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Verint Research Reveals Need for New Rules of Customer Engagement

Thu Oct 8, 2015

New Consumer Study Conducted with Ovum and Opinium Outlines Factors Necessitating Business Strategy Alignment with Customer Engagement

MELVILLE, N.Y., October 8, 2015 –Verint® Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNT) today released the results of new research in partnership with analyst and consultancy firm Ovum. The study reveals the complexity of customer service expectations and provides advice on how businesses can respond. Drawing on global and regional research conducted by UK-based research company Opinium, the findings highlight the demand for quick and convenient service coupled with a calculated approach to personalization in order to foster customer engagement.

Key findings from U.S. consumers include:

Theme #1: Effortless Resolution is King, Relationship is Secondary

  • Customers demand that organizations have the relevant information at their fingertips and resolve issues quickly. When asked to choose between “all I want are my questions answered” and “I want companies to know my mood and respond accordingly,” 80 percent chose “my questions answered.” Additionally, the two top-rated responses that created a positive impression of companies were: “I felt they dealt with my request quickly (47%)” and “they understood my issue and history (34%).”
  • Customer service is viewed as a transaction. When asked to choose between “customer service is an experience that should reflect me as a person” and “customer service is a transaction—it shouldn’t matter who I am,” 55 percent went with “customer service is a transaction.”

Verint Viewpoint:Speed and convenience are consumers’ top priorities when it comes to engaging with company brands. They want their questions answered quickly and on first contact. This requires putting complete and real-time information about customers at the fingertips of those on the frontline and that it carry through and be systemic across contact channels—the phone, social media, online, chat, email, etc.

Theme #2: Companies Need to Navigate Between “Stranger and Stalker”

  • Familiarity is a double-edge sword. Customers struggle with the balance between privacy and personalization. When given a choice of “I like it when service is personalized to me and my interests” and “I am suspicious about how my data is used”—responses were nearly split (51% to 49% respectively). Younger Americans (ages 18-34) were more comfortable with personalization (59%) compared with Americans ages 35+, where less than half (46%) indicated they would choose personalization over privacy concerns.
  • Churn factors vary by industry. Frustration factors that would lead to a switch in service providers vary based on the type of service. Reasons cited for changing banks, for instance, hinged on customer service and performance with “too many mistakes (31%),” and “impolite, rude or uninterested staff (25%)” as top reasons for leaving. Comparatively, for supermarkets, grocery stores and clothing retailers, 34 percent said “finding a cheaper alternative” would be the biggest driver in their choice to switch.

Verint Viewpoint:There is a quid-pro-quo regarding personalization between customers and providers. In some industries familiarization and sharing of personal data is necessary in order to deliver service. For these, the lines of acceptable personalization extend further as compared to commodity industries. In this study, there was a clear delineation in the factors for churn between high relationship (i.e., bank, credit card), moderate relationship (i.e., insurance, mobile phone, online retailer) and low relationship (i.e., supermarkets, grocery stores, clothing retailers) industries. Service providers need to implement solutions that provide contextual boundaries for personalization based on the type of service available.

Theme #3: Long-Term Engagements on the Decline

Since conducting a similar study, “Service is the New Marketing” in 2012, the percentage of respondents who indicated that they maintained a relationship with their service provider for three years or more has declined from 85 to 60 percent. Americans ages 35+ were more likely to maintain long-term relationships (70%) as compared to younger Americans (ages 18-34), where less than half (40%) indicated they had been with service providers for three years or more.

The industries with the most long-term (three years or more) engagements rank as follows:

  • #1 (tie)—Banks (71%), supermarket/grocery/clothing (71%)
  • #3—Gas/energy/water (66%)
  • #4—Mobile phone company (60%)
  • #5—Insurance company (58%)
  • #6—Credit card company (55%)
  • #7—Online retailer (50%)
  • #8—Home phone/landline/broadband (48%)

Verint Viewpoint:The majority of consumers surveyed feel the customer service experiences should reflect them as a person, yet were less concerned about companies knowing their current mood and responding accordingly. Even when companies make mistakes, many consumers are forgiving of companies they feel make an effort to understand what they are trying to accomplish and how helping them will reach that goal. A clear need to strike the right balance between personalized service and privacy helps establish longer-lasting relationships.

To deliver on these requirements and get ahead in customer service, the rules of engagement are changing, and study results point to the need to:

  • Meet the needs of the customer—armthe organization with the right information, tools and processes to provide the speedy service that customers demand.  
  • Create an effortless experience—understand customers, and use this knowledge to deliver the right level of personalized service every time.
  • Make it easy to engage—offer a range of ways for customers to contact the organization to provide flexibility and meet the demands of a diverse customer base.
  • Avoid relying on discounts and loyalty schemes—only an average of nine percent said offers and rewards actually make them more loyal.
  • Be transparent and open with customers about the use and security of their data—let them know how it helps deliver a better customer experience.
  • Go the extra mile—creating memorable experiences can pay off and be rewarded by brand champions telling friends and family, engaging on social media and writing positive reviews.

To learn more about The New Rules of Customer Engagement, download the full white paper here.

About the Research

Interviews were conducted amongst 18,038 consumers in the following countries: Germany (2,006), France (2,001), Netherlands (2,002), Poland (2,001), UK (2,004), South Africa (2,010), U.S. (2,007), Australia (2,007) and New Zealand (2,000). The research was conducted online, in the local language for each area and respondents were incentivized to participate. The results outlined in this document were based on U.S. consumer responses.

About Verint Systems Inc.

Verint® is a global leader in Actionable Intelligence®, which has become a necessity in a dynamic world of massive information growth. By empowering organizations with crucial insights, Verint solutions enable decision makers to anticipate, respond and take action, and make more informed, effective and timely decisions. Our solutions are designed to address three important areas of the actionable intelligence market: customer engagement optimization; security intelligence; and fraud, risk and compliance. Verint’s vision is to create A Smarter World with Actionable Intelligence®, and today, more than 10,000 organizations in over 180 countries—including over 80 percent of the Fortune 100—already benefit from this vision. Learn more at www.verint.com and NASDAQ: VRNT. 

This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including statements regarding expectations, predictions, views, opportunities, plans, strategies, beliefs, and statements of similar effect relating to Verint Systems Inc. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and they are based on management's expectations that involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements. For a detailed discussion of these risk factors, see our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2015, our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 31, 2015, and other filings we make with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release and, except as required by law, Verint assumes no obligation to update or revise them or to provide reasons why actual results may differ.

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