In a society becoming increasingly obsessed with text messages, DMs, and emojis, it turns out that authentic, real-time human interaction through phone calls is still the preferred way to deliver optimal customer service. Here are some key reasons why it’s critical to maintain an effective real-time call center strategy to ensure lasting customer satisfaction, retention, loyalty. Continue reading
It’s been an action-packed few weeks in the contact center industry. Recent announcements from Twilio, Vonage and Amazon are worth a closer look because I think they outline an important shift in the industry.
For the last decade, the dominant tension in the call center world has been between the “old way”: buying equipment via up-front payment plus maintenance contracts; and the “new way”: buying a cloud service via monthly subscription. Premise vs. Cloud. CapEx vs OpEx. It was an easy battle to understand, in part because the parallels with battles in other areas of enterprise software. But now there’s a “new new way”.
If you’re on the hunt for great talent, you’ll appreciate how time consuming the hiring process can be. This is the starting point to finding your next great employee, someone who will take part in influencing the company culture and success – that’s no easy feat. Unfortunately, the contact center space is one that experiences great churn, making the interview process even more critical. Take a moment to consider the cost associated with employee turnover, including interviewing, onboarding, and reduced productivity, just to name a few. This is a huge expense for call centers, and one that can be easily reduced.
Twilio unveiled Flex, its new call center product yesterday and it definitely lived up to the anticipation that has been building since the rumors started last month. Our two stories on it Twilio Shakes Up the Cloud Call Center World with Flex and The Twilio / Amazon ‘Stack’ Will Dominate the Next Call Center Era broke our traffic records, so we knew the interest level was red hot.
The big question we talked about in those posts was whether Flex would be a “formal” cloud call center offering, with per-agent / per-month pricing or some kind of upgrade to its existing call center related APIs. Turns out it’s neither. It’s something new: a call center platform. Fascinating.
The number of cloud-based call centers is growing quickly and they are increasingly built on top of Amazon and/or Twilio. That includes both newcomers like TalkDesk and Serenova, as well as legacy vendors like Avaya and Genesys. However, Twilio and Amazon now have their own call center platforms (essentially competing with their own customers). Will the Amazon / Twilio “stack” define the contours of the next generation of call center? Continue reading →
Something new this week! As a result of recent acquisitions and other maneuvers, we now have a nice sample size of publicly listed companies for whom cloud call center is a key focus. Many of them released their Q4 earnings in the past couple weeks. It’s interesting to review the numbers at a high level to see what kind of picture they paint for the near term future of the sector. Short answer: Pretty positive.
Let’s take a quick look at what was reported by Avaya, Five9, NICE, RingCentral, Twilio and 8×8.
Some people tend to go through life without making changes to their appearance. Others frequently change their look to reflect current trends or change with the seasons; women sometimes go from long hair to short, men often grow a beard. Regardless of the change, even minor improvements can have a dramatic impact. Let’s apply the same concept to the contact center.
Some contact centers operate the same way, year after year, offering their services via the same channels, with no interest in making changes or improvements. Others undergo makeovers, both big and small, and enjoy all the accompanying compliments. The industry praises them, their customers are happy, and agents are proud of their place of work.
Follow these 5 simple steps to give your call center the makeover it deserves.
Today’s cloud-based call centers are increasingly built on top of platforms created by Amazon and Twilio. That includes newcomers like TalkDesk and Serenova, legacy vendors like Avaya and Genesys and companies from adjacent sectors expanding into call center like ZenDesk. For better or worse, this “stack” is going to define the contours of the next generation of call center. That raises a lot questions and suggests some predictions too.
Is this ultimately going to help or hinder innovation? Raise or lower prices? What should we make of the fact that both platforms are now offering their own call centers (Amazon with “Connect” and Twilio with “Flex”)? Is that a caution against building on top of platforms that may end up competing with you, or is this simply the new reality of the software universe?
The field of customer service is very close to my heart. As a young student I worked as a customer service representative, and as a “young” professional, I’ve dedicated myself to a solution that improves contact center interactions around the world. The customer service sector is unique in that it requires both companies and people to undergo continuous improvement. Though, in my humble opinion, this is also what makes it so fun.
At Fonolo, we have distributed a ton of written resources to help professionals in the field, but of course people all learn in different ways. Today we’d like to share some must-watch TED Talks.
If you haven’t watched TED Talks before, you’re in for a treat. TED has done a fabulous job at building a global community of people across virtually every discipline. This organization posts free talks online, covering a slew of topics! Here are three videos that are sure to help customer service professionals. Continue reading →
Rumors broke on Friday that Twilio will be launching its own call center product called “Flex” next month. If true, this would be a major shake-up of the cloud call center world. There are already many cloud call centers available, but this one is different.
First, Twilio has strong financial resources to develop and market this new product. Second, Twilio has an advantage over most other competitors in that it runs a massively scaled, global telephony network. Third, and most importantly, Twilio has – until now – been solely providing call center building blocks that other call centers were built on. Now, Twilio will be competing with its customers, at least to some extent.
How big of an impact will this be? It really boils down to one question…