A resource for customer experience (CX) and experience management (XM) professionals.
Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify Subscribe on Google Play Listen on Stitcher Listen on Stitcher Listen on YouTube

The Undiscovered Insights

Release Date: November 3, 2020 • Episode #140

Today’s technology allows CX pros can spin up a customer feedback survey and start collecting data in record time. But there’s another source of data that is often overlooked – that data is probably already stored in a database or social media account, but simply didn’t know it was there. Host Steve Walker welcomes Amy Brown, CEO and founder of Authenticx, for a discussion on how unsolicited, or unstructured feedback can provide a wealth of insights for companies and CX professionals.

Marcus Hall

Amy Brown
Authenticx
Connect with Amy

Highlights

SOOOOO much data…

Companies often use technologies that gather important data on customer insights, but don’t realize the goldmine of data they actually have:

“And so what that means is companies are amassing these recorded conversations in the millions every year. And those conversations are just chock full of insights about what the customers think, what they feel, what they wish the company would innovate on, not because they’re being asked, but because it’s just a human conversation…”
“… when you when you amass those conversations and you pull out the themes and you aggregate things around the themes, like you can actually answer some of your most burning questions if you just use the data source in an efficient, effective way.”

The UX Team can have fun, too

For customer or user support center that have to troubleshoot problems, unsolicited feedback can provide the insight necessary to streamline their user interface:

“…20 percent where talking about the button on this screen and how it’s not legible or doesn’t function all the time. And then another 40 percent said they were really confused by this language on our website. And that data gets gets used by what we’ve done is surface those insights to UX teams who have said, ‘oh, now I see.’ What what it is that they need to be differently now, we have the data from the customer, the mouths of the customers themselves, telling us exactly where we need to go fix the UI problem. And then we’ve been able to use our technology to measure over time. Guess what? They’re not calling about that issue anymore because the UX team solved it.”

Transcript

CX Leader Podcast: "The Undiscovered Insights" transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Download the “CX Leader Podcast: "The Undiscovered Insights" audio file directly. This wav was automatically transcribed by Sonix (https://sonix.ai).

CX Leader Podcast: "The Undiscovered Insights" was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Steve:
You're pretty proud of the data you're collecting from your feedback survey or intercept on your website, but have you thought about all the potential in the feedback you didn't ask for?

Amy:
Companies are amassing these recorded conversations in the millions, and those conversations are just chock full of insights about what the customers think, what they feel, not because they're being asked, but because it's just a human conversation.

Steve:
The value of recognizing and collecting unsolicited feedback on this episode of The CX Leader Podcast.

Announcer:
The CX Leader Podcast with Steve Walker is produced by Walker, an experience management firm that helps our clients accelerate their XM success. You can find out more at walkerinfo.com.

Steve:
Hello, everyone. I'm Steve Walker, host of The CX Leader Podcast, and thank you for listening. On The CX Leader Podcast we explore topics and themes to help leaders like you leverage all the benefits of your customer experience and help your customers and prospects want to do more business with you. The technology and tools available today for customer experience professionals is truly amazing. With the right services in place, CX pros can spin up a customer feedback survey and start collecting data in record time. But there's another source of data that's often overlooked. That data is probably already stored in a database or social media account, but you just didn't know where it was. Unsolicited or unstructured feedback is collected all the time. We just need to recognize, collect, and analyze the data into actionable insights. And I'm very happy to have my guest this week. Amy Brown is the founder and CEO of Authenticx, a technology platform that leverages customer interaction data to reveal valuable insights for health care companies. Amy, welcome to The CX Leader Podcast.

Amy:
Thank you, Steve. Great to be here.

Steve:
Well, it's a real pleasure to have you. And, you know, I'm a legacy, a old fashioned market research pro, but I am just constantly amazed at the ways that we're able to leverage technology to get these new forms of customer feedback into our management information systems. But before we get into your company and your product, could you just give us a little bit of background on yourself, just kind of how you got to this point in your career and and maybe even tell us why you started Authenticx?

