Hosted Contact Center Featured Article

Five9 Discusses Increasing Importance of How Social Media is Integrated into the Broader Contact Center

September 03, 2014

By Tracey E. Schelmetic,
TMCnet Contributor

At the recent ITEXPO 2014 event held in Las Vegas, TMC’s Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) caught up with Lance Fried, senior vice president of social and mobile at cloud contact center solutions provider Five9. Fried joined Five9 with the company’s 2013 acquisition of SoCoCare, a social engagement and mobile customer care solution provider.




Five9 (News - Alert) has had a busy year. The company went public and saw its initial public offering (IPO) in April of this year, followed by the announcement of its Five9 Summer Release 2014, which offers contact centers broader capabilities with social customer care, mobile, chat, and email. The new release is powered by Five9 Connect, a technology layer that uses natural language processing to understand, filter, and categorize interactions while determining author sentiment and eliminating spam.

Fried noted that the acquisition of SoCoCare led directly to the company’s newest release.

“I think some of the ‘secret sauce’ within the SoCoCare solution was really an underlying infrastructure technology which now has been rebranded and purposed under the name Five9 Connect,” he said. “And what Five9 Connect does is basically serves as an analytical layer to understand what a consumer’s issue is – whether it be social, e-mail, chat – to determine what to do with that inquiry, and then to resolve that inquiry by routing it properly to the best skilled agent or pushing self-service to that consumer and/or arming that agent with ‘next best action’ to really empower that agent.”

Chats, social media posts and e-mails are often shuffled into a general inbox in the contact center with little regard to their content, urgency or the social media influence of the person making the post. The Five9 solution can provide context and prioritization to these communications, helping ensure that they are handled in the most efficient way before an agent even looks at them, and what Fried refers to as “a more dignified customer experience.”

“We like to think that we’re delighting our customers with this technology,” he noted.

The solution offers unified reporting and monitoring capabilities, as well, so companies can avoid creating siloes of reporting by channel.  The goal, of course, is to boost efficiency and the quality of customer care, and accommodate the increasing importance of social customer care to today’s enterprise. By some estimates, the social channel may reach parity with, or even exceed, voice by 2020.

“Most companies have made significant investments in voice,” said Fried. “I think the industry at large recognizes that what we’re seeing in the market still – just like when e-mail and chat were launched --  is enterprises buying a standalone solution for social for customer care. The heritage of social has always been marketing. But now that there are all these inquiries, marketing is pushing it back to the contact center.  I think the unique value proposition of Five9, besides raising the bar and reestablishing what a world-class hosted contact center solution is for voice and multimedia, is the fact that we also have a multimedia standalone solution focused on social but also allowing for chat and e-mail.”

The result, he says, is the ability for organizations to “future proof” their organization. 




Edited by Stefania Viscusi