We realize right off the bat the word ‘revolutionize’ may seem excessive in a headline about contact center software, but we can’t think of a better word to describe the solution we just witnessed from Edify.
The company combines a cloud-based contact center built with drag-and-drop tools, an API, unified communications and machine learning in an easy-to-try, -buy and -use solution.
It has taken the complexity of the contact center and smashed it with a rock, and then took the rock and broke apart the way we used to pay for contact center solutions.
The company provides an omnichannel experience, allowing companies to build the channels with a single interface and share logic. IVR/NLU and web chat, for example, can be built to give the same responses to customers, regardless of channel.
Beyond NLU, there is sentiment analysis. This allows customers to be transferred from the chatbot to an agent when certain thresholds are reached. Once the immediate issue is solved, the conversation can be sent back to the chatbot, which is named Hammond. This allows the best of automation and human touch to be fused together.
Part of the inspiration for the platform came from the smartphone.
“Tools available to us as consumers, like Facetime, are wildly superior to what we have available to us when we engage with our favorite brands. This is clearly the result of decades without competition in this technology space, resulting in nearly zero product development,” said Cameron Weeks, Edify co-founder and CEO. “It’s completely unacceptable that agents have better technology in their pockets than the call center technology the company has invested millions into, but that stopped June 26th.”
What this means in practice is the ability for agents and callers to send pictures back and forth, as well as video conference as needed, utilizing things like WebRTC, which is built into the browsers of most devices. Weeks explained that the Edify platform had been built to seize the opportunity of the giant void left by legacy contact center leaders failing to properly invest.
“They have let the industry down,” he exclaimed.
Other areas of differentiation are artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML), which monitor interactions and apply sentiment analysis to indentify conversations that meet criteria worthy of being sent to a manager for coaching purposes, both positive and negative.
“Managers no longer have to guess which interactions to review,” Cameron said.
The system further allows all business communications to function together in a true unified communications capacity. It allows chats, voice calls and video chat, as well as business SMS via use of direct dial numbers (PID). Users can download Android and iPhone apps to play voicemails, see recent calls and more.
Cameron calls it Business Communications as a Service, or BCaaS. We call it digital transformation and the future of work. There is no reason it can’t be all three at once.
There is built-in cloud redundancy, dashboards, and custom reports based on what is important to each user, which can be displayed on wallboards or embedded in applications.
The challenge of multichannel workflows has been resolved, thanks to Edify’s omnichannel platform, which allows a single logic flow and responses across all channels, such as voice, chat and email. As you might imagine, the workflow can also act as a routing tool if needed.
“All channels share a common experience in the customer journey, regardless of how someone initiates a conversation,” said Cameron.
In addition, Edify’s workflows make it easy to share data with third-party systems, such as Salesforce CRM, without any code. This allows notes and the URL of a call recording to be added to Salesforce, for example.
There is so much more this unified platform does, but here are several highlights that jump out:
- Chatbot interactions can be randomized: “How can I help you?” “Thanks for reaching out,” “We look forward to serving you,” etc.
- A synonym index makes the solution more robust and better able to understand.
- Customers can be rated based on points or status, allowing elite spenders to have their calls answered more quickly.
- Workflows are not just an inbound routing tool; they can also be used during an interaction (Robotic Process Automation) or at the end of an interaction for things like omnichannel post-call surveys. While there is clearly a lot of functionality in Edify’s workflow tool, it is extremely easy to use and design as we witnessed via an in-depth, screen-sharing interview and product demo.
- This solution can also be used for calling customers to alert them of upcoming appointments and allow them to confirm. Utilizing answering machine detection then allows a call to be ended and a text to be sent instead, when a user is unavailable. Webhooks allow integration with software for dentists, doctors and others.
Edify’s pricing is great, and it truly is usage-based. It runs $7 per 24-hour period per person for the contact center solution with machine learning ($6 without ML). Unified communications for non-contact center users is $10 per month. Customers can choose which users are free (hint: pick the contact center users). Contact center agents get full UC functionality, so no need to buy them both licenses. Plus, the first five users are free forever. All you need is a U.S.-based phone number and email to get started.
Companies can bring their own SIP trunks, but Cameron explains Edify’s telephony is provided at market rate, so it may be easier to just let Edify handle calls, and keep everything under its impressive SLA, under which it guarantees 100% uptime and includes getting back 10x what you pay for the period of any downtime. It also scales to thousands of users thanks to a complete visualized, microservices architecture of Amazon and Google clouds. Professional services that are available if needed for integration or migration.
We find Edify Labs’ contact center solution to be a game-changer. Its pricing is great, and its trial user for life idea is even better. The integrated ML for improving training and the customer experience is fantastic. The ability to drag-and-drop build omnichannel workflows and to seamlessly toggle between channels in a single interaction is unprecedented. Having all of this contact center functionality – while also giving companies the tools to bring the rest of their organizations into the fold using the UC that’s already in there – makes this a solution worthy of a trial run and, eventually, full migration.
Edited by Erik Linask