Amy:
So I am born and bred Hoosier, and started my career in government health care and then proceeded to work in various operational roles in health care organizations. My roles were, you know, head of contact centers, customer service. My most recent role before launching Authenticx was a COO position at an insurance company. But throughout my history, I've always had responsibility for the function of the business to the business that had daily direct communication with customers. We were the front line to customers, and that's where kind of my nurturing ground for this whole idea of Authenticx got its roots.

Steve:
So how long… When did you start Authenticx?

Amy:
Steve, I… I left my corporate gig in the late summer of 2018. Mother of four. My husband's been a stay at home dad for a long time. So it was… When I say it was an all in decision in the summer of 2018, that's truly what it felt like. And so it was just one of those things where I saw this problem and I had spent 20 years, you know, in corporate life and I just said it's now or never. So I got a jump. So we've been going for about two years now.

Steve:
And what was the missing need? What was it that you saw, there was this gap in the marketplace, that Authenticx designed to fulfill.

Amy:
So, you know, Steve, when you call any kind of customer service line of any type, it might be your utility company. It might be your cable company, might be your health insurance company. The very first thing you likely hear when you dial is an automated voice saying, hello, this call is recorded for quality and monitoring purposes. Right. Everybody's used to that. And so what that means is companies are amassing these recorded conversations in the millions every year. And those conversations are just chock full of insights about what the customers think, what they feel, what they wish the company would innovate on, not because they're being asked, but because it's just a human conversation. And they're offering it up as part of those human conversations. And when I was COO and an operator rolls my colleagues in marketing sales strategy, thought of the call center as the cost center.

Steve:
Mm hmm.

Amy:
And they just didn't think of those interactions going on all day, every day as being full of insights that could help them sell or market more effectively or solve big, hairy strategic problems. And I just saw that that was that was incorrect. That that actually when you when you amass those conversations and you pull out the themes and you aggregate things around the themes, like you can actually answer some of your most burning questions if you just use the data source in an efficient, effective way. So that's the problem I saw is this massive disconnect between the revenue side of an enterprise and the operations side of the enterprise. And this goal to bring the data sources together. Meanwhile, you know, we have this kind of growing CX industry that has abounded over the last 15 years, thankfully. But the industry has primarily been built up on this concept that in order to get feedback from customers, you have to ask for it. And I'm just here to say, no, not necessarily, they're already telling you, you just gotta get at it right. You got to get to the datasource.

Steve:
I've always, like, use this matrix and I realize this is a podcast. So I ask our listeners to kind of think of this two by two matrix in their heads. But I think a feedback is being structured versus unstructured and solicited versus unsolicited. So in my world, it would be the structured and solicited, you know, a very structured questionnaire and solicited via a survey. And really what you're talking about is at the other end of the matrix, which is unstructured and unsolicited. So can you just talk a little bit about what the benefits are? And most of our listeners probably are a little more biased to my end of the spectrum. So just give us a little perspective from your viewpoint of of where the value is in sort of the unstructured, unsolicited feedback.

Amy:
Yeah, and I love the the matrix, the two by two. That's a great way to visualize it, Steve. Yeah. So you know how when you really have, you know, something on your mind and you want to talk to someone about it, it's really important that you speak your mind right. In your words. And that's really what what the value is on mining for unsolicited feedback. The fact is, is that if the company is the one asking the question, then we're already kind of making it about us. Right. We're saying, well, here's the information I, the company want to know and here's the way I want to word the question to get the information I'm most looking for. And for those professionals listening, I'm not saying that's bad. I'm just saying it's not the complete story. Because when folks call a contact center, whether it's an inside sales contact center, a customer service or a nurse line, they have a reason they're calling and they have a perception that goes into everything they're going to say. And so it's the value of unsolicited feedback, as is all about listening to what's top of mind for that customer in their own words and not trying to fit their fit them into a box of, well, here's what I want to hear from you, customer. So it's really important for companies to tap into that, because that's the whole reason, I mean, they're contacting you in the first place is to tell you what's on their mind and what they need. And that's a hugely valuable source of insight.

