic has altered the way we will work forever. The agility organizations have displayed, and especially in the customer engagement market, has been remarkable.  The best brands continue to adapt and respond to the environment and are finding new ways to thrive.  It all starts with the workforce.  Today’s modern workforce and the actions they need to perform are evolving quickly. More bots are being deployed, and a hybrid workforce of humans and bots is emerging. A younger and more digitally-savvy workforce requires modern apps and new workflows. Greater work flexibility has become critical, so that people can work from any location, across channels and departments and can adapt quickly to an ever-changing environment. This is the future of work, and it needs to deliver on the promise of an elevated customer experience and greater operational efficiencies.

Empowering the new workforce of humans and bots requires organizations to design a healthy balance of both. The human workforce is finding new ways to become truly engaged while also remaining accountable for achieving goals either themselves or by empowering the work of robots.

Enabling connected work across all silos is critical in a future of working from any location and dynamically sharing work across the contact center, back office, branch, and other customer touchpoints.

Driving real-time work is the most effective way to elevate customer experience and drive efficiency. Real-time, in-the-moment analytics can make a big difference in the workforce from efficiency to quality to engagement. All helping deliver faster and more contextual responses to customers. 

What emerging trends have you heard from your customers and the market at-large?

Two significant trends we continue to hear about from customers are the need to build more enduring relationships with their customers and the goal of unlocking the hidden value in customer engagement data.  Let’s discuss each briefly.

First, elevating the customer experience has become more challenging and yet even more strategic and critical to business success. Organizations are striving to build more enduring relationships and therefore must adopt a more holistic approach across all customer touchpoints. It’s critical for them to move beyond surveys so that they can better understand all customer and employee experiences while surfacing and driving appropriate actions. They need to connect the customer experience by capturing, enriching and correlating digital and conversational data across every area of the business.  

New solutions can drive executive-level action while automating and speeding up decision-making. Organizations can predict future behaviors with proven data science to expedite CX improvements, accelerate decision making and solve tomorrow’s challenges, today. By unifying data sets with a connected view of every moment across channels in a single solution, organizations can better manage CX across silos.

Second, organizations recognize that data silos are the biggest obstacle to a successful digital transformation. Yet many are struggling to unlock the value hidden in their customer engagement data to drive the future of work or better manage the customer experience across the organization. Building a data hub for interaction data is not a trivial task because interaction data is mostly unstructured, resides in many systems, appears across multiple modalities and is often be trapped in organizational silos.

With new solutions, customers can manage and enrich all the data regardless of the source and ensure compliance, building a foundation for unlocking critical business insights and making data-driven decisions. 

AI and analytics continue to be hot topics – what are you seeing in these areas?

The future of customer engagement will be shaped by rapid innovation in AI and analytics. AI enables a workforce of humans and bots to work seamlessly together. Analytics makes workflows smarter, delivering real-time insights and an ability to predict future trends. New capabilities comprised of advanced machine learning models, natural language processing, intent recognition, and analytics engines are available natively within some customer engagement platforms. These models and engines are tested in lab environments against a large data set of real customer engagement data accumulated over many years.  The results can be meaningful progress for organizations.

Are you seeing more organizations look at customer engagement more holistically, moving beyond just the contact center?  

Absolutely!  Today’s customer has higher expectations than ever before. They interact with organizations across many channels, and they leave signals everywhere about how they are feeling and what they want across their journey.  Organizations are coming to grips with the idea that customer engagement is not the responsibility of one department, such as customer care or services.  It’s an enterprise concern across the contact center, digital marketing, back office operations, branch and remote stores, compliance, IT and of course CX teams.

For example, the back office is the non-customer facing, operational area of a company. These operational areas are typically organized into administrative functions, such as finance and accounting, and procurement, as well as customer support functions, such as account management, transaction/order processing, and industry-specific functions, such as insurance claims or loan operations.

The back-office has a direct impact on operational costs and customer experience.  The more efficient your operations, the lower your costs will be.  The faster and more accurately you process the requests of your customers, the higher their satisfaction and engagement.

Another example comes from branch banks and remote stores, where many tasks performed are tedious, redundant, and diminish employee engagement.  Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can automate repetitive, rules-based tasks, freeing up branch staff to focus on the customer.

Contact Verint

We want to hear from you. Verint helps the world’s most iconic brands build enduring customer relationships by connecting work, data and experiences efficiently. We want to help you go from zero to Boundless Customer Engagement to break down barriers and eliminate the constraints of organizational and data silos. Below you will find contact information for Customer Engagement Experts throughout the world.  Contact us today.