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Genesys Executive Interview

Genesys Executive Interview, Genesys

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Sheri Greenhaus, Managing Partner, CrmXchange met with Tod Famous, SVP, Product Management for Genesys Multicloud  and Jack Nichols, VP, Product Management, Genesys Cloud CX during Enterprise Connect 2022.

Sheri: Let's talk about Genesys. If customers are having issues, where do you see Genesys solution as the most helpful?

Jack: Many larger customers are trying to get rid of the silos. Customers are bringing in Genesys and Genesys Cloud specifically because it's flexible. One of the big things we started solving is being able to have a common platform with different capabilities for the different business units and getting rid of silos. 

Sheri: It is important that all data and the whole journey be connected. If I start on the web and then I call my information is passed on? 

Jack: The connection is starting to grow. Not a lot of companies were doing it and they're starting to see the need to pull that together. For me, this is why we bought Pointless, which starts to pull the raw events from what's happening in all the different systems. You can visualize the entire customer journey. That’s important because we need to know where each individual journey starts. 

Tod: Pointless is looking at all interactions across all of the different channels and then providing insights to the business so that they can start to tune how those experiences work. The customer feels more natural in terms of how they went through that process. Particularly for complex businesses where you end up crossing through different channels.

Jack: A lot of large organizations have transfers between their departments. It becomes is really annoying if you're a customer and you have to give your information again because you got transferred. 

Tod: I think it’s really interesting that things like Pointless are data science-based so traditional contact center customer care people are really empathetic and thoughtful and they think about customers and then they try to figure out how to make the customer experience work. Pointless is actually using technology to look at data and use data science to measure outcomes associated with all of those experiences and how that customer navigated them and how they're all orchestration works. You're informing that empathetic customer care leader with data, which is showing them how customers are succeeding or not succeeding, and then use those data-driven insights. 

Jack: We started with the acquisition of Alto cloud. We opened that up with what we call custom events, so now we could get more pieces which allows us to start to map the entire journey. For example; a marketing email goes out, the customer hits a website, then calls. Before we were just seeing the call. We now see everything. With Pointless we are looking at it holistically from an analytics perspective. There’s probably only a handful of companies that are really doing it really well from end to end. 

Tod: I think it's a minority that have it all figured out. A lot of effort has gone into making experiences good on each interaction. I would say something else that happened in the last decade is - they got good at integrating the backend. Our customers they can handle different types of interactions, phone calls, chats and emails and they can handle them with one operational model. The efficiency and effectiveness measurements that are happening are in the backend. That's not the same as understanding the customer experience and orchestration. They're good at experiences on interactions one by one, and they're good at efficiency on the macro scale, across many channels, but getting customer experience sorted out with data and empathy across the journey is something that few companies do a good job. 

Sheri: The companies that are doing it right, what makes them unique?  

Tod: Some of them are unique because they're younger businesses and they've come of age in the era of mobile and internet and they have often a single product or they were able to orchestrate and design the company, the product experience all at one time. When you look at larger, more established companies, they have different business units, they have different regions, they have different politics. All of these factors, different legacy technologies, work against them in doing orchestrating the best possible customer experience. 

Jack:  Companies like Warby Parker came up with this concept of good glasses, good experience buying online and the customer’s part of their core value. Everything was designed around the customer.

Sheri: The older or legacy, where do they start? 

Jack: A lot of times with the larger companies it starts from a top-down mentality. They want to unify on a single platform or a single set of tools. 

Tod: A CX engineer isn't a role that existed five years ago. It’s somebody who's entire job is to intentionally design as an engineer would, CX, and they're using data to do it.  There are now more complete metrics associated with measuring customer experience. 

I think it gets harder if there are different legacy systems. They are patched together. Everything's running one way to get their act together and to try to make a better unified experiences to consolidate technology. Often that means also transitioning to cloud technology in the same step. Our consolidation and a transition to cloud, you have a single, experience platform that makes it easier. 

Tod: I think there's a connection between getting better and transitioning to the cloud.

Tod: I was working with a cable company recently. It was a complicated issue. And, I have 3 interactions with them over time. On my third interaction, about two-thirds of the way through trying to solve the problem, they try to cross sell you something. Keep in mind, this was the third time I've contacted them about the same problem and this is the third time they tried to cross out me. This was their process.  I'm on try number three on the same problem; they can should subtract the cross  sell from that particular talk stream for that particular problem.  The agents probably knows that I'm going to get annoyed when they pitch the cross sell, but if they don't say it, they get dinged. But this is the system. This issue happens because they haven't stepped back and looked at that whole experience. 

The better customer experience models happen when companies look holistically at the customer.  Examples are where the organization offered the customer a credit and the company lost money on that transaction, but they understood the bigger picture. It's on the long term, not the short-term way of thinking of keeping the customer.

Sheri: What do you see companies do wrong? 

Tod: I think that the many contact centers are not looking at experience based on data. They're looking at it based on subject matter. Pointless is a relatively recent product in a category that is not established. It's not common we could walk into most customers and you will not find a data that goes anywhere beyond like MPS, which is like the simplest kind of element. We're data-driven. 