Steve:
Amy, you talked a little bit about how in an unstructured, unsolicited version, you're really talking about what the customer wants to talk about as opposed to putting them into a box. And I find that very insightful. Could you just give us an example or two of how that plays out and and what that might mean to a customer experience pro?

Amy:
Sure. So one one example that's actually been consistent across all of our clients is, you know, all of our clients have some sort of digital self-service thing. Right. And they're hoping that their customers will use it. Right. And what we've noticed and observed from our work is that there's always a good percentage of interactions where the customer will call because they could not do the thing that they needed to do on self-service. And so the agent's job, who's taking that call is to quickly resolve the problem. Right. Well, let me help you get get that problem fixed. But all that conversation leading up to that agent solving the problem is the customer telling you what they were doing on the website where they had their problem, what buttons or fields they didn't understand, where in the navigation of it they got lost, what words were used that they couldn't figure out what the company meant. And so they're getting just tons of feedback about what led them to call in the first place and what we've used with that data. And they're very specific. And when you when you amass tens of thousands of these, you start to develop trends. Oh, well, you know, of the ten thousand twenty percent, we're talking about the button on this screen and how it's not legible or doesn't function all the time. And then another 40 percent said they were really confused by this language on our on our website. And that data gets gets used by what we've done is surface those insights to UX teams who have said, oh, now I see. What what it is that they need to be differently now, we have the data from the customer, the mouths of the customers themselves, telling us exactly where we need to go fix the UI problem. And then we've been able to use our technology to measure over time. Guess what? They're not calling about that issue anymore because the UX team solved it. So so that's one example of where the customer service rep taking the call, their job isn't to capture all the insights. Right. Their job is to solve the problem, to get on to the next thing, which is. Yeah. What their job is. But it's ignoring all that good stuff that other parts of the organization can use and take action with.

Steve:
That's a great example. And, you know, some of the younger people in my organization have been talking about how some of this unstructured data could end up replacing what we've been doing historically, which is doing sort of the transactional type of survey. Your example is a perfect example of where you could actually let the unsolicited feedback provide the same insight that you might get out of a survey and even taken it further in your example, how you you put it back to product development or solution development. If you could get that feedback going all the way back into how the the user interface is designed so that those kinds of problems could be avoided. So any other kind of insights or any other benefits that you would tick off just quickly from kind of your experience?

Amy:
Yeah, there's actually two that I want to mention. And Steve, you kind of alluded to one of them, which is, you know, this this idea of was the call really resolved? It was the issue really resolved. And we actually have a name for that phenomenon in our world that we've created. Call centers often measure first call resolution, which is determined by the agent. Did they resolve that call? But the really answer lies in, you know, in the perspective of the customer, as you just accurately pointed out, Steve. And so what we what we measure at Authenticx is this thing called the eddy effect. So let me ask you, have you ever spent any time on a river canoeing?

Steve:
Yes, I have.

Amy:
OK, do you know what a river eddy is?

Steve:
I do not. So…

Amy:
OK…

Steve:
…it's going to be a good day because I'm about to learn something.

Amy:
Well, you know how our river has a current that flows down the middle? Well, if there's a stone or a boulder or a log that fell into the river on the side, what happens is it creates a countercurrent and you'll see as you're canoeing or whatever, you'll see these little whirlpools on the side of the of the river. And when I first started Authenticx and we were listening to these calls over and over, tens of thousands coming in from from clients, I said to my husband one day, I said, we're noticing this phenomenon where the customer is cycling back over and over again to the company because the problem that they had never got solved and the agent said it was solved, but it really wasn't. And he said, you know what, Amy, that sounds like an eddy, a river eddy. And so now we measure that. We measure that as a part of our product, as not only we're not only looking at, well, have the customer called before – we're looking at why. And we're discovering all kinds of problems related to a company's processes or technology that's supposed to serve the customer that just simply aren't working as designed. So it's really an accountability tool to the to the customer journey design. Customer journey design, you think of it as a current that the current that just flows great down the middle of the river. And what we're discovering is it doesn't always work that way. Customers get stuck in an eddy because the process as designed isn't actually being implemented that way. And in reality and so leaders are able to learn where those pain points are and both raise the customer experience and satisfaction from solving them while also reducing waste, because then you're then you're preventing calls that didn't need to come in the first place. Right. So I just wanted to mention that as another major thing we've discovered from from listening to unsolicited feedback.

