CCaaS leader Five9 partners with CallTower to offer a better customer experience
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to shut their doors last year, organizations were faced with a sink or swim situation.
With in-store service no longer an option for serving customers, businesses had to make the quick switch over to their contact centres to be the face of their companies. Unfortunately, not every business was ready for this sudden change –– especially when those that were dependent on legacy on-prem contact centre solutions had to find workarounds to keep their service running.
Now that the economy in much of the world is starting to return to normal, smart companies know that they have to become more adaptable. And that means streamlining their technology stack and adopting solutions that will help them keep their customers happy and buying even when they get thrown a curveball.
We are now seeing a rise in these organizations moving to cloud contact centre solutions that are flexible for the hybrid working environment and offer a wider range of features like IVR and AI. In making the move to a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), companies are working to integrate their contact centres into a Microsoft Teams environment with Direct Routing powering their voice infrastructure. This allows them to take advantage of features like viewing presence, integrating calendars, and improving overall efficiency across the organization to help customers resolve their calls the first time.
Making any one of these transitions would be a heavy lift for any organization as it requires navigating at least three different vendors. Choosing the right partners to guide this journey is essential.
To gain a better understanding of some of the challenges involved in making this move, UC Today spoke to CallTower and Five9, two leaders in this space who have partnered to offer Native Direct Routing to Microsoft Teams along with an industry-leading CCaaS solution.
Looking for Partners That Play Well with Others
According to CallTower’s Chief Revenue Officer William Rubio, one of the biggest challenges for companies in going through the integration process comes from working with multiple vendors.
For starters, the vendors might not have the right integrations that actually work with one another. If the solution providers do not have a strong relationship between themselves and familiarity with the other’s products, then it can easily devolve into time-costly finger-pointing when issues arise.
“Customers can get stuck between vendors ping-ponging them back and forth over who is responsible for fixing problems,” says Rubio.
CallTower and Five9 have eliminated this communication gap with deep ties between the two solution providers. “We have a dedicated Five9 technical account manager who sits with our customer success team at CallTower,” Rubio says, explaining that CallTower gives customers end-to-end service.
In cases where an issue might be outside of their ability to handle in-house, Rubio says that they have no problem finding the right address for a quick resolution.
“As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have a strong relationship with Microsoft as well as with Five9, so we are able to give customers the 24/7 one-stop-shop support that they need,” he says.
A Collaborative Integration Process –– Getting Started with CCaaS
Rubio tells UC Today that Gartner has reported that only 10% of organizations had implemented a cloud contact centre as of September 2020. However, they expect this number to rapidly rise to a whopping 50% by the end of 2022.
This will mean that a lot of companies are starting to weigh their options for moving forward with a CCaaS solution.
“We’re already seeing a lot of small and medium companies making this move,” says Rubio. New features from Five9 that go beyond call queuing and the basic options that were available in the on-prem options, such as Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVAs), and other automation solutions that make organizations more efficient are becoming very appealing, driving demand to get in the game.
But not every company begins the process from the same starting point. Each one has its own set of needs and questions from the get-go.
Some customers might just now be adopting a cloud contact centre solution or integrating with Teams. They might still be totally on-prem and are ready to move over to a cloud-based environment.
“The first step is always a discovery call with CallTower and Five9,” says Rubio.
“We work with organizations to find out not only where they are now, but where they want to go to,” he says, adding that, “It’s no longer just I want to replace what you have. I want to enhance what you have. And I think that that’s the difference. A lot of organizations miss that.”
Thu Nguyen, Senior Manager for Partner Marketing at Five9, reinforces the point that “Even though CallTower and Five9 are two separate entities, our customers only really have to work through one of us to get the top level of service. We do all the backend work to make it seamless for the customer.”
The next step is unsurprisingly to have a demo and a discussion about which kinds of integrations the organization is looking to include, noting that CRMs like Salesforce or ServiceNow are popular options.
A key tip that Rubio says can really make the difference for a successful integration outcome is having the people who will actually be using the services at the table from the earliest stages.
“Having some of the contact centre agent supervisors or agents themselves sit on those demos so they can actually see where the advantages are going to come from adapting an application like this really makes a big difference,” he tells UC Today.
Simply put, the contact centre is no longer the secondary point of contact for customers, but should be on equal footing as a company’s brick-and-mortar presence.
Organizations that have understood this and want to secure their success in the new economy are making the changes to bring their contact centre solutions up to expectations. That means adopting the right solutions and providers that can guide them to where they want to be.
This is not an easy lift and there are plenty of pitfalls along the way, so working with vendors that have a strong partnership simplifies the process for organizations looking to undertake what can be a tricky transition.
Customers have demonstrated their expectation that when they call a business, they expect to have a smooth experience that reaches a fast resolution. Organizations running contact centres should expect nothing less when reaching out to their service vendors. By forming such a strong partnership, CallTower and Five9 have produced a more comprehensive offering that their customers can depend on to keep all their customers happy.