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2020 pushed businesses to face a digital reckoning: Anil Chawla, Managing Director, Customer Engagement Solutions, Verint India

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As the pandemic unfolded and government-imposed restrictions were implemented to stop covid from spiking, the way a customer used to work, socialize, shop, and entertain was entirely reinvented. These shifts in consumer behaviour has undoubtedly pushed the enterprises in adopting digital technologies to elevate the customer experience, opines Anil Chawla, Managing Director, Customer Engagement Solutions, Verint India, in a detailed interview

Some edited excerpts:

How has Verint being doing in India. What impact did the pandemic have on your business?

We started our India operations almost 23 years back. Our journey started at the onset of the BPO industry in the country, where Verint was the choice of partner for its customers by providing compliance solutions for voice recording and improving service levels by using quality management solutions. Today, our leadership position in the country is underlined by our strong customer base that is well over 5,00,000 licenses . This is a mixture of traditional ‘on-premise’ customers augmented with a rapidly growing cohort of clients that are investing in Verint’s cloud platform.

With the pandemic hitting the country, many of our customers had to rapidly react and move their workforce overnight to a work from home environment. This sudden shift across industries amplified our engagement in the market as customers wanted us to facilitate the right solutions to engage with customers remotely and, at the same time, provide additional solutions to empower remote employees while ensuring business continuity and efficiency. Verint India proudly supported all existing customers in BCP, enabling their agents for WFH without the requirement of any additional investment. This is a testimony of the agility, innovation, and flexibility of Verint’s strong solution portfolio.

As part of the COVID-19 rapid response effort, Verint utilised speech analytics and reached out to its customers who needed immediate and ongoing insights into COVID-19’s impact on their customers and employees. We created a Phonetic Boosting Pack “COVID-19 category” to support our customers, which was offered free to all the speech analytics customers. Additionally, existing language models were calibrated and customized to include new terminology related to this crisis, further supporting agents to talk to their customers empathetically.

You recently launched Verint Cloud in India. What sets you apart from other players and how do you plan to grow that business?

With the Verint Cloud Platform, organizations can readily deploy connected engagement solutions across the entire customer journey, sharing data, insights and analytics at every interaction. It helps to close the Engagement Capacity Gap by enabling organizations to quickly adopt automated, best-in-class solutions that can delight their customers throughout the journey and on their terms—when and where they want to transact, interact, and receive service. It connects the data across the enterprise to provide much needed insights into their performance on how they are engaging with customers and finding ways to put the employees’ skills to best use.

With Verint Cloud Platform, organizations can drive personalized, proactive connections with digital-first engagements, seamlessly combine humans and bots with intelligent workforce engagement, create a CX-focused culture across your business with experience management and harness data to drive insights and action with Verint Da Vinci AI & Analytics and Engagement Data Hub.

Verint has an agnostic cloud platform with complete open APIs which implies, it seamlessly integrate with any other cloud platform. With its differentiated platform, Verint enables customers open access and seamless integration to a broad ecosystem as well as advanced analytics and data through its Da Vinci AI. Globally Verint has partnerships with AWS, GCP, Azure amongst others so that its customers who are already using these platforms, can integrate with Verint Cloud Platform effortlessly. As part of our growth initiatives, Verint is committed to helping organizations transition their operations to cloud-based platforms that deliver cost efficiencies and differentiated experiences to customers and employees.

What are the challenges being faced by organisations in India when it comes to customer engagement and how are Verint’s solutions helping them?

When we look at customer engagement today, with more and more channels getting evolved, the expectations from the consumers have increased manifold. As consumers shift to digital channels, brands are facing an increasing number of interactions and skyrocketing expectations and most businesses have a limited set of resources to engage with customers. This widening gap between expectations and results is the Engagement Capacity Gap, as trademarked by Verint.

Verint’s AI & Analytics solutions are infused with advanced machine learning models, natural language processing, intent recognition models, predictive modelling, altogether embedded in Verint Cloud Platform. Built on market-leading customer engagement data from billions of real-world interactions every year, and constantly innovated with expertise from Verint AI Labs, Verint Da Vinci AI enables a broad range of solutions. It elevates the ability to interact with customers and employees, as well as process large amounts of data to learn so that organizations can connect, grow, and innovate, all while aligning their operations with the business goals.

When customers have questions or issues, they demand immediate, accurate answers in their channel of choice where customer and employees both struggles to find answers. Verint Knowledge Management helps employees and customers see relevant knowledge without even having to search.

What trends do you foresee in customer engagement in India?

2020 pushed businesses to face a digital reckoning. As the pandemic unfolded and government-imposed restrictions were implemented to stop Covid from spiking, the way a customer used to work, socialize, shop, and entertain was entirely reinvented. These shifts in consumer behaviour has undoubtedly pushed the enterprises in adopting digital technologies to elevate the customer experience. Looking at this trend, there is an increased focus on cloud adoption, upgrading the platforms to enhance Digital First Engagement and elevating the customer experience by providing personalised context based interactions and providing flexibility to engage through the choice of preferred channel.

Which industry sectors in India are likely to invest the most on improving tech-enabled customer engagement?

Apart from the BPO industry which are leaders of advanced applications adoption, sectors like BFSI, e-commerce and retail sectors are expected to invest strategically on tech-enabled solutions to elevate the customer experience. We also see significant uptake from emerging industries like Edtech, Fintech and online food ordering and delivering platforms.

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