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NICE Systems - Blog

Mattersight To Attend 19th Annual Customer Contact Week

It’s just a couple of shorts week until the 19th annual Customer Contact Week (CCW) event, and we couldn’t be more excited. CCW’s inspirational keynotes, in-depth educational opportunities, and community-oriented approach form a memorable experience for all attendees. With more than 2,500 customer care, CX, and contact center leaders under the same roof, there are endless opportunities to learn about developing customer loyalty, building retention, and improving brand strategy.

We’re also thrilled to share that we are co-presenting with Macy’s during an IDG (Interaction Discussion Group). Mattersight along with Macy’s Director of Omnichannel Contact Center Strategy, Adam Schmitt, will lead the discussion titled, “Build the Business Case for AI and Automation” on June 21 starting at 11:00 a.m. PT. The discussion will highlight how AI impacts change in the enterprise, and where to uncover hidden cost savings.

Mattersight’s SVP of Strategic Sales, Frank Suljic, also sits on the CCW Advisory Board and will be onsite with the other board leaders.

If you’re interested in meeting while we’re onsite, swing by our booth – #920!


Publish Date: June 14, 2018

Personality Matters in Coaching

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated to align with Mattersight’s new naming convention for personality styles .

I’ve received some really great coaching over the years. I remember once when a Sr. Exec. I respected took me aside during a client meeting and coached me on saying “we” versus “I.” To this day, I agree it is much more effective. I didn’t lose ownership by making that small change; I actually increased it. Good coaching made me a more impactful presenter. I’ve received great coaching on my golf swing; great defined by how responsive I was to the coaching versus any improvement to my actual swing.

I’ve also received coaching in and out of work that resulted in me being demotivated, demoralized, and discouraged. The intent of the coach was to help, the content was appropriate, and the feedback was accurate, but there was something in the delivery that made me dig in my heels and resist. And I know by the response that my coaching is not always received in the manner intended as well.

How does this happen? Why does this happen? The simple answer is that personality matters in coaching. While the content is important, the delivery determines if the coaching will be effective or fall on deaf ears. Consider the person you are about to coach and how they will best hear the message. After all, “Communication is about what is heard, not what is said.”

Years ago, I had a Connector (warm, sensitive, and caring – a true people person) team member tell me: “Coach me on the difficult things; I want to hear them. I want to keep getting better. Just be nice when you are doing it.” Her words made me realize that sometimes I wasn’t as direct with her because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. And she knew it, which made her feel bad. This is a tough cycle to break with no winners.

For an Organizer (logical, linear, and responsible – data is important), avoid the “sandwich.” You all know the coaching approach I mean; a positive, a constructive, and another positive. This is a practice that is mostly designed for the coach to feel better about the session because we all know what is coming! With Organizers, being direct, to the point, and supportive with specific examples or data points is most effective. Make it about the “how” by providing steps or a process, which is a logical approach. Establish a timeframe and align on expectations.

With Advisors (dedicated, observant, and conscientious – respect is key), the key is to point out the opportunity without saying “you’re wrong.” When the relationship is solid with an underlying respect for both parties, a coaching session is productive and actually strengthens the relationship. If the relationship is not a comfortable one, include a sincere “why” in your approach and avoid the word “but.” Try saying something along the lines of: “I know we don’t always see eye-to-eye; however, I do want our team to succeed in delivering excellent customer care to our customers. And you are a member of our team which is why I want to talk with you today about X.”

Coaching Originals (spontaneous, creative, and playful – show your support) successfully is easy if you don’t make it a serious, complicated message. After all, there’s never been a study showing that you have to be serious to be successful! Keeping it light can be difficult for some coaches; a tip I use is to think about an Original that I enjoy spending time with and I think about how they should be coached. I use that as my foundation for the session.

Try this two-pronged approach of content and personality in your next coaching sessions to see if personality really does matter in coaching.


Publish Date: May 23, 2018

3 Steps to Avoid a Bad Conversation

Conversation is a two-way street and that road can occasionally be rocky, winding, or completely stagnant. When it is, the best thing you can do is take a step back and listen.

In a past interview with tastytrade, Mattersight CEO Kelly Conway shared some personality-based tips for being a better listener. The next time you find yourself in a conversation that seems to be heading in the wrong direction, keep this always-relevant, three-step plan in mind.

Step #1: Tune into the “How”

A great conversation is about what’s being said. In a less-than-great conversation, it’s how things are said that matters. Identifying someone’s personality style is the first step in salvaging your conversation with them, because it gives you an immediate understanding of their needs and motivations. Personality style comes through in tone, tempo, syntax and grammar, and if you know what to listen for, it’s easy to spot.

