UJET Executive Interview
Anand Janefalkar, CEO, UJET
CrmXchange’s Sheri Greenhaus, recently reached out to UJET
for a discussion on their latest news, solutions, and the current contact
center environment. Below are responses from Anand Janefalkar, CEO, UJET,
regarding their approach to improving contact center operations.
In what direction do you think contact centers are heading?
Many companies are starting to think about digitization, but
they are looking at it in pieces, moving portions of their applications to the
cloud. We are trying to show people how to look at newer technologies that are
designed from the ground up without the legacy baggage.
The approach we take is user experience and convenience
Email plus voice does not constitute true omnichannel CX for
the modern consumer. Modern, multimodal omnichannel allows people to communicate with customers and agents the same way they communicate with friends and family.
Our core thesis for modernizing contact centers and the
customer experience is based on two humans interacting visually and contextually
through smartphones and other computer-like devices.
Having been in the contact center industry for over 30
years, I'm finding that for many companies, customer experience is actually
getting worse. Some are using COVID-19 as an excuse. What are you seeing?
We actually see most companies truly focusing on making
What differs is whether they’re doing so proactively,
because it’s in their culture and makes good financial sense, or reactively,
because they have neglected the customer experience and the impact of customer
churn on the business is forcing them to become more customer-centric.
Since COVID hit early last year, we’ve seen business leaders
- particularly those with premises-based solutions - accelerate their digital transformation
efforts and investments as the requirements for business continuity quickly
moved from theoretical to mission-critical.
Of course we did see certain companies and sectors scaling
back or delaying investments because of the market impacts of the virus. But
overall, most seem to agree that the adaptations we all made in response to the
pandemic simply accelerated inevitable advancements in infrastructure, support,
and CX that will see resume investment as things move towards the new normal in
2021 and beyond.
With digital transformation, what are some of the lessons
learned that you can share, as well as what companies should not do?
In terms of best practices, we feel very fortunate that we
haven't had to change our vision or our outlook on how people would want to
communicate with companies. Where we are seeing a change is in the admin and
supervisor experience and many of our product releases are addressing these
journeys. Their life has changed.
Admins and supervisors no longer have the luxury of walking
the floor to see what agents are doing and what they are connected to. In some
sense, this is accelerating adoption of cloud native technologies.
For example: Tens of thousands of BPO agents immediately
moved to work from home, many of whom are experiencing network issues in
geographic regions where there is still intermittent internet service. So
rather than looking at agent metrics like AHT from the on-prem contact center,
they are more focused now on calls being dropped or not getting connected.
We have an algorithm that after identifying agents with the
right skills, uses what we call advanced scaling. Through segmentation filters
we then select 2 or 3 of the identified agents to be connected to this call or
chat. The last metric we look at the very end of connecting that conversation,
is the bandwidth.
This architectural design has helped our customers
tremendously. Out of the choice of the 2 or 3 agents, there may be 1 agent that
is the best because they were idle for the longest - but they have really poor
bandwidth. That would make for a bad quality of service call, so we will put
them in skipped state.
The admin has the capability to identify if an agent is in a
multiple skipped state and they will be put into unresponsive mode, then
notifications are sent to the supervisors and agents.
This is just one example. We have devised many of these
types of algorithms to be brought up to visibility for admin, director, and
contact center supervisors. This enables them to better manage performance and
availability for remote agents, so we’ll continue working with customers on
their admin dashboards, to provide deeper insights into how these issues impact
the quality of service, calls, chats, agents, or routing.
I receive many emails discussing AI. For organizations just
starting with AI or digital transformation, is ‘simple’ the best way to start –
then start to build more complicated applications?
I think that's a good way to look at it.
If a company is just starting with 10 agents, the number 1
priority is making support an integral part of the product and platform – this
will set the tone. If support is an afterthought, you're never going to be able
to transform that mind set no matter how big you grow.
For companies that are transforming and have been using some
legacy technology, it’s best for them to select a platform and a point of view
on how support and staffing and channel steering can be architected in the
following manner: Let the urgency and complexity of the issue dictate the
channel experience and not the other way around.
Don’t throw a chatbot at something just because you bought a
You need to have a platform that has the full coverage of
the entire customer journey from the point of time that the customer makes a
selection for a query or a support issue - all the way to through to the right
channel and algorithms.
Companies looking at digital need to look at comprehensive
platforms that unify the customer data, channels, and routing, rather than just
adding digital over the top of what they already have. Your customer journey
must be viewed and orchestrated holistically.
For companies that are starting their digital
transformation, who from the organizations need to be involved so they are not
missing a crucial piece?
