Another Cloud Podcast

A podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business, and learn how they're using Cloud Technology to improve business and the customer experience.

How Lifesize is Making Waves in Digital Transformation with Sarita Fernandes

with Alex McBratney and Aarde Cosseboom

Don't have time to listen? Read the full transcription.

Alex McBratney (Host) 00:01

Hello and welcome to Another Cloud Podcast, a podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business and learn how they're using cloud technology to improve business and customer experience. Well, you know, it's good having you on. I mean, we had a chance to talk a little bit ago and get a background about, you know, what you guys are doing over their life size. And in getting your background information on I love the journey, but anyways, have you met already before? Already? Have you met before?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 00:36

Yeah, we were all on the call together.

Alex McBratney (Host) 00:38

Yep, that's right on it. Yeah. Honestly, I've done so many of these calls recently. I can't, I can't feel it straight.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 00:46

They all blend together. You know, it's like 118 hour long zoom call all day.

Alex McBratney (Host) 00:51

My kids came a long day, my kids keep reminding me of my age, call me an old man. So I've hit that. Don't go there. I've met the status where the kids will start ripping me apart based off my age. So I'm used to it. I make mistakes all the time. But anyways, sorry, it was great to have you on this podcast. I just, I just love your journey and where you've been and how you've, you've got this great balance of working for a C cast provider, both now and before, but then also coming from the Prem world, with Avaya. And I think Yeah, you bring a really unique perspective, which is why we wanted you on this podcast. Thank you. We really like a lot of times, clients are wondering like, well, we're just doing fine with our via, we're just doing fine with our Cisco PBX and not realizing what the advantages are, or just maybe they can't get buy in from leadership. But could you just go a little bit into just the your background, how you ended up life size and your how your career revs you up to where you're at today?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 01:54

Yeah, so I was initially in the service provider space, and I actually lived on the east coast. So I did a lot of work with people like AT&T and kind of just focusing on services. And then I moved to the west coast and the West Coast tends to be a high tech club. So then I kind of moved into not just providing, you know, services to be to be customers or B2C customers, but then actually understanding kind of the, the technology behind it. So that was kind of a natural fit for me to kind of move into the world of the vendors that were actually providing the equipment that supported those services. So natural inclination was to move to working for somebody like Avaya. So that's how I ended up at Avaya because I understood the service provided. And traditionally, it was kind of like the PBX that most customers bought. They had either a small PBX with a certain number of features, or you had a Cadillac version of the PBX, which was really what Avaya was about. So that was a natural fit for me. And then contact center was sort of an application that was dependent upon the PBX. So I started off my, you know, in that space, starting out with, you know, just really understanding, understanding telephone services, and then it all became digital over the years. But that's how it all started. And then I started to really get close to customers. And I fell in love with the CX space. And now given that every brand is really focused on experience, and differentiating based on customer experience, that really kind of became close to my heart, because the services that we were providing, and the technology that we were providing really enabled our businesses to do that. And even more so in the cloud space. But yeah, that's how it all started. And I really I love cx I love customer experience, because you know your consumer, right? Yeah, you actually see the impact of it. Yeah.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 03:47

Yeah. Absolutely. And talking a little bit more about cx. So let's talk a little bit about what interests you most. And what about cx? And then we could drill into one of those topics? Is it you know, customer journey mapping? Is it maybe customer segmentation? Is it voice of the customer? So, tell us a little bit about customer experience? And what brought you to that field? And what interests you best?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 04:12

Yeah, so I think when I first started out with cx and understanding it, I came at it again, from you know, I was at Avaya. And it was really kind of the interaction. So it was kind of the point and moment, the moment in time, that moment of truth, where you actually talked to a customer, and that's what you have, right? The agent, the agent is talking to the customer. And it's that point where you have the ability to really kind of transform what the customer is thinking about the brand or by just really focusing in on that experience. So it first started out from that point in time, where can you deliver the best possible experience to the customer at that moment in time? What tools can you provide to the agent? Can you make it easier for the agent? Can you make it seamless for the customer, but then I kind of you know when you look back upon it, that is Just one point of the journey. So I think it all interests me. But just because again, you know, I'm I am focused on it on it from a communication standpoint, I look at all of those moments in time, but making sure that each moment is really a wonderful, a wonderful, delightful experience. But at the end of the day, it's really the opportunity for the brand to kind of make sure that the whole lifecycle and the way they understand their customers, is leveraging each and every point in time. So for me, it's about ensuring that when you are on the phone or where you are, or you're engaging with a customer, across any channel, that's a delightful experience. But for the for the actual business, the brand is really about leveraging all of that information, and ensuring that every single experience prior to that, during that time and after is connected and is actually building up a bond with your customer. It's more about, I guess, the human experience.

