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Qualtrics hardwires sentiment analysis into contact center tools

Qualtrics beefs up its contact center offering by embedding new sentiment detection tools as well as social listening across review sites, social media and other digital channels.

Voice-of-the-customer vendor Qualtrics has released Social Connect, a sentiment analysis and social listening tool for contact centers.

Social Connect arose from technology in the $1.1 billion Qualtrics acquisition of Clarabridge, completed in October. Qualtrics has evolved it since the acquisition, said Fabrice Martin, head of product for Qualtrics Customer Care. Social Connect melds more than 30 popular social channels and messaging platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber, as well as live chat and email, into one dashboard to give contact center agents a single view of all the places a customer might have used to reach a company.

Social Connect performs sentiment analysis in one-on-one conversations between an agent and a customer, scoring the difficulty customers feel they are having in solving a problem, and also detecting emotions the customer is expressing in words. Difficultly is a key metric, Martin said, because the more problems customers have engaging with a company, the more likely they are to churn. Using AI to score those problems can help shape the agent's response.

Social Connect is also a social listening platform that monitors internet review sites, feeds such as Twitter and other places a company might be mentioned publicly. Normally, social listening tools are the purview of the marketing team, used to understand the totality of what was being said about a company. But that's changing.

"More and more of those conversations become customer service conversations," Martin said. "For example, a few airlines use this day in, day out. What used to be social monitoring turned into, 'I lost my bag and I need somebody to help me.' There's more contact, interaction and partnership between the marketing team and the contact center customer service team -- because some of those queries are really customer service queries."

According to Jim Davies, an analyst at Gartner, the overall trend for voice of the customer vendors such as Qualtrics is to move past their traditional capabilities -- customer feedback capture, analysis and presentation -- in order to increase their value in the enterprise.

Qualtrics sentiment analysis
Qualtrics sentiment analysis tools, as shown on the contact center agent's console.

"They are looking for ways to become more deeply embedded within customer-facing operational departments such as service, sales and marketing," Davies said. "Using their deep understanding of the customer experience, they increasingly look to help intervene in -- and even orchestrate -- customer processes."

Qualtrics released Social Connect features in conjunction with its X4 user conference.

Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service and enabling technologies for TechTarget.

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