Sheri: If you were going to do an elevator pitch on Pointless, what would it be? 

Jack: See your customer journey from end to end and orchestrate it.  First you have got to measure it and then you can orchestrate that. 

Sheri: So where do those typically start?

Jack:  I'm starting to see some companies build innovation sandboxes. Why not build out a model customer experience that you want to happen.  And they're starting to use that sandbox to sell it out to the business, get started and get people excited about it because it's more tangible at that point. They can actually see, ‘Hey, we could make this come alive.’ Teams were saying, this is the experience that we can bring to our end users and then getting executive, buy-in getting pushed down to be able to change metrics a little bit to your point, because again, if they're being measured a certain way and this goes counter to those measurements, you've got to change it. 

Sheri: So, you're doing proof points for them.

Jack:  They're doing the proof points. We're just helping support them in their own product team. Then it's selling the vision internally. 

Sheri: How would you say this helps the agents?

Tod: Agents want to help customers. When businesses are better at understanding the customer journey and bring the right technology to help the customer at that point in time, the agents are more successful that will make them happier. 

Jack: They are also more empowered. Going back to Tod’s example, the agent can make the decision that upselling is not the correct choice at this time. And they feel empowered and able to do that rather than getting dinged.

Jack: Agents are collaborating more with the rest of the organization. When one company turned on teams integration, they gave agents the ability to collaborate with other folks within the organization. The agents started saying they felt less disconnected from the rest of the organization.

Sheri: When companies are doing this, what are some of the roadblocks that you see?

Jack: Legacy mentality is always a roadblock. 

Jack: There's some pieces that people are comfortable with. The friction for them or the risk of change is greater than the risk of standing still. When you look at the amount of deals or conversations that happen, and then you see a lot of ‘no decision’, it's because organizations are too scared to move forward.

Jack: Sometimes contact centers in some organizations turned into ‘Hey, it's we've got all the compliance, we've got this, we've got that. Let's not touch it. Let's not mess it up.” Change is chaotic in some cases.

Tod: You need the right data. If I'm the empathetic contact center manager and I say, ‘hey, I have an idea. Let's just talk a little bit longer to our customers. I have a feeling we're going to make more money’. Some managers can do that, but most cannot because the data shows that it's going to cost them more money. They don't have the data which will show that they're actually going to make more money and they're going to reduce callbacks. You may need to add one minute of calling here… and subsequently save three minutes of callbacks …thus  saving money and increasing product sales. 

Sheri: So where do you see everything going?

Tod: Cloud. Most of the market is not on cloud unless the market's on prem installed base. 

Tod: If you look at what's being sold, it's almost all cloud. But if you look at what's out there, it's almost solid prem. Once you transition to a unified platform, the ability to put data science on top of it, because it's all there and it's accessible.

Jack: I think for me, AI is a new way of developing software to meet business use cases. We're going to keep bringing more machine learning in those cases. But I think to your question long-term, or where it's going is it's going to try to look at that holistic journey and try to start measuring things more holistically rather than first contact resolution. 

I think about some smaller companies that I work with, where they have a chief revenue officer that owns sales and services and care, and they're looking across it now as a revenue stream, because historically we've looked at the historical vendors, those were all divided. Your experience with sales versus your experience with implementation versus care could be dramatically different. Instead you need to look at that all as like an overall bucket revenue from this customer. 

Tod: We didn't touch on the technology around employee experience. Getting back to the agent, I think that a lot of traditional, let's say workforce management and QM products were based on making sure the agent solved the script, not about making the agent feel good about their job and like or if they were a contributor to the company. I liked your idea thinking about how connected they are to their team workers and how that all distills into better customer care and service. So employee engagement technology is squarely aimed at bringing together data and AI.

Jack: We have a mobile app for workforce that rolled out.  Agents are happy because they can manage their own schedule.

It’s our new WFM app called tempo, but to your point, their big focuses have been about optimization as much as it has been about employee engagement, employee knowledge, and employee training in the experience. 

Tod: It's really all the way into agent well-being.

Sheri: As we wrap up, is there anything I didn't ask you that you want our audience to know? 

Tod:  I would just weigh in is that the most fantastic market ever. Customer experience professionals be loud and proud. 

This is the industry to be in. As we transition to the cloud, we get into more empathy, empathetic and better metrics and better design and better software, it's going to be a great time for the market. Some people have this totally off base idea that we're going to automate people out of the equation.

That is never going to happen. In fact, there's going to be more people in this field because it's so important to help businesses operate. In fact, it is the business, which is how they interact with their customers. This is a great place to bring all your friends. This is a great market. It's a great industry.

Jack: It is nice that the business importance and value has changed. To your point, that's the big difference in my mind. That's been changing the last few years is all these younger brands that came and grew up proved that customer experience can be differentiator. 

Tod: Years ago the we thought about what the margin was, what’s the business model? Today’s successful business asks – what’s customer experience? It's the beginning of the design. 

We see where things are going. The businesses that get CX right are running ahead in the market in terms of their share.