Share this content

Verint Engage22 and the opportunity to evolve CX through employee engagement


Employee experience analyst Katrina Ghazarian attended the recent Engage22 conference, hosted by Verint - The Customer Engagement Company. What she discovered reinforced her belief that vendors are considering how their solutions affect the employees of their customers in a more meaningful way than ever before.

2nd Aug 2022
Share this content

Before I begin my own posts, I have one more guest post that I think you need to read – because of the person writing it and because of the subject matter implied. That would be this one, written by Employee Engagement analyst and influencer, CEO of GamedayHR, Katrina Ghazarian. I’ve known Katrina for a few years and she is not only one of the most insightful thought leaders in the EX space but she has the substance to back up what she thinks. Her playbooks for EX and Human Resources (I REFUSE to call it Human Capital Management) are deep, practical and yet, can be cutting edge when needed. But not only is she a substantial thought leader, but she is a great person with a big heart and a great sense of humour. I mean, who doesn’t love someone who’s tagline is “Voted Funniest in the 5th Grade”? I am excited for you to meet her and learn from her.  So….

Katrina, the stage is yours!

Verint going for the EX Crown 

In June 2021, it was announced that Verint, The Customer Engagement Company, had acquired a leading hiring automation company HireIQ for their technology known today as Intelligent Interviewing. Intelligent Interviewing automates the candidate evaluation process and leverages AI to analyse answers to interview questions, providing insights to help hiring managers make more informed decisions. Verint offers Intelligent Interviewing through its already robust Workforce Management solutions and I had the opportunity to experience a live demo of it and the new features of their Real-Time Agent Assist at Verint’s annual Engage conference in Orlando, Florida last month. 

I walked into Engage22 feeling like a character from Game of Thrones, being an employee experience (EX) analyst - the First of her Name at an event like this. Companies like Verint are starting to consider how their solutions affect the employees of their customers in a more meaningful way given the sustaining era of The Great Resignation. And I’m here for it. Like, literally.

So everyone is asking why I believe they have a shot at ruling this new kingdom. Actually, no one is asking but I’m going to tell you anyway. In order to do that, let’s dragon-dive into what employee experience actually means.

Understanding employee experience

Employee experience is mostly defined as a worker’s perceptions about his or her journey through all the touchpoints at a particular company, starting from job candidacy to exit. The company’s physical workspace, culture and technology are all important components of the employee experience, which is often abbreviated as EX. 

Now I’m going to tell you how I define employee experience which is simply to help employees design a life they absolutely love. Now, stay with me. 

Gallup reported back in April that the Employee Disengagement Rate had risen from 64% to 68%, with 17% of the disengaged employees being considered “actively disengaged” being the “disgruntled and disloyal” of the bunch because most of their needs are not being met. This challenge has only been exacerbated by the swift increase of professionals transitioning to remote work. The lines between professional and personal needs are blurred, as well as where  employers’ responsibilities start and end. 

So my definition makes it easier on everyone by saying that the employer is now responsible for mostly all of it. 

Why in their right minds would employers want to take on this responsibility and why should they? Well, money, that’s why. Gallup also estimates that employee disengagement is costing businesses over $350 billion each year. At this point, most businesses have been impacted by increasing employee disengagement and are realising how much EX contributes to their success.

Before I could determine if Verint’s solutions could have an impact on their customer’s EX, I needed to know if Verint prioritised EX internally within their own organisation. If they didn’t have a clear understanding of it themselves, their shot at slaying The Night King (aka Employee Disengagement) would be dead in the water. The only team members who would be able to give me this insight would have to be team members from the HR department and historically, these team members are not asked to engage with the analysts. But we’re all trying to conquer this together right? I inevitably got to speak to someone who could help me understand Verint’s approach to EX. Let’s take a look at what was said.

Understanding Verint’s employee experience

Verint was not shy about their own internal challenges when it comes to employee experience.

“We’ve had some surprises navigating from in-office work to being completely remote to trying to figure out this new hybrid model,” said Judy Sanchez, HR director for Verint. “We launched our Workplace Reimagined Survey and were pretty surprised to see how many employees were really not interested in returning to the office.” Remote onboarding has been a challenge for them, but they continue to deploy new hire surveys at the 1-day, 7-day, 30-day, and 90-day marks to collect as much information as they can. EX is quite literally a full-time job for the HR department, but in many cases isn’t treated as such. It’s typically unclear who owns the EX outcomes and who should be accountable for it. Verint seems to see it the way I see it and aims to solve this obscurity as they’ve recently added key HR positions to their team such as a director of employee engagement and a director of employer branding of which both attack EX concurrently. 

