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Beyond Sentiment Analysis - Authenticx revivifies millions of customer interactions

Neil Raden Profile picture for user Neil Raden October 3, 2023
Companies store countless interactions in their call centers, sometimes millions, but need helpful interpretation.


Authenticx (or, is a Carmel, Indiana (Indianapolis area) based company founded in 2018 dedicated to improving how healthcare companies engage with customers.

"Listening at Scale" provides the ability to “exponentially listen with confidence, aggregate topics, themes, and patterns from millions of conversations to drive relevant and impactful macro insights that enhance business outcomes and customer support."

Using their proprietary machine learning and NLP algorithms, including, remarkably, labeling the data themselves, they go beyond inferencing and create tableaus, such as short videos and compelling storytelling of their findings and recommendations for presentation.

I spoke with Leslie Pagel, Chief Evangelist at Authenticx, Michael Armstrong, CTO, and founder and CEO, Amy Brown. Their comments and insights were compelling. Three topics interested me: Listening at scale, The Eddy Effect, and Moments.

Listening at scale

Companies store countless interactions in their call centers, sometimes millions, but need helpful interpretation. Typical approaches are to survey customers for their "satisfaction" with a call, but surveys are hopelessly ineffective. They often reflect only the strongest positive and negative reactions and under-represent most opinions. Authenticx defines listening at scale as:

The ability to exponentially listen confidently to aggregate topics, themes, and patterns from millions of conversations. Leveraging proprietary machine learning, AI, and rule-based classifiers to gain insights into customer populations. 

Armstrong pointed out that domain-specific datasets are critical for AI models being implemented in healthcare and how the insights can be used to help patients navigate the complex healthcare system and receive better treatment. 

This process converts conversations into aggregated patterns and themes to guide business strategy and initiatives across an array of channels that represent the totality of customers interacting.  

The Eddy Effect

This colorful metaphor describes the customer's agonizing journey, cycling back repeatedly without reaching an answer or a conclusion to their problem. It was disrupted by an obstacle (or ‘eddy”) that left them “stuck" and frustrated. Founder Amy Brown explained the origin of the Eddy Effect. Her husband, an avid white-water rafter, told her it reminded him of a problem rafters encounter regularly:

Have you ever spent any time canoeing on a river? If so, you've likely noticed a rock or log that fell into the river and disrupted the current. When this happens, the object creates a counter-current, and you'll see little whirlpools on the side of the river. These whirlpools are known as eddies. 

Authenticx claims that 25% of healthcare customers are stuck in their customer journey. From my experience, that is an understatement. Nevertheless, healthcare companies lose millions yearly from frustrated, dispirited customers.

The US healthcare system is complex. Every consumer has to engage with multiple parties along their healthcare journey, including healthcare providers, insurance companies, and pharmacies. These stops along the way are primed to wreak havoc on customer experience. With numerous handoffs and complicated processes, there are more opportunities for people to fall through the cracks and generate a frustrating loop of obstacles that makes them feel 'stuck.' The Eddy Effect occurs when a customer's desired or expected experience organizations in both time and resources. 

I also listened to the webinar, 'Crushing Complexity: The Evolving Business of Healthcare” presented by the Beryl Institute, featuring Pagel and Sally Perkins, also of Authenticx, the “Data-Backed” Storyteller, who walked us through the 45-day agony of a person trying to get her prescription, suffering through the Eddy Effect in dozens of phone calls. We’ve all been there.


Leslie Pagel describes moments in the Customer Experience (CX) as:

Advancements in AI create new channels for experience measurements that enable us to measure the moments in a customer experience. The moments when our business and the customer touch – when customers and our people, product, processes, and marketing promotions connect… more accurate and reliable metrics that the business will appreciate and value because of their accuracy and reliability.  

Pagel explains the measurement protocol, Moments, they constructed and compared it to the standard metrics in CX:

  • First contact resolution (FCR) metrics will be replaced with metrics that identify the interaction outcome (e.g., was the interaction resolved, who has the next steps) 
  • Net promoter score (NPS) and consumer effort will be replaced with a measurement that detects friction in the lived journey.  
  • Customer satisfaction will be replaced with the expressed customer sentiment during the interaction.  

She went on to explain the difference and value of Moments as opposed to "memories," usually derived from satisfaction surveys after the fact:

When we measure moments, we’re measuring a data source that is unsolicited, unfiltered, and completely authentic. It represents a lived experience. Memories (on the other hand) are solicited, filtered, and dependent on memory recall. Conversations produce unstructured and highly contextualized data – revealing the root cause of issues. Measuring memories constrains the customer voice to Likert scales that usually do not reveal the root cause of a customer’s response.  

When she says they “listen,” she means literally – through their technology and live listeners who actually hear a sample of the conversations and annotate their findings, continuously improving and enhancing the inferencing of their models:

We connect on a human level – listening to what they say and how they say it. Listening their authentic voice, the moment they touch our business.  

My take

I was moved by their mission. Clearly, their business model proposes to save healthcare companies money and to improve their customer experience, but in doing so, they intend to make interaction a more pleasant and useful experience for all of us. 

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