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An Evolving Customer Landscape Requires a New Approach to Customer Service

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Joshua Feast

Industry analyst firm Forrester Research recently released its latest market landscape analyzing the trends, priorities and vendors within the Conversation Intelligence space for Customer Service. The brand new market report from Forrester signals a shift in how contact center leaders are leveraging technology to improve engagement in real time with both their employees and customers – something that we at Cogito are very excited about. 

Prior to this year, Forrester analyzed the AI-fueled speech analytics market and vendors, specific to the customer service industry. Cogito was proud to be featured in the previous report, and we’re even more excited about the direction of Forrester’s new and improved (we think) industry analysis, which focuses strongly on the conversation piece that is so critical to the success of AI-powered customer service interactions and to uncovering real-time insights into customer behavior. The key phrase here is real-time insights. 

Speech analytics technologies, such as those featured in previous Forrester landscapes, are useful for analyzing interactions post-call to learn patterns and trends that can be applied to future service interactions. However, speech analytics falls short of recognizing customer frustration in the moment, when there is still time to correct the service issues within the same interaction. 

At Cogito, we pioneered real-time coaching and guidance powered by AI, which is why we’re so excited to help lead this market shift. Forrester’s new landscape validates that the market has moved beyond basic speech analytics and post-call analysis, to a more encompassing approach that fully embraces a real-time approach to conversation intelligence. This in turn helps agents better understand and predict customer interactions, allowing them to pivot in the moment – leading to higher customer satisfaction and long-term business value.   

As we applaud Forrester’s new landscape report and focus on conversation intelligence, we’re continuing to innovate in lockstep with this category evolution. When we first started Cogito 15 years ago, AI augmentation was still a relatively new concept – but we were determined to build real-world applications that could drive meaningful change. With funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and key investors, we leveraged pioneering scientific research to develop an application for military veterans returning from the field, working with the Department of Veterans Affairs and large hospital systems to assess post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Since that time, we’ve seen dramatic improvements and innovations in the field of AI – so it’s no surprise that Forrester has evolved its market landscape to reflect this progress.

As we grow, we’re committed to keeping our human-focused approach at the heart of our innovation. We’ve applied our sophisticated machine learning models to serve large contact centers, helping agents better understand and predict customer behaviors. In particular, we’ve invested heavily in human-aware Conversation AI and Emotion AI to improve both employee and customer experiences – in real time. 

Conversation AI & Emotion AI

People are at the center of every customer service interaction – both employees and customers. With Emotion AI, advanced algorithms help analyze the voice of the customer, providing agents with recommendations in real time to guide the conversation and resolve issues with minimal frustration. Customer service interactions often lead to heightened emotions – Emotion AI provides context to conversations allowing agents to comprehend beyond words and expertly navigate challenging situations with minimal frustration and maximum empathy. 

Coupled with Conversation AI, Cogito’s platform drills further down to analyze specific words and topics in real time, offering human-aware insights and alerting agents when there are opportunities to cross-sell or up-sell – or when they are at risk of losing a customer. Applied alone, Emotion AI and Conversation AI are individually very powerful tools for contact center leaders. Working together, however, Emotion and Conversation AI deliver game-changing results that create happier employees, leading to more satisfied, loyal customers. 

Forrester’s Conversation Intelligence for Customer Service Landscape, Q2 2023 is a strong proof point for how far AI has come over the past 15+ years. While the AI-fueled speech analytics market was centered strongly on improving CX via post-call analysis, this new landscape signals a necessary shift that places greater value on human conversations and delivering better experiences for employees and customers in real time. As we’ve seen firsthand with our clients across industries, this focus on both EX and CX leads to impactful revenue uplifts and long-term business sustainability as employee attrition is reduced, and customer retention is improved.

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