Big CX News from Twilio, Cisco, Verint, and HMRC

Popular stories from the last week that you may have missed.

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Published: March 22, 2024

Rhys Fisher Fisher

This week in CX has seen an HMRC U-turn on ditching phone lines, a Timeflex Bot release from Verint that promises to “revolutionize” contact center scheduling, and acquisition updates from Twilio and Cisco.

Here are the extracts from some of our most popular news stories over the last seven days.

Twilio Refuses to Sell Segment, Appoints New President to Oversee the Business

Twilio has confirmed it will retain its Segment business after an operational review.

The business houses its namesake customer data platform and Twilio Engage.

Previously, it also featured Flex, Twilio’s CCaaS platform. However, the company moved this across to its primary Communications business shortly before the departure of former CEO Jeff Lawson.

Following these moves, Khozema Shipchandler, CEO of Twilio, admitted that Segment “continues to underperform” – contributing to just seven percent of overall revenues.

Such headlines added fuel to the flames of speculation that Twilio may give in to activist pressure and put its Segment business up for sale.

However, Shipchandler has now confirmed that the company will be “retaining Segment and taking aggressive action to accelerate the path to profitability (Read on…).”

Cisco Completes $28BN Splunk Acquisition Following EU Antitrust Approval

Cisco has completed its acquisition of Splunk, having received approval from the EU antitrust regulator.

With the purchase of Splunk safely past the EU watchdog’s inspection, Cisco believes it is now in a position to build “unparalleled” visibility and insights into its portfolio.

The US technology corporation Cisco previously agreed to acquire Splunk for $28BN in September last year.

Splunk’s platform powers security and observability solutions by processing data from the cloud, data centers, or third-party tools at scale.

The European Commission explained that Cisco’s acquisition of Splunk was not a threat to competitors:

The Commission concluded that the notified transaction would not raise competition concerns, given its limited impact on competition in the markets where the companies are active, as there is a sufficient number of alternative players.

The regulator also said that the newly combined organization would not be able to prevent rivals from competing for business (Read on…).

Verint Releases a TimeFlex Bot to “Revolutionize” Contact Center Scheduling

Verint has launched a TimeFlex Bot to “revolutionize” and “redefine” the flexibility of contact center agent scheduling.

It works by automatically calculating the impact of a shift change on forecasted demand, capacity, and performance across 15-minute intervals. The bot then gives each interval a “FlexCoin” value.

If a contact center agent wishes to change their shift, they may do so. However, they will either gain or lose “FlexCoins” – depending on whether the alteration benefits the contact center.

Altogether, agents must only follow two rules:

  1. The agent cannot increase or decrease their number of paid hours.
  2. The agent must maintain a positive FlexCoin balance.

Such an approach offers agents a new level of autonomy and ensures that most agent-driven schedule changes will ultimately benefit contact center service levels (Read on…).

HMRC Tries to Shelve Phone Customer Service, Backtracks Amid Furor

Having yesterday announced that it will be closing a key customer helpline for six months of the year, HMRC has backtracked almost immediately – stating that it is “halting its plans in response to the feedback.”

Beginning this year, the initial announcement would have seen the closure of the self-assessment tax form helpline between April and September.

In an attempt to encourage more customers to use digital services such as chatbots and online forms, the changes would also have seen the VAT helpline reduced to five days a month and the PAYE helpline no longer available to discuss refunds.

Following the announcement, HMRC faced widespread criticism, with the Federation of Small Businesses stating on X that the removal of phone services would “turn simple tax queries into huge headaches” and would “leave many firms in the lurch.”

The outcry was significant enough to force HMRC to backtrack less than 24 hours later, with Chief Executive, Jim Harra, releasing the following statement:

We’ve listened to the feedback and we’re halting the helpline changes as we recognize more needs to be done to ensure all taxpayers’ needs are met, whilst also encouraging them to transition to online services.

But, with it being reported last month that HMRC customer service was at “an all-time low,” what can the governmental organization do to address what are sure to be continued issues? (Read on…).

 

 

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