Paul Lang Talks Social Business Strategy
You spent a lot of time at Genesys—can you talk about the difference between Genesys and LiveOps?
Genesys is focused on a customer premise solution that is highly customizable, but it requires significant professional services manpower. LiveOps, on the other hand, has a complete end-to-end Software-as-a-Service-based solution that is fully integrated, flexible, highly secure, easy to implement, use and maintain.
Can you talk to us about "social business strategy" and how LiveOps is tapping into social media from a vendor perspective? What are the alternatives to LiveOps?
Intrinsically engrained in our business model is a sense of community among our internal employees and the independent agents – and this is seen through social networking. We take our distributed work model and build teams of call center agents made up of contractors. They are focused on creating the best customer service experience possible for the myriad of LiveOps clients on our roster. As such, our platform facilitates this interaction through forums and chat rooms, presenting opportunities for real-time communications and improved engagement. This is such a unique working environment from the traditional call center business that is best depicted with the long rows of cubicles. We have to build that sense of community through the communications tools and chat rooms in our platform.
Can you talk about how the LiveOps’ On-Demand Contact Center Platform integrates with the Salesforce.com Service Cloud to provide inbound and outbound telephony management, call routing, CTI, screen pop and call control?
LiveOps and Salesforce.com have a great partnership that allows for our customers to have a world-class platform for their contact center environment. And as a testament to Salesforce.com’s trust in the LiveOps platform, it is the product of choice they use in their own contact center. Our solution allows them to seamlessly route complex customer calls to the agent with the best skill set to resolve them, regardless of their location, to boost first-call resolution rates and service levels.
Your solutions work well with virtual contact centers: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/business/12ping.html?_r=1. How will LiveOps monitoring solutions change as social business solutions become more prevalent for virtual contact centers that leverage social media to talk to customers?
Over the course of the past decade we have seen real-time chat emerge and there is a lot of excitement around the uses of social media for information gathering and customer service. Phone, however, still remains the number one service for contact centers. That said, we do believe social media can be a powerful monitoring tool that enables companies to obtain better visibility into what customers are actually thinking.
Can you talk about the adoption path for contact centers for cloud computing? Do you predict more contact centers moving to the cloud in the next few years?
Gartner predicts that by 2013, at least 75% of customer call centers will use a form of Software-as-a-Service in their call centers. Aging technologies and on-premise sites are reaching their end of life. Many companies are deciding to break away from the constraints of disparate, fragmented technology and high monthly maintenance fees within their existing call centers – moving to the cloud is the obvious solution.
There is a constant debate around contact center metrics-many companies are still using metrics like average handle time, number of calls etc to measure performance. Do you encourage call centers to change the metrics they are using?
Contact Center metrics have been established for a number of years and its time for the industry to look at them again with fresh eyes. Business' need to be measuring traction, not just action, and be more focused on metrics that matter. For the sales based contact center, measurement should be based on conversion metrics – be they revenue per call, up-sell per call, lead conversions, etc. For the services contact center the metrics should be more skewed towards customer retention and satisfaction, for which measurement technology is readily available. That's not to say traditional metrics should be abandoned, but where competition is hot, enterprises need to embrace the 'spirit of and' to look beyond the status quo.