The Problem PauseNovember 18, 2022
If more is not done to protect agents, customer service standards will fallNovember 26, 2022
Today’s interview is with Josh Feast, the CEO and Co-Founder of Cogito, who provide real-time AI coaching & guidance for contact centers. Josh joins me five years on from our initial conversation back in 2017, talks me through their journey since then, the emergence of the real-time guidance space and what service and experience leaders should be thinking about right now.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – CX professionals should be taking their favourite finance person out to lunch – Interview with Jim Tincher – and is number 447 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
NOTE: A big thank you goes out to the folks at Zoho for sponsoring my podcast this month and particularly the team at Zoho Desk.
Zoho Desk is trusted by over 50,000 businesses around the world to elevate their customer service and the team over there recently asked me to write a whitepaper for them that explores How focusing on employee happiness and customer success can drive business results.
The whitepaper is called: The Killer Combination: Customer success, happiness and the right technology.
Do check it out by following this link or by clicking on the whitepaper image.
Here’s the highlights of my chat with Josh:
- Our 2017 conversation: Using AI and EQ to build emotional connections with customers at scale.
- Our mission is to support the front line inside large organizations in order for consumers to get consistently positive and experiences when they interact.
- Our thesis is that in the thousands of calls a day there’s something missing which is information about the human experience.
- Without that information, it’s really hard to succeed at the objective of those organizations which is to provide great experiences.
- We’ve figured out and have proven that if you can provide real time, in the moment feedback to these large teams that focuses, in particular, on the human dimension, you will get more efficient, more effective customer interactions and much better customer experiences.
- Real time guidance, which is sometimes called real time agent assist, is coming close to being a must have for a modern CX organization.
- There is a simple basic fact that people make decisions about whether they’re being well served by the way they’re spoken to.
- Our approach is based on 10 years of research at M. I. T., which was led by my co-founder Sandy Pentland, which looks at how you can understand people from the way they speak and move and interact.
- We listen to not only to the words and understanding the words and but we’re listening continuously to the underlying behavioral signals inside that conversation with the goal of improving the conversation and supporting the agents so they can deliver better experiences for customers.
- We focus on really real time plus signals analysis and combining them together is one of the distinctive things that we do.
- Cogito just successfully deployed their emotional conversational AI platform to a Fortune 25 customer and their 30,000+ agent workforce. It was the largest deployment of its kind in the contact center kind of industry.
- To reach that point there was an operationalization maturity curve that had to go through together.
- As a result, we’re getting efficiency improvements, effectiveness improvements, experience improvements across the board, much faster time to proficiency for new agents, thanks to the guidance and a much broader and more nuanced understanding of customer experience because of the human data that we are collecting.
- I like to think about service in two ways. There’s self service and service and they’re not the same thing. However, many people often conflate the two.
- I view service as a human doing some work for you. Self service is where customers are provided with tools to help themselves.
- I’ve come to the conclusion that companies should stay true to the original mission and that the real benefit of longevity is excellence in your defined space.
- If everything went self service then you’re making a really a fundamental statement about humans that we don’t want to talk to each other anymore, which I just don’t think right.
- Only a human will understand what it is to be a human.
- Contact center agents have a socially intensive job that now has a lot more social isolation associated with it.
- It’s not just about outcomes in terms of the customer outcomes and productivity and efficiency outcomes, it’s also about the well-being outcomes and the things that are harder to gauge and harder to measure.
- Josh’s Punk CX word: Human focused
- Josh’s Punk XL brand(s): Apple, Navy Federal Credit Union
Josh Feast is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cogito. He is a serial entrepreneur and thought leader with a passion for creating innovative technology that helps people live more productive lives. Josh has more than a decade of experience as a senior executive and is regularly quoted in Forbes, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal. He holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management where he was the Platinum-Triangle Fulbright Scholar in Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor of Technology from Massey University in New Zealand.