24/7 scoops up KPMG's Sydney customer journey analytics group

The acquisition will also result in both organisations working together to solve customer service-related issues such as those experienced by large banks and telecommunication service providers.

Customer engagement solutions provider 24/7 has announced the addition of Customer Journey Analytics to its portfolio, following the acquisition of KPMG's Sydney-based Customer Compass team.

Speaking with ZDNet, 24/7 founder and CEO PV Kannan explained the addition of the KPMG team allows his customers to understand how -- and why -- their consumers are contacting them.

"For large enterprises it's becoming slowly a nightmare because there's over 20-30 ways you can reach [the customer] and get to know what's going on," Kannan said.

"It will also help to visually be able to see how customers flow from channel to channel ... it allows business analysts to add detailed analysis to figure out essentially cause and effect."

He said the new offering will allow customers to gain accurate insights into where consumers are; essentially, nutting out why people leave one channel to go to another, and why they are contacting them at any point in time.

"The common thing telcos in Australia use it for is to understand what creates complaints in the first place, as well as why people complain to the telco authorities," he said. "It gives them the complete makeup of every touch point."

Kannan said it's not just digital channels 24/7 customers can get insights from, it also covers in-store interactions. An example where this might prove useful is for banks that have chosen to make certain actions digital, despite its customers wanting to keep them face-to-face, he explained.

"Often companies have competencies in channels that do not match what consumers want to do," he added.

24/7 Customer Journey Analytics pulls data from digital channels such as web, mobile, live chat, and chatbot; voice channels; and offline channels such as retail stores. The data is then connected with advertising and marketing systems such as search and ad data; voice-of-customer/NPS systems; and back office systems, such as billing, ordering, provisioning, and fulfillment.

Kannan said nearly any type of structured or unstructured data source can be analysed, including commercial products, proprietary systems, and third party data providers.

Having had a presence in Australia for over 10 years, Australia contributes about 20 percent of 24/7's revenue, which Kannan said is the second largest market after North America.

Although headquartered in Silicon Valley, the newly acquired team of 20-plus people will remain in Sydney.

The acquisition has also seen KPMG and 24/7 work together to help solve large enterprise issues around customer service automation and understanding how consumers relate to and interact with brands, Kannan explained.

24/7 handles about 2 billion interactions per year, most of which are automated, Kannan said, noting customers tend to only want to interact with a human when it is necessary.

"We believe that at least in the customer service industry that artificial intelligence is going to play a big role, mainly because it's quite predictable -- it's not like it's trying to diagnose your health issue," he said.

Prior to founding 24/7 17 years ago, Kannan sold his chatbot-focused startup Business Evolution to Verint-owned Kana Software.

The financial terms of the Customer Compass team acquisition have not been disclosed.