Steve:
I think that's a great one. And now I know what an eddy is. Is it an E D D Y or E D D I E?

Amy:
E D D Y.

Steve:
OK, I was thinking it was maybe named after some guy that…

Amy:
[laughing]

Steve:
…you know, cause all sorts of problems for customers that you'd met or something.

Steve:
My guest on the show this week is Amy Brown. She's the founder and CEO of Authenticx. and we're talking about unsolicited data and the impact it can have, particularly when you're collecting it right from the customers in a contact or call center type of environment. I wonder, are there other environments where you're using some of this unsolicited feedback or is it is it primarily just in the call center? Contact center?

Amy:
Well, our data source is from contact centers. So but we serve all kinds of functions within an enterprise. So we kind of see the contact center as being the keys to the kingdom. And it just a data source that has been so underutilized, but that truly can serve the entire enterprise because they're bidirectional conversations. Right. These are not like a one way where where you get a string of text or a survey score or an online review and then you're left wondering as the receiver of that score or that one line of text, you know, you're able to actually hear a complete conversation and it just gives so much context. Which, context is everything. It gives you that as a leader, it gives you the information needed to to have to develop a more accurate strategy or a more accurate action, because you have the fuller story. Right. So so we serve lots of different leaders, marketing leaders, compliance leaders, definitely operations call center leaders. But but the data source that we specialize in is contacts and our data sources.

Steve:
And I like the way you said it's the keys to the kingdom, because I think it is because it's being initiated by the customer for a specific issue that they have. And I want to go back to something you said earlier that, you know, historically, folks thought of the contact center as a cost center. And I think this is exactly why, because it is the cost of not building your customer focused effort into your processes, your delivery, your journey. This is the cost of not having that, because these are the things that customers can't figure out on their own, and hence they need to come in and get some support from the company. So I think you've given us some great examples about this, but maybe some of our listeners would like to kind of know how this works. So if one of our listeners has a contact center that maybe isn't taking advantage of this, how would they maybe get started with you?

Amy:
Sure. So Authenticx, what we do is we work with call centers of all different sizes and types. We are not a telephony platform. We're not trying to be one. What we do, though, is most telephony platforms that our clients have already, they're already recording calls. And so where we come in is we build a connection with our clients contact centers to acquire the call recordings into our platform. And then we take it from there. Right. So we first work to transcribe the interactions using a speech analytics platform. And we have built some topical areas, classifiers that are really industry specific because of our industry expertize and who makes up Authenticx. We know the types of topics and the things that our clients are wanting to solve for. So we come with some predefined kind of natural language processing topical categories. But the really important thing about Authenticx and why we're different than any other speech analytics company out there is. What what speech analytics does is it tells you keywords and the thing, the words that are used by the customers, but it doesn't tell you the what and the why around it. And it's not actionable. And so the rest of our platform is designed to give CX and quality analysts a platform to have NLP enabled analysis. But then we also have a part of our platform that is not only designed to listen to the agent side of the conversation, you know, but then there's another part of the platform that allows the Q8 analyst to listen to the customer side of the conversation. And it's what it's ending up with at the end of call going through our process is a really comprehensively evaluated interaction that is also able to be evaluated more efficiently using natural language processing to help those humans who are interacting with our platform be more effective. And then our platform has, of course, the data visualizations and audio libraries that that allow leaders to listen, to see not only the pie graphs and the bar charts and the trend lines of what people are talking about and how big the problem is or how it's changing over time. But we also have a feature of our product that allows leaders to to listen without having to hunt and peck for valuable calls in a telepathy platform.

Steve:
You've had so many neat insights here in our podcast today, and it's made me think about unsolicited data and the call center in a totally different way. What's been some of the bigger surprises or you've been in this journey now intensely for a little over two years. And I always admire people that start their own companies. And you've obviously seen a real opportunity here. But what's what's been some of the most surprising stuff to you over the last couple of years? You've been on this journey?

