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Five9 Discusses How to Bring Meaning to Customer Relationships Today

April 01, 2014

By Tracey E. Schelmetic,
TMCnet Contributor

As the demands of customers change with the times, so too must the contact centers that service them. Today, customers expect high-quality, personalized customer support via any channel they choose: even if they choose more than one. Consumers also want meaningful interactions with companies, not to be treated like an account number and a series of transactions.

At the recent ITEXPO (News - Alert) event held in Miami, TMCnet senior editor Peter Bernstein sat down with Lance Fried, the senior vice president of social and mobile at cloud contact center solutions provider Five9 (News - Alert). The 11-year-old Five9, which is headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., has about 1,900 customers currently using its core cloud contact center platform.

Fried and Bernstein discussed how many leading edge companies have already gone omnichannel, with social media and mobile already built in to their contact center presence, while others are still struggling to catch up.

Social media integration has come in several waves.

“The market started with first-generation offerings that were wonderful for listening,” said Fried. “The market’s evolved now, to analyze and engage.”

A contact center solution that enables real social media engagement, Fried noted, uses analytics to filter out the noise (the non-actionable material) and identify the important, actionable information, serving that information up to a company’s agents responsible for handling customer-related social media actions.

“We package that around understanding who that individual is in the social arena and what they represent to the company,” he said.

It’s up to companies to determine what material is actionable and what is not so it can be defined for the purpose of applying analytics. Once these actions and opportunities are created, they carry at least as much weight as a voice call, and possibly a lot more.

It’s also up to a company to build key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure they’re hitting their targets in the social channels.

“We’ve helped defined social KPIs over the course of the last two business years,” said Fried, noting that social media channels are often subject to the same service level agreements (SLAs) as voice calls and other more established customer support channels, such as e-mail.

By moving the non-actionable material off to the side thanks to analytics, Fried says companies can generate far deeper levels of efficiency, which can lead to both cost savings and deeper opportunities to grow.

See the video in full below: 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi