Customer engagement and the alignment of sales, marketing and customer service – Interview with Tim Pickard of NewVoiceMedia

PointingToday’s interview is with Tim Pickard, who is Chief Marketing Officer for NewVoiceMedia, a leading cloud multi-channel contact centre provider. Tim joins me today to talk about cloud contact centre technology, the technology cycle and the rate of adoption by larger organisations and an issue that they are championing called ‘One Agenda’.

This interview follows on from my recent interview: Does your customer experience support customer success and low-effort? – Interview with David Lloyd of Intelliresponse – and is number ninety in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.

Here are the highlights of my interview with Tim:

  • NewVoiceMedia is a true cloud multi-channel contact centre provider.
  • They work in both the inbound and outbound spheres and their technology bridges the two. This helps drive visibility and processes to better connect marketing. sales and customer service departments.
  • When they say ‘true cloud’ they mean that they have built and own all of their own technology and absolutely everything is in the cloud with no hardware, plugins or downloads necessary to use their system.
  • Many of their competitors use third party applications for things like workforce management.
  • They have done this because one of their guiding principles is that they are a single instance, multi-tenant environment so they want to have one code base and this helps minimise integration, performance and availability issues that can come about by using other third-party applications.
  • They have a trust site that shows in real time the performance and availability of their technology. None of their competitors do this. Their standard is five 9′s availability (uptime of 99.999%).
  • If you have an internet connection and a terminating phone number then you can set up an agent anywhere you like.
  • This flexibility allows NewVoiceMedia’s clients to use the technology to change the way that they manage their business.
  • 95% of contact centres are today built on on-premise technology.
  • However, the on-premise market is experiencing zero growth and the cloud-based contact centre solution market is growing at 30% per year according to DMG Research.
  • NewVoiceMedia are growing their market share as they are growing faster than the market (they grew at 100% last year).
  • Experience suggests that we are roughly 18 months into a 5-7 year technology cycle and over the remainder of the cycle we are likely to see a transition, similar to the one seen in the CRM market, where the contact centre technology solution market will shift from being 95% on-premise to 95% of the market being cloud-based.
  • This shift will accelerate over time as large organisations, who are not generally risk-takers, move to the cloud towards the end of the technology cycle.
  • That’s not to say that some large organisations are not already moving as NewVoiceMedia’s largest installation, to date, has been for a contact centre with over 1,000 agents.
  • NewVoiceMedia is championing an issue called ‘One Agenda’.
  • One Agenda explores how businesses can maximise the combined impact of sales, marketing and customer service and how all are touchpoints for customers.
  • The level of quality of customer engagement is determined by the combined actions of all of those groups.
  • But as firms grow, these areas segment into different functions/siloes with different KPIs, management and view of the customer.
  • Therefore, typically in more traditional organisations, people in each of these functions have an allegiance to their function first and then to the brand.
  • This is, ultimately, bad for customers and bad for business.
  • Given the shift in power and access to information that customers now have, businesses have to break down these barriers and develop a single and consistent view of the customer throughout their buying cycle/lifetime.
  • Achieving this is probably best done by considering the cultural element (people and process) alongside the technology that will be required to enable this.
  • The use of CRM lies at the heart of that and should span Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
  • In order to make this work, Sales, Marketing and Customer Service should undertake joint business planning so that they develop a set of common goals and targets.
  • This is a big change and a big organisational issue that many firms will face in the coming few years.
  • One of the things that is needed to drive this change is realisation and support from the very top of the organisation that this change is necessary in order to remain competitive and differentiated.
  • Cloud projects tend to be less risky than other IT projects, with Forrester reporting that 2/3 of all on-premise IT projectsare unsuccessful.
  • Check out NewVoiceMedia’s recent Serial Switchers research here.

About Tim

Tim Pickard NewVoiceMediaTim is the Chief Marketing Officer at NewVoiceMedia and joined them in July 2011. He has over 20 years’ experience as a leader in the IT industry. He served as VP and board member of RSA Security’s international business for seven years where he ran marketing in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Japan. He spent two years as Chief Marketing Officer for SaaS/Cloud-based email management provider Mimecast.

You can connect with Tim on LinkedIn, say hello to NewVoiceMedia and Tim on Twitter @NewVoiceMedia and @timpickard. While you’re at do check out the NewVoiceMedia blog too as it has great posts written by their team and lots of other leaders in the customer service/customer experience space.

Photo Credit: Horia Varlan via Compfight cc

Comments

  1. Adrian,

    I really like the point about functional silos and how as organisations grow they satrt to become “dysfunctional silos”

    I am by background a process guy.

    The only reason I have a job is because I point out the gaps between these silos

    If we could get rid of the silos we could also get rid of the process guys.

    How good would that be?

    James

    • adrianswinscoe says:

      Probably not that good for you but probably pretty good for the rest of us.

      Hmmmmm…..dilemma. Willing to take one for the team?

      A

  2. Hello Adrian
    Yes, this is an essential requirement:

    “One of the things that is needed to drive this change is realisation and support from the very top of the organisation that this change is necessary in order to remain competitive and differentiated. ”

    And it is the very phenomena that is not present. Change is never necessary until and unless it forced on us through a crisis. In the absence of a crisis, and a crisis is rare, we muddle through – as individuals, as teams, as functions, as organisations, as societies.

    All the best
    maz

    • adrianswinscoe says:

      Maz,
      In a future interview with Mark Lancaster of SDL, he adds another interesting dimension to your point when he says “When an executive team in a large organisation decides to do something and when it actually gets done can take up to two years.”

      So, I wonder how much top level executive support is a function of how quickly something can be done or how agile an organisation is.

      Adrian

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