We highly recommend that you look at support teams.
It’s not just product and IT. You need the individuals who understand the real
customer pain points.
You need to include the people that are in charge of that
experience (how the customer interacts with an app for example) in the decision
making. Otherwise one team may make changes for a certain set of user
behaviors but if something goes wrong it is the support and IT teams that have
to deal with issues.
To preemptively address issues rather than firefight, you
need a single source of truth to enable intelligent, holistic journey
orchestration. For our customers, that’s our real-time dashboards. A lot
of it will be the activity logs that we put into the case management or CRM
system. By unifying the customer data in these systems, you can eliminate
ambiguity on the timing of events and fires happening in real time.
Today’s customers are unforgiving. They want instant
gratification. They want instant support. If you can solve their problems,
they'll be so much more loyal and they will want to do business with you.
So we’re huge believers in real-time. All changes on your platform need to be
Before someone purchases your platform, does someone from
your team sit down and review everything with the company?
Every single time. These elements are part of our
initial discovery calls before customers even sign on with us. We need to
really understand what is motivating the change and what you need to see
Automation and Digital Transformation have shown to be
successful in the enterprise, but only if it’s done right.
Many of our solution consultants are actually former customers.
I think right now we have over 8 or 9 people in our team that were former
customers. The experience they bring as practitioners enables us to take a
unique approach rather than having the same age-old conversation about the
number of seats and minutes.
Do you find that sometimes companies will come to you with a
misconception of what AI can do?
I don’t think people have a misconception of what it is in
AI is real. AI plus Intelligent Automation is the recipe for
success and we are very, very strong believers in that. Our passion is
for reducing the cognitive distance between the agent and the issue.
I think that’s how people are looking at it when they come
to us. When they talk about AI, it is basically an aggregation of a lot of
different things that they wanted. They want to automate the agent to make
their life easier - to arm them with information.
For the companies you’re working with, what are the top
metrics and have they changed this year?
I wouldn't say it has changed from previous years with the
exception of the remote piece.
AHT is still important. Before, the thought was more ‘Let’s
reduce AHT’ which was achieved by the customer resolving their own issue or
forcing customers to call back multiple times. Now we’re looking to see if
reducing AHT is actually solving the issue and we tie metrics directly
It’s the opportunity to gauge if reducing AHT meant throwing
customers to an agent with multiples chats. This does not really solve the
issue. Bots may deflect some calls, but it could be those same people who end
up calling back and call back more frustrated. Looking at metrics together gets
to the source of the issue.
Security is also an important issue. Can you talk a bit
about UJET’s approach to provide security?
We launched with optimal security; the only company that did
that. Security and privacy are the cornerstones from the very inception of the
company. We had SoC2, and HIPAA, in under 29 months of existence. Companies we
talk to feel extremely comfortable when they look at our certifications and
compliances without exceptions.
We empower customers to manage their own data and where it
is stored. For example, this allows them to make sure that recordings are
on platforms that are already certified.
Is there anything we haven't touched on that you would like
With the mobile journey, it’s important to look at several
things: how people are using the app, how they are navigating through a web
page, where they clicked, and how they attempted to self-serve. I think these
insights are significantly underrated and need to be considered with more
Our diagnostic package, which is a unique piece of our
platform, gives you insight into the customer journey and understanding into
what lead to the customer frustration point. This helps to alleviate a lot of
the issues. Our diagnostic package goes beyond personalization, and purchase
suggestions, to predict likely issues - and the resolution - before they
Would you say this is more of a proactive approach?
This would be a holistic view. There are several different
ways that you can do it. First, you can put together logic, and you can do this
in less than 5 minutes.
For example, we know that a person looked at a web page for
a certain amount of time, has come back twice, and has a particular keyword in
the URL that suggests they are having a specific issue. This can trigger a
conversation with our virtual agent, then a hand off to a human agent, or vice
Additionally, while the customer is logged in on the
journey, and they went through these 3 different steps, and they are hitting an
error - you can proactively take that information set, within the bounds of the
secure website app, and render it on top of the agent screen through a secure
packet. The agent then sees what has happened and can avoid making the customer
start over and go through everything a second time.
From the start, we took an extremely bold and holistic
approach. It takes time to build something this complicated and complex, which
is a global cloud, smartphone-era, customer-centric platform, with unparalleled
security and elasticity as cornerstones.
The platform has not only been proven with the test of time,
but also the test of our vision as we continue to see rapid adoption and growth
- particularly from within our existing customer base, as the CX advantages
they’re gaining fuel their growth.