Download our Personality Labs piece on how to spot and talk to different personality styles.

Step #2: Look Out for Distress

Distress is the state we go into when things are important, uncertain, or unknown — and can often be the demise of conversations. Because distress looks different in different personality styles, however, it’s not always clear when and why a conversation is going south. Is the person you’re talking to getting flustered? Are they becoming hypercritical? Are they being too specific? Distress patterns like these are a red flag that a person’s psychological needs aren’t being met. Until they are, the conversation likely won’t go anywhere.

Our language patterns and distress signals are like advertisements. They tell the world exactly how we want to be communicated with. If you want to get a conversation back on track, set your own preferences aside and give the other person’s advertisements right back to them. “If you do,” says Kelly, “you’ll have much more successful meetings and more success in selling and servicing customers.”

Step #3: Give Back What You Get

Our language patterns and distress signals are like advertisements. They tell the world exactly how we want to be communicated with. If you want to get a conversation back on track, set your own preferences aside and give the other person’s advertisements right back to them. “If you do,” says Kelly, “you’ll have much more successful meetings and more success in selling and servicing customers.”


Publish Date: May 14, 2018

How To Optimize Hold Time With Tailored News

In our first blog, we found that some personality styles are more likely to wait longer than others when put on hold. The committed Advisor is more likely to wait on hold longer because it strengthens their position of being in the right and that the company is handling its customers wrong. On the other hand, an Organizer may be more likely to hang up right away because they can’t plan for an undetermined hold time; they have a schedule to keep.

We also know that Rivet Smart Audio has found that “compared against music or silence, callers stay on hold up to 23% longer with Rivet News On Hold.” Using advanced voice technology and artificial intelligence, Rivet’s hold time solution of news can reduce abandonment while increasing productivity, revenue and customer loyalty.

As we think about that, how can we take it a step further and infuse personality into hold time through news, infotainment and targeted promotions to keep callers engaged? Even without breaking it down to the individual level, you can still think about your general audience. Based on demographics and what you know about the personality styles, think about the type of content your audience would be interested in and how they want to consume it. With changes like this, we would expect the overall experience to be that much better as callers make their determination that they are appreciated by this company.

Here are some ways you can think about hold time content and your customers:

Organizers (25% of population)

Logical planners who focus on the “how” of a situation. During hold time, the Organizer would prefer to hear news presented in a consistent, factual, and organized fashion. Something more akin to the Nightly News vs TMZ. Giving them some sort of time structure while they’re on hold lets them know what to expect, too.

Connectors (30% of population)

Warm, sensitive, and compassionate individuals attuned to their relationships with others. A Connector would like to hear feel-good news and positive stories that center around people and read in a friendly tone. Anything that gets across the idea that people are the focus will help them feel that the company will treat them as a person, not a number.

Advisors (10% of population)

Conscientious, look for respect, and focus on the “why.” News stories that focus on justice, loyalty (but not loyalty to the company they are calling – that seems a little slick) and doing the right thing are likely more appealing to an Advisor. They are also often interested in periods of history and in traditions which represent commitment to things that are important.

Originals (20% of population)

Creative, unique, and fun individuals with a casual way of speaking. Originals are easily engaged by fun facts and goofy news stories. If a story is playful and stimulating, an Original is likely to respond well and stay entertained while they wait.

Keeping customers engaged and on the line is important. We believe that when giving them a new way to connect with a brand while they wait on hold, there is a big opportunity for those customers to accomplish more than just the reason they called and have greater personal alignment with and affinity for that organization.


Publish Date: May 9, 2018

Three Things We Learned After Analyzing 12,000+ Callers On Hold

When you dial into a contact center and are placed on hold, how long are you willing to wait before you hang up?

Rivet, a company dedicated to changing the way audio is produced and delivered, has teamed up with Humach Labs, an incubator program where you can beta test innovative solutions such as serving up customized news stories to a customer’s personality when they call in. Customers of different personality types will experience a completely reimagined hold experience, and with stories tailored to their interests, they may have a more enjoyable hold time and feel a more personal connection to your brand. By looking for new ways to connect with the caller and keep them engaged, the goal is to enhance a customer’s hold time experience.

As these companies continue to look for ways to innovate in the world of customer experience, we at Mattersight Personality Labs were interested in joining forces to see what we could learn from already available information. We wanted to find out how long people are actually willing to wait on hold and if there was any correlation to the four main personality types (Advisor, Connector, Organizer, and Original) leveraged at Mattersight. We also have some ideas on how to tailor the hold experience to each personality style.