But are they helping employees design a life they absolutely love? I don’t really know because they’re not asking this specific question…yet. However, it’s clear that they’re on the right track with key projects such as Individual Development Plans and the systems they use to obtain consistent employee feedback. 

If Verint is aiming to understand EX through their CX solutions, then they should be using their very own in-house thought leaders, right? “Over the last six months, product managers have really engaged and considered the HR team’s advice in their development plans,” Sanchez tells me. As they should be. 

It is said that Happy Employees equals Happy Customers, or my good friend Paul Greenberg would say, “Happy Employees + lots of other things = Happy Customers” because he’s stubborn and likes to push my buttons. But anyway. What if CX solutions could also improve EX for their customers? Let’s look at how CX can capitalise on this moment. 

The opportunity to evolve CX with EX

Earlier this year, Pew Research released its study on reasons why US workers left a job in 2021, revealing the top three reasons indicated were (1) low pay, (2) no opportunities for advancement, and (3) feeling disrespected at work. In a time where companies are losing employees to their competition for a difference of 3% in pay, it is not sustainable to compete purely on compensation alone. The recent trend in mass layoffs have been the unfortunate result of this strategy. Oh and don’t forget that the employee disengagement rate has continued to grow, regardless of inflated salaries so it just flat out doesn’t work. So let’s look at reasons two and three. 

But, first - I’m going to tell you a story. 

One day, I called an airline to look at my upgrade options for a flight I had coming up. I was trying to determine if I should just purchase the upgrade or take my chances of being automatically upgraded using my mileage status. The gentleman on the phone checked to see if anyone else had a higher status than I did (because they’d get bumped up first) so I can determine if it’s worth taking the chance. It turned out that only one traveler had a higher status than I did and there were nine upgradeable seats available. I took the chance, and my flight was upgraded. I was very pleased with the service I had received. 

A couple of weeks later, I called the airline again about another flight I had coming up. I asked the agent if she could let me know if there were any travelers on the flight with a higher status than I had, just like I had done before. And she said, “I wouldn’t be able to tell you.” 

It is said that Happy Employees equal Happy Customers. But what if CX solutions could also improve employee experience for their customers?

So now I’m in a situation where I have to decide whether or not to argue with her so I can get the information I want. I chose not to, but I can’t speak for everyone else. 

Someone else may have gotten angry with her, asked for her supervisor, and just altogether added complexity to the phone call because whatever technology solutions that airline uses for their CX failed to provide that agent with the information she needed to meet my expectations as a customer.

The employee’s ability to succeed in her position is mitigated by subpar customer reviews and eventually she will feel disrespected not only by customers, but by her employer for not meeting her needs. Enter disengagement. 

Investing in technology solutions that will improve the employee experience by making employees’ jobs easier is more likely to give companies a competitive, long-term advantage. If an employee’s responsibility is to ensure the customer has a stellar experience, then how can a technology solution make it easier for an employee to achieve this? 

When companies are considering technology solutions that will improve the customer experience, it is in their best interest to also consider if those solutions will subsequently improve the working conditions for the employees who will be using it. When companies can reduce the friction for employees to succeed, they will feel cared for while the path toward career advancement will be more clear. And if employees are advancing in their careers, well then the higher pay box gets checked as well. 

This brings me back to Verint and their chance to lead the EX to CX charge. 

What does this mean for Verint? 

“If you’re turning over your customer engagement staff every three months, they’re not enabled. They don’t have the knowledge, they don’t have the skills… so you need a certain level of satisfaction, so they stay at the job”, says Verint Founder and CEO Dan Bodner during his live CRM Playaz interview on July 14th.

This type of EX-inclusive approach to CX is what led to adding Intelligent Interviewing to the Verint platform which “basically tries to profile the type of people that will fit in the environment based on what we learn from the day to day of what it looks like in that customer environment so they know what to expect and if they have the tools to be proficient,” Bodner adds. 

Verint has an opportunity to position themselves as EX leaders by focusing on how their solutions reduce attrition, increase employee engagement, and overall improves the employee experience in departments with historically high turnover rates as contact centers do. If they can demonstrate this ability by being able to benchmark these analytics for their customers and show improvement over time, they may need to change their subtitle to “The Customer AND Employee Engagement Company.” The First of their Name. 

Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.