In this Executive Insights podcast, Blair Pleasant is joined by Darryl Addington, Director of Product Marketing of Five9. They recently co-hosted a podcast where they discussed how Five9 integrates its cloud contact center service with Skype for Business to provide real-time resolution.
In this podcast, Blair and Darryl talk about how Five9’s enhanced address book makes it easy to find experts throughout the organization, how Five9 helps businesses improve their customers’ journeys, including suggestions for companies looking to migrate their contact center to the cloud.
Transcript for Five9 on Moving Your Contact Center to the Cloud
Blair Pleasant: Hi, this is Blair Pleasant of UCStrategies and today I’m joined by Darryl Addington, Director of Product Marketing of Five9. Darryl and I recently did a webinar together about how Five9 cloud contact center is providing what I call real-time resolution based on its integration with Microsoft Skype for business. Welcome Darryl, and thanks for joining us today.
Darryl Addington: Hi Blair. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks so much for having me.
Blair: Great. So Darryl, can you give us a brief overview of Five9 and what you see as your key differentiators?
Darryl: Yeah, absolutely. Five9 is a cloud based contact center and we’ve been in business since 2001. So we’ve been around quite a while. The focus of the company is helping our customers to deliver great customer experience. And in recent years, with the massive adoption of cloud based contact centers, we’ve seen some significant growth based on the capabilities of our product and our professional services.
We’re actually seeing 40% year-over-year growth right now in the enterprise segment. Bigger and bigger contact centers that are out in the marketplace are taking a look at cloud and adopting that technology, and for good reason. There are a lot of advantages to moving to the cloud. A lot of capabilities that used to be professional services or built capabilities or require quite a bit of installation and configuration are now already running in the cloud for multiple customers. So it’s much quicker and easier to move to the cloud than it’s ever been. You simply turn on software that’s already running for somebody else.
Some of the things that stand out in terms of our capabilities: Our professional services team is extraordinarily knowledgeable and skilled, and has a long track record of delivering highly sophisticated contact center solutions for large, medium, and small environments.
We are the only leader in the magic quadrant that’s being recognized for analytics capabilities. And then another differentiator we have is from this summer, which is that we’ve significantly enhanced our global voice capabilities by delivering Five9 in voice pops on top of AWS, which has expanded our scope quite a bit. So now in international companies that have contact centers all around the world, the agents can just move into the cloud and turn all of that on. And the level of investment is so much lower than it used to be if you were doing that in an on-premises type of environment.
Blair: Okay. Now one thing that we talked about is that Five9 offers some pretty tight integration with Microsoft Skype for business. Can you tell us about this and the benefits that it provides?
Darryl: I think one of the biggest benefits is that if you’re using unified communications, if you’re using Skype for business for unified communications, you can easily use the Five9 virtual contact center product with that solution. And it’s already pre-integrated, as I talked about previously.
And essentially, it’s turning it on. In addition to using Skype for UC and virtual contact center from Five9 for your contact center operations, we’ve integrated a number of different elements from Skype for Business. So it seems like presence and click-to-chat and click-to-dial capabilities are now included as part of our integration.
Which means you can see your entire enterprise essentially from the contact center. So you can reach out to experts in different parts of the business with different skills. And that can really, really dramatically impact the customer satisfaction and net promoter scores for customers.
Because it’s just so much better to get your question answered, as you know very well Blair, on that first call – rather than having multiple callbacks and a long time to get to a resolution.
Blair: Absolutely and I’ve been talking about the ability to reach out to experts for a very long time, as a lot of my readers know. But one thing that Five9 offers that I think is different and that can actually help make this more of a reality is your enhanced address book. Can you talk about this and what capabilities it provides?
Darryl: One of the things that we have been focused on is the agent experience within the Five9 cloud contact center. And that has a number of different implications. One is that from a CRM perspective, we embedded the contact center agent, the desktop, inside of CRM. So it’s essentially a single pane that the agent uses, which is much more intuitive, easier to learn, and quicker to use when you have a customer on the line.
In terms of the Skype for business, we’ve decided to take the integration into our address book, the address book when it’s not integrated with Skype. And it’s the enhanced address book when it is integrated. And it’s an integrated part of the agent desktop. So what that means is for agents, it’s easy to use and has a number of different capabilities that we have packed into it, so that agents can easily find who they’re looking for. For example, you can filter really easily so that you can take a large directory of folks and find the person you’re looking for. You can group different people into logical groups based on your business needs.