Alex McBratney (Host) 05:56

Absolutely. And, you know, it's interesting, being on the technology side and being with a SaaS, you know, cloud platform provider. Where do you see like, I feel like the tech companies start with a base of technologies like that's their foundation, they know what they're doing chat, they're doing email, voice, Ai, sometimes just from the get go, because they know like, that's, that's what's needed. But there's a huge segment of our industry that hasn't started with that foundational looking at technology as that foundation, where do you seek your customers, or customers in the past, like getting from, say that PBX world into a more cloud environment, like some of the challenges that they face that you see?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 06:37

Yeah, I think it's not only about technology, it's also about people and process. So yeah, they might be ready to embrace a new technology. But for it to succeed, they also need to look at their people. And people there from that standpoint, I also mean, the culture at the company. So and the process of they're all kind of tied, you can't be successful by just looking at the technology, you also need to make sure that the people in the process are on that journey. Oftentimes, we see that people might be ready, that might be pockets within an organization that are ready to embrace the technology, but then they have not addressed the people in the process issues. So there might be one advocate who's like very strong and wants to get on the cloud a cloud bandwagon. But then the rest of the organization is not sold on it. They don't get it. So though people on process pieces, I think are just as important as technology.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 07:27

Yeah, let's talk a little bit more about technology. Let's talk about Lifesize. So tell us a little bit about the company. For the viewers who may not know you guys, what's the origin story? And then also, what do you guys offer?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 07:38

Yeah, sure. So we are life size. We are an enterprise cloud communications provider. And we provide all kinds of solutions. We provide video solutions, collaboration solutions, and contact center solutions. Those are the three. So what do we have available to the enterprise, it's those three that we focus on, I am focused on the contact center solution side. But I've also recently taken on supporting the collaboration and the video side of the house. So those are the three specific solutions that we offer. From a cx perspective, it's really the cloud contact center. And if people are familiar with Sarah novo, the contact center side of the house was a result of the merger with Sernova. But moving forward, the name that's continuing on is life size. So that's, that kind of tells you who we're about. We've been, you know, we're a cloud DNA cloud native company. Our solution, which is cx engage is a cloud born in the cloud solution. So we're built on AWS. And so we can spin up, spin up instances wherever customers need, whether they're in Europe, or whether they're in America, and if they need scale up or scale down. Because we're cloud natives, we have the ability to do that and be very agile and support customers as they as they need. And that I mean, that's the beauty about cloud, right? People want agility. So that's what we deliver on our platform.

Alex McBratney (Host) 09:01

Yeah, but if you're trying to create that delightful experience, being able to do that for your clients, obviously, that's a big part of it, especially with it with Amazon and being so flexible and having that scalability flexibility. So many companies are seasonal, and if they're bound to a non Prem system that they can't just scale up and down. There's really lost revenue or loss ROI. They're based on the old system. So how to right talk a little bit more about the video aspect because I think a lot of our audience might know a lot about the contact center and the regular those channels, but I'm curious, a little bit more of a video and how that plays into the actual news. 

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 09:36

Yeah, so the big theme, right with everyone, especially with the pandemic is digital transformation. How many businesses even though they were on their digital transformation journey, they got flack for it, they got caught flat footed during the pandemic, and they found that, oh, this particular piece wasn't transformed like we thought it was. So that we are finding with our customers and that is really accelerated. They had a three year plan. Now they want to get it done in like six months. To 12 months. So speaking about digital transformation and video, everyone now is very comfortable with video. Everyone has video available on all the devices that they use, right? Like we are right now, schools, everyone is very familiar with video. So it has become, it's become so commonplace that people are so used to it. When people think about digital transformation in the contact center, it really means one thing omni channel, and you're right, right, Alex, you were saying that, you know if people talk about the normal contact center being omni channel, but when you think about omni channel, me, people are really offering video. Right? So when they think about omni channel, they think about Okay, chat, maybe SMS, and they think about good old phone calls, right, which are still very important. But I mean, people are really offering video. So that's where we come in, we truly we truly considers or consider ourselves to be native omni channel. And we say that for two reasons. One is we're offering all modalities, voice, video, and all the digital channels. That's number one. So we natively offer video in our contact center. And number two, also the fact that we keep all the channels connected, and that we're looking at it from two perspectives, ie from the perspective of the consumer that might call and say, I started out with my agent talking to an agent on a voice call or chat. And I, I feel like I need to move to another modality. So immediately, we have the ability to kind of make that customer centric and allow them to escalate as needed. And the same for the agent. It's the same agent most, most times when the technologies are offered, you need to hang up and then call back in. And even if they offer video, you got to like started initiate the call separately initiate the interaction again. So we don't do that our approach with life size is really customer centric, as well as agent centric. So video is very important to us. It's offered natively, and then we keep all our channels connected.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 11:54