Finding #1: People are generally not willing to wait on hold

We sampled more than 12,000 callers across a variety of channels with various reasons for calling, and found that only 25% of callers make it past the 30-second point. A full 60% of callers gave up in 10 seconds or less. By 30 seconds, 75% of people had abandoned the call and by two minutes, 90% of people left.

Looking at that pool of individuals who were willing to wait more than two minutes, we wanted to know more. What type of personalities were willing to wait? And why?

In the two minutes plus category, we grouped the callers by personality type. The results of the median queue time before abandonment were as follows:


  • 176 seconds
  • 2.9 minutes


  • 208 seconds
  • 3.5 minutes


  • 255 seconds
  • 4.3 minutes


  • 215 seconds
  • 3.6 minutes

Finding #2: ‘Advisors’ typically wait the longest

Advisors, who are known to be dedicated, observant, and conscientious, waited the longest. On average, they waited 4.3 minutes before hanging up. The reason for staying could be that when Advisors have an issue, they are committed to getting it resolved. This often involves pointing out to the company where they’ve gone wrong and why the customer is right. They may wait on hold not only to get their own issue resolved, but because if it is happening to them, it will happen to others; they must ensure that the company is aware of the misdeed. They seek recognition for their convictions and their work for the greater good; part of this is to ensure that someone is held accountable for the issue at hand. Advisors make up only 10% of the U.S. population and they are often seen as a vocal group who is willing to fight for what is right.

Finding #3: Rarely will you find an ‘Organizer’ waiting beyond two minutes

On the flip side, Organizers didn’t wait much longer than two minutes. On average, they waited 2.9 minutes. Without an approximate wait time, Organizers are more likely to hang up because they need to adjust their schedule. They are logical, linear, and can become frustrated with broken processes and things that don’t make sense; an indeterminate hold time definitely falls into that bucket.

Recommendations: How to make hold time part of a satisfactory caller experience

  • For the Organizer, news stories or an opportunity to learn something can be a good use of time. It needs to be time-boxed so there is not a sense of getting to the middle of a story and then never learning the ending. Short snippets of news can be productive time. Also of value to the Organizer can be verbal coupons about ways to save money or time.
  • For people-oriented Connectors, customers telling their own stories or human interest stories with warm, friendly narration, will make them feel good about being on hold. It shows that the company cares about people.
  • For the Advisor, content that demonstrates respect, loyalty, and customer-centric practices is best. Ideas include: verbal coupons based on loyalty such as customer tenure or spend bracket (but not as a hard sell!); showcasing an employee of the month (which demonstrates commitment to employees); spotlight on awards. Include the “why” in the narrative.
  • For the Original, music is great if it is the music they like. Stories with animation, surprise endings, and funny content are good for this personality. They live in the moment and if they like it, they stick around. If they don’t like it, they will hang up.

In conclusion, we know that most people aren’t just willing to wait. With so many callers giving up after less than a minute, businesses must do more to make sure that being on hold is no longer an inconvenience for customers.

To best serve your customers, you need to get to know them first. By using Mattersight Personality Labs to learn more about your customers’ personalities, you can be one step closer to ensuring that every aspect of the customer journey is easier.


Publish Date: May 3, 2018

Mattersight Attends Customer Contact Week 2018; Frank Suljic Joins Advisory Board

Last week, Mattersight was represented by Frank Suljic, Senior Vice President of Strategic Sales, at Customer Contact Week (CCW) in New Orleans. The tri-annual event offers those within the call center industry a chance to educate themselves on emerging topics, the newest technologies, and how to embrace a digital future.

Founded in 1999 with 80 call center managers in attendance, CCW now serves more than 3,000 attendees annually and is the world’s largest customer contact event series. The four-day event promotes discussion of best practices in customer care, CX, and call center operations. Industry leaders can find events covering topics that include agent training, emerging call center technology, meeting customer expectations, and cost reduction.

Frank recently joined the CCW Advisory Board with other leaders from brands such as Microsoft, Comcast, Target and PetSmart. As a member of the board, this gives him the opportunity to provide guidance on emerging industry issues, participate in thought leadership, and offer input on conference topics. With more than 25 years of leadership in corporate and startup enterprises, Frank brings a unique blend of experience to the CCW Advisory Board.

Congratulations to Frank and the rest of the 2018 CCW Advisory Board! We look forward to their valuable insight and continued impact across the industry.


Publish Date: January 29, 2018

Happy CX Day!

Wishing everyone a very happy CX Day 2017! We look forward to following the events around the globe, learning from passionate leaders and practitioners, and attending CXPA-hosted local events. This is one of our favorite days of the year as together we create awareness around the customer experience and celebrate joint successes. Enjoy!


Publish Date: October 3, 2017

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