Can you provide a brief overview of your company?
Coveo is an Insight Solutions software company with a new approach to information integration. We help organizations get a much higher return on collective knowledge and information, and place the customer at the center of operations to facilitate sales, marketing, customer service and product engineering. In effect, by aligning information better, we help companies establish one-to-one relationships with customers and prospects to increase sales, build customer loyalty and build more innovative products that reflect customer/marketplace needs.
As you know, with all the talk about “Big Data,” there is tremendous value in information that is never realized. Companies are overwhelmed by unstructured information both within the enterprise and in social media. Coveo unlocks the value in that information and we make it highly consumable for the users, whether that user is a marketing manager, customer service agent, or the customer.
Our unified indexing technology, at a very high level, creates structure within information where none exists, across systems and across customer interaction channels. Our platform connects with and pulls information securely from basically all enterprise and social systems to create a virtual integration layer that is always up to date. In this Unified Index, we enrich the data, consolidate and correlate it, and discover information relationships to help users become, as we say, “insightful.” From here, the information is consumable via role-based Insight Consoles. If you think of, say, Yahoo! Finance on the Internet, you get an idea of the type of mashups that we provide, in real-time, both on company websites and within the enterprise systems and the social media — however, an important difference is that the information is instantly assembled in alignment with the context of the user. The interface, in effect, “knows” the user and serves up personalized information.
Please discuss how your technology can enhance the customer experience
Customers have many choices, and if their experience isn’t optimal with one organization, they will simply choose to buy from another. Even with one organization, there are multiple touchpoint choices, and customers will interact across them (website, chat, phone, email, customer communities, blogs, social media such as Twitter and Facebook, in person, etc.) and with a variety of individuals (sales, marketing, services, engineering) through those channels. And yet, most companies do not know enough about a customer’s interactions via all those channels to give them a one-to-one, personalized experience. That is what Coveo enables.
Our technology assembles information based on the customer’s context and interaction history, what they’ve purchased over time, and issues they may have had, etc., and presents it instantly, served up specifically for that individual customer. Each time, in each channel, the customer will have the same great experience, and will find or be given the information they need, at that point in time, to move further along the buying or customer experience continuum.
This is one-to-one marketing, sales and service, from end-to-end throughout the company.
Which areas of an organization will best benefit from your solutions?
Any part of the organization concerned with knowledge and the customer will benefit tremendously. We’ve seen increases in customer satisfaction, movement to web self-service, increases in sales and significant reductions in the cost to serve customers, including increases in capacity without adding headcount, to services and sales. As mentioned previously, we generally serve the three areas most concerned with customers: Marketing & Sales, Customer Service and Product Development.
As an example, CA Technologies uses Coveo as the backbone for pulling together information for all of these organizations, and in fact across the enterprise. With Coveo, CA connects 74 different systems, including customer communities. If we take just one area, customer service, where they serve approximately 150,000 customers, CA has achieved tremendous results over the past couple of years using Coveo Insight Solutions:
||40 Basis points
|Knowledge Base Content Satisfaction
||90 Basis points
||50 Basis points
|Time To Resolution
|% Opened Online
All of this was accomplished during a period when CA saw an 8 percent increase in customer service cases, thanks to its introduction of new, cloud-based solutions, and at the same time the company experienced a reduction in technical staff of 5 percent. So CA was able to increase capacity, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction at the same time – until now, these were diametrically opposed goals.
Your solution displays text information from multi-channel sources. How do you incorporate other forms of data, such as speech?
Part of today’s data challenge – and I might say, the leading challenge – is not just the volume but the variety of data. No longer is data simply numbers or letters. It is pictures, words, videos and more. Coveo has a stable of converters that efficiently convert and normalize various data formats so that the information can be combined and correlated with other data. So when there is a spike in your customer service hotline along with Twitter references, you can see immediately if there are common themes and if so what they are, so that you can head off any potential problems before they become a real issue. This is potential crisis control in real time.
What types of insights can companies expect to see from gathering unstructured data onto their screen?
Clearly the type of insights that companies can expect to see are very much tailored to each individual organization, the type of information and information sources that are important to their business, etc. In general, companies can expect to see greater insights in the three areas I mentioned above – customer service, engineering /product development and sales and marketing. Of course, primary among these is serving up insight for customers: Insight that is personally and contextually relevant, but more about that in the next question.
Let’s focus on insight for customer centricity, providing one-to-one marketing, end-to-end throughout your company, as noted above. Marketing is responsible for the entire customer experience, from brand awareness to post-sale care and relationship. So, on an individual customer basis, you want insight to understand their wants, needs, impressions about your brand and products, experience with your products and services, concerns and issues they may have, and their likelihood of purchasing in the future – their lifelong value to your organization. Clearly this is important at the individual customer level so that we can provide that individual with a one-to-one experience.