Yeah, and I love I love the example from I think it was 12 years ago now when Amazon first released their Kindle, and they had their iPad kind of tool and they had the Mayday button. Like if you ever have a problem, just button, it's a mayday button. It's like the first time we saw video support being something that could actually be supportive. And they ran a huge campaign on Superbowl weekend with commercials and there's this huge push. But I don't think the market was ready for it. But to your point, I totally agree. I think the market is ready for it. We're also comfortable. And then this generation that had to go through school through zoom for a year plus, you know, they're going to grow into like, it's it's funny, let me call my friends, me, let me FaceTime or let me do a video. Like it's just going to come naturally. And especially with all the social media with Tick Tock and Instagram stories and Facebook stories. Everything is visual at this point. We've gotten to that next. next layer. So quick question for you. I'm going to pivot a little bit. You talked about video collaboration and contact center. Alex and I, sometimes we help support and consult people who are focused on contact center, but they often forget the collaboration needs of the business, which is, for example, you're on a call with someone in the contact center, but you need to pull in someone who doesn't have a login to the contact center tool. So say, all right, well, let me put you on hold. And let me find the phone number, I got to dial back into the main line and do an extension to like, you know, this guy who's in office that I don't even know and then I hit the wrong extension. There's really no collaboration, they have to kind of swivel chair and use multiple tools. So can you describe how you're joining of Sernova and Lifesize together, that contact center and collaboration cloud tool? Yeah, how good it is.

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 13:50

Yeah. So that those are some of the things that we're really focused on. And I think there are, you know, this, this is, again, another thing that's becoming more important, what I would like to point out is, we look at it as companies that are compared to customer first customer companies that are customer first. They, they believe that it's not just the contact center sitting over there, as an island, that's supporting customers, it should be the entire business. So that's kind of our philosophy too. And when we think about our roadmap, and where we're taking our, our platform, it is really about the customer first companies that we're looking at, because we believe that's the, that's the brand of the future, everybody's customer first. So the collaboration between the contact center, and the rest of the organization is going to be really important. So what does that start out with that might start out with a team's integration? So you know, it's just like, federated presence, ie, the agents on a call. They know the SME, the subject matter expert is there on the back office somewhere, well, part of another function, and so the initial integration might be just knowing if they're present and available for a call. So that would be You know, federated presence, as we call it, the next step in the game would be actual collaboration involving that person on a call, if they're available, maybe a tier three support somebody of that nature. That's an engineering team that needs to get plugged into the call talking to the customer. So when we look at our roadmap, and these are, these are things that we already do integrations with the CRM with other collaboration platforms. But as we look at our roadmap, and what else can we do, we're really thinking about the immersive contact center. And that really double clicks into collaboration across the organization in support of delivering a great experience.

Alex McBratney (Host) 15:37

Yeah, it's so important. And what's interesting is I think about when you're talking about that, think about certain industries that are thriving in that customer first. And I see industries that are lagging in the customer first. And what was interesting already, and I had a conversation with a gentleman from a large health insurance provider recently, and he says there's big, there's been a big transformation from looking at the members, right, the medic, Medicare medical members within their organization, and not calling them patients or not calling me or treating them more like a customer less like a member or like a patient. And I can imagine like just with CERN, or Cerner, but with life size, that having that video presence and being able to go that customer first is that's the kind of industry look that's going to be disrupted soon by 2d by treating the patient like a customer, instead of like, just like a patient. Right.

