Elevating Customer Care via the Cloud

Expert Opinion

Elevating Customer Care via the Cloud

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  October 01, 2012

This article originally appeared in the Sept. issue of CUSTOMER magazine.

CUSTOMER magazine recently spoke with Marty Beard, president and CEO at LiveOps (News - Alert), about how cloud-enabled innovation and the social and mobile revolutions are transforming LiveOps.  

How and when was LiveOps established? Have social and mobile consumers changed the company’s course?

For more than a decade, LiveOps has been rooted in customer service. LiveOps’ founders saw the Internet as an opportunity to match an infinite number of skilled workers – located anywhere in the U.S. – with call center managers.  

As social and mobile revolutions ignited a firestorm of expectations about customer service, brands worldwide have been forced to look for solutions to socially-enable their customer service contact centers. We saw this as an opportunity to leverage our customer experience expertise and our highly scalable and secure platform and pivot the business. In addition to offering Talent services of home-based independent contractors on our cloud Platform, we now offer just LiveOps Platform with inherent social and mobile channels in addition to voice, e-mail, and chat that companies can use with their own agents.  

How has the rise of the IP-based networks impacted the call center? 

All inbound contacts can be prioritized based on business rules and the value of the customer to the company no matter which channel they come in on. A tremendous operational benefit is in the reporting. Each interaction can be measured and reported on to ensure optimum agent performance equals excellent customer experience. In fact, we recently added a new client who is migrating off on-premises to our cloud platform. One of their deciding factors was the ability to obtain information on a per call basis that includes the call history based on agent performance and user experience.

How is the increased use and comfort level with video impacting how businesses engage with and deliver product/service/support to customers?

Video will become another social channel offered by customer service. Just as those consumers who are comfortable engaging via Facebook or Twitter (News - Alert) now want brands they do business with to engage with them on those social channels, video will likely follow a similar adoption path.

Brands that choose true cloud platforms are future-proofing their customer service contact center for easy adoption of new media or channels such as video. Just as many video applications are part of cloud-based social media, it’s simply less complex to integrate video applications into a cloud contact center platform that already has inherent social media channels integrated with voice making it easier to map video into that.  If you’re only doing social, then you’ll have a hard time with real-time synchronous communications. If you’ve already integrated social to voice, then video becomes a non-issue.

How is the mobile boom impacting how businesses engage with and deliver product/service/support to customers?

Mobile empowers consumers to interact from anywhere. Mobile is actually my background from Sybase 365 (News - Alert), so I’m very familiar how companies can leverage mobile for proactive customer communication and to increase business.  

The ability for a brand to connect to a mobile device is an opportunity for proactive customer communications, especially with existing customers which can potentially increase business.

For example, Worldwide Sports, The Sports Box (News - Alert) Office, and Ticket Solutions experienced a 30 percent increase in repeat customer sales by using LiveOps Social (with SMS).

How is cloud computing impacting how businesses engage with and deliver product/service/support to customers?

We recently signed a new client who opted to leave their on-premises Avaya (News - Alert) call center and move to the cloud with LiveOps. Something the contact center director is looking forward to is IT independence. As a true cloud provider, LiveOps doesn’t require the purchase or installation of any additional hardware nor are there any requirements to install software on the agent, supervisor or admin desktops.

Our clients also benefit from stealth upgrades to the platform that they don’t have to plan for. They are notified when we’re doing upgrades and when we have completed upgrades. And the upgrades are always backward compatible. This is very different than the on-premises world where notification about an upgrade or new release is also advisement of the need to prepare for and allocate resources to accommodate the necessary downtime and associated reconfigurations.

As fast as our business is growing combined with the momentum of cloud computing, we’d never be able to keep up if we had to do each upgrade and new release individually. Companies are moving to the cloud because the ability to stay current with the latest technology is simplified. As a cloud contact center provider, the last thing we want to do is make the cloud complicated and costly for our clients or ourselves.

Edited by Braden Becker
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