So it could be different skills like billing for example or a specific product skill that might be a tier 4 in a tech support organization. Basically, any skill that you need to leverage outside of the contact center in other parts of the enterprise, you can label it within that enhanced address book.
And again, because it’s an integrated part of the overall agent experience, it is easier to use and we get good feedback from clients and customers about that, about how easy it is for the agents to pick that up.
Blair: Yeah, and I think that’s really useful, because we talk about being able to reach out to the subject matter experts, but you need to know who to reach out to and who the best person is. So I think that the address book really does make a difference. And another huge focus of many contact centers today is the customer journey. I know that Five9 is doing a lot in this area. Can you talk a little bit about what you offer related to the customer journey?
Darryl: We have a number of different features that we’ve enabled for the customer journey. But at the highest level, what we’ve done is we’ve made it easy for companies to put a trail of breadcrumbs, if you will, on the website. And then we gather that information up. There are some rules that you can create.
So if you see behavior on the website, a couple examples would be five or six pages on a particular topic, for example. It might show a level of interest. Another example, which is really straightforward, is shopping cart abandonment. It’s a massive issue for many businesses out there.
If you have over a certain dollar amount in your shopping cart or let’s say you’re trying to enter a discount code and the discount code isn’t working. These could all be signs that you want to engage with that customer. So make it easy to have that trail of breadcrumbs. And then you have a rule set that then triggers a proactive chat or a phone call or maybe email but that’s not the right channel for this purpose with the agent.
So the agent can then take a look at all the customer information. Not just the customer journey that happened on the web, but anything else that we have about that customer, which could be CRM information. It could be coming from almost any system they have on the back end.
And we then correlate that info using natural language processing and we put it into easily identified categories for the agent. Some of those include persona. So a persona might be a type of buyer that’s using a specific type of product. Outcomes, which are again back to this idea of trail of breadcrumbs.
If you know there are nine steps to a purchase and eight of them have taken place, then you can see they’re 89% of the way towards that outcome. And other tools like that, that all show up at the agent’s desktop so they can quickly diagnose what’s going on with that customer. And then make a decision as to whether or not they want to reach out proactively to that customer.
All of that same stuff is also available if it’s an inbound interaction from a customer, where the customer has actually self-selected to chat. Agents still have all of that data and that makes it easy to have this customer journey that starts on a self-service channel. But then extends into the assisted service through that whole interaction.
And that’s just a better experience. So those are some of the things that we do around customer journey.
Blair: Okay, great. And obviously many businesses are looking to move to the cloud for their contact center. Any suggestions for customers who are considering migrating to a cloud based contact center?
Darryl: For the majority of contact centers out there now, the cloud has matured to the point where it’s about their business needs and where they are in terms of their next upgrade. I think I mentioned a little bit earlier that it’s becoming easier than ever to make that move.
And compared to your last upgrade, if you upgraded to a new on premises contact center, it’s going to go a lot faster, a lot smoother. And there’s quite a bit that’s out of the box that’s available, as we talked about. CRM and WFO and of course, the Skype integration as well.
There are a number of reasons for that, but cloud providers like Five9 have got those ready to go, which makes it a lot easier. So those are all the positives. Things to watch out for: make sure that the professional services team is going to be able to understand your business requirements and use the technology of that cloud service to meet your contact center needs.
I think that’s one of the areas that’s difficult for companies to master. So it’s something to watch out for as you get ready to make the move. Some other things to keep an eye on as you get ready to move to the cloud include things like reliability and uptime and security. You should definitely ask for references and just get a really good feel for whether or not this vendor is going to meet your needs.
The other element is that there are a lot of offerings out there, so you’re not going to probably want to evaluate 100 vendors deeply. So use some of the tools. Use consultants like yourself, Blair, and other folks from UCStrategies. They can help quite a bit to narrow that list down, so that you do a deep dive on the vendors that are most likely to meet your needs.
Blair: That’s a really good point. There are so many companies just popping up all over, offering cloud services because in some cases, there is a relatively low barrier to entry. So we’re seeing a lot of vendors right now. It is important for companies to really carefully evaluate the vendor and make sure that they do have the history, the references, and the right technology and professional services.
Thanks so much, Darryl, for joining us and providing all of this useful information. And for those of you out there who want to listen to the webinar that we discussed, you can find it on ucstrategies.com or bcstrategies.com. And also on the Five9 website and thanks to everyone for joining us. And we’ll see you next time.