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 16:27

Right. Totally agree. Yeah. And healthcare is definitely you know, those are the verticals that are more interested in video. Definitely healthcare, education and parts of Finance. And, I mean, even b2c, I mean, even b2c folks are very interested just because video ads are an element of the ability of not just being high touch, but just people in the context that are very interested in things like first call resolution, right? Because that is directly correlated to customer satisfaction scores. So they are interested in FCR, first call resolution, and by using video, your FCR goes up. And that really improves your CSR.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 17:08

We have a conversation, I'm going to drill into a comment you said earlier, communication moments in time, I love that that's a great phrase. That is that's perfect. And we had a conversation on a podcast episode, about two or three back with Brett from sun basket. He's a very customer experience cx forward company. And he talks a lot about making decisions business decisions around who to route calls to based off of lifetime value and based off of potential value, and it's a membership based type company where they ship out boxes to your front door, and you're literally cooking dinner that night. So if something's missing, it gets really complex, you'll want to call back in and try to figure it out with the appropriate person. So right with life size, what do you guys have with regards to a feature set or tool set to help someone? Get the right customer to the right agent? Do you guys have any tools today? And how do you guys help with that route?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 18:10

yeah. So yeah, definitely, I think with routing, we have very tight integrations with the CRM, I think from a routing perspective, and intelligent routing is very important when it comes to delivering a great experience. Because, as I call it, you know, who wants to be greeted with a 20 option IVR, who wants that you want to be if your brand really knows you, they need to leverage all the data about you all the past history. And if they have a good AI tools and that sort of thing, then they should be able to also understand what it's like what is likely to be the experience that you really crave and want right to delight you. So we do have tight integration with Salesforce, as well as Zendesk, and we can do the others as well. But in terms of leveraging the data and routing, I think we can do a lot of routing based on custom objects in Salesforce. And again, you know, if it's a VIP customer, and we know that you're on the phone, despite our caller ID depth, then we can pull up the CRM information that's needed, routed to the right agent, because maybe this VIP person likes to talk to one particular agent. So you routed directly to that agent. And then, of course, you've got all the all the histories offered up to the agent on one screen. Right? So I think intelligent routing is very important. So either using AI or you know, if it's a new customer prospect, and you're only you know them or you, you know, certain kind of profile of the b2c kind of kind of customer that's calling in, you can use some tools to figure out this is a kind of agent that's really likely to be well matched with that customer that's calling in, or it could be you know, just really based on how you want to set it up. Based on your I would say the the most important thing is being connected to your CRM.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 19:57

Yeah, and you're really the source of truth. There Really arming the agent with everything they need to know and preventing them from having to ask the same questions twice. Or say hold on while I look up your account or the dreaded, what's your email address on file? Like no one loves that. But it's really? And what else do you guys do with regards to helping the agent? Do you guys have like a gamification or performance metrics?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 20:24

There we go. Yeah, so we do have we do have a lot of capabilities on workforce engagement management, as we'd like to call it. And, you know, I think Gartner is kind of elevated that and it's no longer considered just your separated workforce management or stock optimization. And I agree with Gartner, I think that, you know, workforce engagement is really the big thing, you need to get your, you need to get your workforce truly engaged. And it includes several different elements. So yes, we do have, in our case, some of the things we offer through partnerships, like voice of the customer, and gamification, some of the things we natively built, there are, if we're up, we're up the philosophy that if there is a core competence, and we don't do very well, then we'll partner with the best of breed out there. And the reason we're able to do that so well is because our design from the platform standpoint is, and this is popular popularized by so many folks out there, but we are an API first company, ie, when we build our platform is everything is built on the API wrapper. So integrations and that sort of thing are very easy, not just for us internally, but also externally. So when it comes to voice of the customer, and gamification, we have partnerships. But then from an engagement standpoint, and workforce management standpoint, we offer our Quality Management module. And one of the things that we strategically decided to do on our platform is, a lot of times with our with other cloud providers out there, you buy the core platform from one provider, and then you tag on things from other providers for workforce management. We're building everything in the core. So when somebody buys our product, or a cx engaged, they actually will get workforce engagement with it. You don't need to get a separate license.

Alex McBratney (Host) 22:09

Yeah, that's great. And one thing that that I want to touch on a little bit, too, is like, what was the beauty of being a cx leader with any company that provides contact center solutions? is that you get to use your own product, drink your own champagne? How do you see like your role as a, you know, as a contact? Sorry, customer experience leader like and how you manage the agents on your team? And how do you deal creating that experience for your customers? Because they're going to ultimately do it for their customers? Right?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 22:40

Yeah, yeah, I think there are certain use cases that we're focusing on video is one of them. Of course, our CRM integration is important. So whenever there's a specific use case that we actually want to tout, and want to promote with our prospects and customers, we actually use it internally. So But for us, it would be kind of video and then our CRM integrations and, of course, our omni channel that goes without saying. So those are the kind of the we always focus on the use case, rather than the technology and use that internally and see if it works. And they're, they're a good testbed for us. And that's, that's kind of like how we go to market prior to launch?