Amy:
You know, one of the happiest surprises of the journey, when I think about the the listening work that we do, I talk about our work as being like holding up a mirror and we're simply holding up a mirror to what customers are talking about all day, every day. And sure, finding problems and pain points and, you know, issues is is what customers pay us for. Right. So that they can fix them. But one of the really happy surprises is that there is always, always positives that customers are are saying that should be heard by the company in a much broader way. Customers are saying how much they value the human being on the other side of the phone. They're expressing relief for the product or service that the company is giving. They're giving testimonials that that a lot of marketing companies would pay big dollars for. Right. And they're just freely sharing compliments and and appreciation. And we've seen some of our clients not only focus on those negative stories, but also on the positives and use that to help remind the whole organization of they're noble purpose and they're noble cause. So that's been a really rewarding part of this journey that I didn't initially anticipate.

Steve:
That's great. And historically, our business was about break fix. And we've we've become more mature than that. You know, we're not just there fixing the problems, but we're actually leading to to real insights and so forth. I'm very optimistic about the role of CX and what it can do for the world. So I just want to thank you for sharing that. All right Amy Brown, we've reached that point in our podcast where I always ask our guests for their take home value. That's the one tip that our CX pros can go back and apply to their own situation. So, Amy Brown, what is your best tip for CX pros today?

Amy:
So my tip is to just get started, even in a very rudimentary way of listening systematically for unsolicited feedback in the contact center. You don't have to buy a solution like Authenticx. It's just to kind of experience the power of listening to unsolicited feedback. So my advice in terms of just how to how do I even test out this theory of unsolicited feedback would be to just set a little plan, pick a number of calls from your contact center that you'd like to listen to and set yourself a little notepad of the questions that you would like to try to find some answers to and just set aside some time and listen and reflect on what you what you heard when I've seen leaders take the time to truly listen, it's really unlocked some insights that have allowed them to know where to go. And and you don't have to have a massive technology purchase to just get started. So my advice is just to get started and make it very baby step plan to intentionally listen for some unsolicited feedback.

Steve:
Thank you, Amy Brown. That is very good take home value. And it kind of reminds me of the seven habits of highly effective people, which is to really do the things that are important but not urgent. And I think that little exercise that you just described for a CX pro would certainly be a couple of hours well spent. That's a great tip. So thanks very much. Thanks for being a guest on the podcast. Amy, in case people might want to continue the dialog, could you just promote your website or how folks might be able to get a hold of you or find you?

Amy:
Sure. Our website is beauthenticx.com. It's spelled just like "be authentic" with an X at the end. And my email is amy.brown@beauthenticx.com.

Steve:
Thank you. Amy Brown is the founder and CEO of Authenticx, quite an entrepreneur here in the unsolicited CX space. It was fascinating discussion. I sure learned a lot and hopefully all of our listeners did too. And if you want to learn about anything else you heard on this podcast or about how Walker could help your business customer experience, feel free to email me at a podcast@walkerinfo.com. Be sure to check out our website, cxleaderpodcast.com, to subscribe to the show and find all the previous episodes, podcast, series and contact information. You can even drop us a note to let us know how we're doing. The CX Leader Podcast is a production of Walker we're an experience management firm that helps companies accelerate their XM success. You can read more about us at walkerinfo.com. Thanks for listening and we'll see you again next time.

Automatically convert your audio files to text with Sonix. Sonix is the best online, automated transcription service.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your wav files to text.

Get the most out of your audio content with Sonix. Sonix converts audio to text in minutes, not hours. Create and share better audio content with Sonix. Do you have a lot of background noise in your audio files? Here's how you can remove background audio noise for free. Sonix takes transcription to a whole new level. Are you a podcaster looking for automated transcription? Sonix can help you better transcribe your podcast episodes. More computing power makes audio-to-text faster and more efficient. Automated transcription is much more accurate if you upload high quality audio. Here's how to capture high quality audio.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your wav files to text.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2020—it’s fast, easy, and affordable.

If you are looking for a great way to convert your audio to text, try Sonix today.

Tags: