Last week I hosted a Zoom call with a group of industry analysts and our CEO, Brian Pritchard. The idea was to give them an introduction to what we are doing at LiveXchange and how we feel that this really is the future for Customer Experience (CX). It was a great session and I think that we learned just as much from the opinion of the analysts as they learned about our plans for LiveXchange.
As we talked, it felt to me that many of the questions Brian and I were being asked were questions that would normally be directed to a contact center operator or Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company. In fact, it seemed like we were being compared to traditional customer service BPOs.
So let’s start out by getting one thing really clear – we are not a BPO. We are helping companies to deliver a great customer experience, but we are not a BPO or contact center outfit.
I think the sense of confusion is because almost every company uses a BPO to manage their customer service processes. Back in the day a contact center might have been an internal function – the customer service team in the basement. Since then the processes have become far more complex and now if you need to offer your customers 24/7 support in multiple languages on calls, texts, chat, and social media then it’s much more common to hire a BPO.
But we are not a BPO. We are a tech platform that allows companies to plan how they want their customer service to operate and then to execute that plan by facilitating agent connections to customers in the cloud. The agents can be anywhere – all working from home. You post all your shift requirements on the platform and the remote agents sign up for those shifts.
Our platform allows companies the ability to manage their own complex customer service requirements internally. There is no need to outsource or find a traditional BPO that can help by providing contact centers and agents, even if they are working from home.
It’s not complex. Everyone understands how Uber or Lyft works. There is an army of drivers out there that have all been checked and verified by Uber or Lyft. They all use the associated platform to find customers that need a ride. They can login or out whenever they want. Customers find a ride on those particular platforms and the platform helps those drivers to find customers. The platform helps both to find what they need.
That exactly what we are doing – the platform resembles a virtual contact center and the only real difference with Uber or Lyft is that the agents sign up for the shifts that are announced by the company. This allows you to post very few shifts when you know it’s quiet, like Sunday evening, and many more when you expect to be busy, like Black Friday.
Some might argue that gig workers based at home and connecting to a CX platform cannot possibly be as good as a dedicated workforce based in a contact center, but think about this from the customer perspective for a moment. When they hit the ‘chat’ button on an app they need help with, do they care if the agent answering the request for help is in a contact center or at home?
Agents who choose to work from home are typically older, more experienced, and they have strong domain knowledge – in fact when you are recruiting you can usually focus much more on their knowledge of your industry or products than worrying about their customer service experience – that’s more easily trained than a detailed knowledge of your products.
I believe that platforms really are the future for CX. We are connecting agents to customers and augmenting the function of the traditional brick and mortar contact center. If companies can use a platform like ours to manage their customer service function then they just set up the platform and manage it internally.
Not only is the platform approach better, faster, more flexible and efficient, it is almost certainly going to cost you less. Cut out these unnecessary processes and you cut out expense, without losing any quality.
LiveXchange is a technology platform that enables a company to manage their customer service staffing needs more efficiently and cost effectively. It’s something you are going to be hearing a lot as we go forward.