As an aggregate, insight into your overall customer base is important to the CMO and other executives involved in the customer lifecycle. Understanding trends across systems, in real time, provides the insight necessary to manage the business, understand market acceptance of new products, product improvements that need to be made, level of service, satisfaction, or connect the dots between marketing programs and sales results in the field. In some cases this is called Voice of the Customer, though that is generally relegated to listening to customers as opposed to understanding and optimizing their interactions across the enterprise.
These are just a few examples; again, insights will be specific to your industry, company and role within an organization.
How does your solution help the self-service customer?
As I mentioned earlier, the customer experience runs across all channels and all front-line employees; however, the website is becoming arguably the most important of these for many organizations. It is your best brand representation and it should reflect your knowledge of and adjust quickly to each and every customer (and it goes without saying about your own products and services, and the intersection of the customer information with product information). After all, with the consumerization of IT, we know that even B2B customers expect the same experience on your website that they may get on the Internet at large—only better, because they know you, and you should know them. And yet, both experience and research shows that companies are struggling to provide that one-to-one experience on their website.
Because Coveo Insight Solutions “know” all about your customer, their interactions with your company, their purchasing and service history, their communications about your company, via Twitter or other social media, but also other similar customers and more, the technology can instantly assemble contextually relevant information from all sources, and provide it in a meaningful “conversation” with the customer or prospect via the website. (And by the way, this is the same information, though perhaps abridged, that your sales person or customer service agent will see when interacting with the customer or prospect, providing that consistent brand experience which is so elusive to marketers, end-to-end.)
How easy is it to install and operate your system?
I don’t want to overstate, however it is important to understand that our technology is completely non-invasive. We create Proofs of Concept during the sales cycle for our prospects, on their own, live data, right in front of them, so they see first-hand how flexible, modular and yet scalable the technology is. We basically harvest existing systems and information, truly embracing that variety as opposed to moving data to new systems with expectations that will rarely be met.
Full implementation can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on the complexity of the information infrastructure. We have our own professional services team which is obviously highly skilled at understanding how companies use information and then configuring our technology and insight consoles to meet those specific needs. This is not cookie-cutter. Nor is it a rip-and-replace strategy. Coveo helps companies leverage their entire information ecosystem, in fact get better value from what they currently have, without moving any data, and without disrupting operations. We seek financial returns, not just implementation successes, and we believe user adoption is key.
How does your Insight console benefit the customer service agent? What can they expect to see?
Information that is consolidated from multiple systems that shows a unified view of the customer account, history, tickets, defects, correlated with other important information – like sales opportunities from a CRM, engineering database to see correlated issues and tickets for a certain product, information from social communities, and more. The Insight Console provides the agent, at his or her fingertips, information about each and every customer he interacts with, correlated with their history, products, issues, etc. With this information, correlated with like data from across the customer base and across all enterprise systems, the agent can easily solve challenges, as well as cross-sell and upsell the customer. The customer feels known, has a great experience, and this in turn will lead to higher levels of satisfaction and loyalty. Ultimately, more satisfied customers will buy more. More satisfied agents, working with happier customers, will stay with the organization longer. It’s a win-win, and over the years we have measured significant business metrics improvements that prove the financial value.
Please explain the different types of real time data, sources of information and content sources that the end user can choose from?
This is another great thing about our technology. We don’t care where the data resides – in the enterprise, in the cloud, in social media. Through our native and vast array of connectors, we can easily connect to virtually any system, and pull the data securely into our always-on, always up-to-date unified index and present it in our role-based Insight Consoles. We are completely content-source agnostic.
How do you find the market reception to your product?
Market reception to Coveo’s Insight Solutions has been phenomenal on two levels. First, Insight Solutions as a new and emerging market category is gaining fast acceptance by industry analysts and influencers who are seeing the value in offering greater insight into the vast amounts of – and ever growing – data and information across enterprise systems and in the cloud. We’re solving a fundamental problem that most, if not all, companies are facing – how to get more return on the collective knowledge – in large part by using it to ensure one-to-one, end-to-end, cross-channel customer relationships.
Secondly, and more importantly, we are seeing widespread adoption of our solutions. Coveo has more than 500 customers encompassing 700 implementations globally. We work with our customers to ensure they are gaining the results envisioned from their implementations, and we are happy to report yet another store of information – the great ROI stories that we are collecting from our customers. To me, that is how Coveo does and will continue to succeed, by helping our customers achieve, and even exceed, their goals. What underlines our customer success is their continued expansion of Coveo within their organizations. We may start in marketing, or in customer service, or in engineering, and the technology will quickly be extended into other departments. Once the index is created it is highly extensible to all areas of the organization. It’s more of a pull than a push at that point, which is highly rewarding.