Alex McBratney (Host) 23:19

Yeah, that's a perfect example, right, of being able to test I'm

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 23:22

I'm not saying we're the best at it.

Alex McBratney (Host) 23:24

Well, I'd say that no one is right. Every provider has their limitations, right?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 23:30

Yes. And I every single provider and company that I've been at, we've always said that right? You know, we want to make sure it's all done internally, but then you know, there's always a consideration of, well, sometimes our customers are more nimble, right? I mean, they're, you have progressive customers, and they're very quick, and they're very agile. So from a product standpoint, we want to get it out there. And then, you know, do the balancing act, but you know, we try and do as much as we can.

Alex McBratney (Host) 23:52

Yeah, well, the funny part is, is like, you know, so we just, you know, no carrier is perfect, right? And that's where it comes down to the customer experience and making that number one so when things do go right, it's how do you solve for that? How do you do what's right for the customer so that they're left with a positive experience. Even though something went wrong, I know technology is not perfect expectation for some might be that but for the most of us, we know that carriers are going to, they're going to have their hiccups is how you handle the hiccups when they happen to create that long term, sticky customer and keep that churn down.

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 24:27

And that and that is definitely a focus for us. Because of being customer first, and everybody says that, but we try and make sure that we've got a CSM group that is very focused on our customers, and that every customer has one. So that is and you know, as in our pre-sales approach, also, we talked about that. And so the install process being you know, kind of faultless, and we've got a very defined process around it. And we don't just you know, a lot of folks sometimes outsource Everything, but we don't. We try. And we try and manage as much as we can with our resources. So we can actually train and certify and, you know, apply our touch to it.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 25:11

So, let's talk about future thoughts. How often do you guys do I hate this term software updates? Does not software, how often do you release new features? Do updates, collect information from your current customers on what tools they want in the future? Like, let's talk about the future. And and is there something that you guys are working towards that you could tell us today? Like a year or two years from now? We're really going to focus on this area?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 25:37

Yeah, I mean, I think, um, yeah, we have a customer advisory board. And we're pretty active with that with the Cavs? And so it's a it's a cloud, its cloud business. Right. So our minor features, they're done as frequently as possible. But the big rocks, the big cadences would be, I think we just changed it. But I believe it's three times a year. The big ones, but you know, again, like I said, we keep things fresh. So the minor releases are ongoing.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 26:07

And are you guys, you guys have a third party ecosystem cloud? Where your partner directly with other companies? Is that also evolving? Is that growing over time or codifying?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 26:18

Absolutely, I think our ecosystem will only continue to grow, we want to have an active marketplace. So when people come to us, and the get our platform, they know that they have the ability to get the best of breed, and all the areas that we may not be have our core competencies in. And so we are constantly looking at broadening and expanding our marketplace. And again, you know, that goes back to the fact that our architecture really lends itself to it, but the API first design. So we're, we do have a person, a team that's focused on the marketplace, and they are actively looking at, okay, where do we have gaps? First of us, you know, where do we have gaps? And where do we need to shore it up? But then the second part is working, you know, we add value and provide a more complete solution for our customers. And even if they don't want to get it from us, then you know, we know, the next part is it works well, please...

Alex McBratney (Host) 27:11

Absolutely. Yeah.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 27:13

One last question. Do you guys have an ideal customer? Maybe it's an industry or a size or is it just really anybody, any size, any industry?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 27:24

There are four verticals that we are focused on. And that that's not because just our product does well in them, it's just the they've gravitated towards us. And we've developed or we've developed some kind of critical mass in the area. Financial is one. But I think that, you know, speaks that's a lot of people have that as a focus. But healthcare is another one because of video, education, another one. And then high tech, we just are naturally working with high tech, software companies just because they are more agile. And they are, they're ahead of the pack. And they're more innovative when it comes to deploying customer first features. So but in general cx engage actually just because of its Omni capabilities, and the fact that it is really well designed it's API first really, it works well. But the other verticals as well, we do have quite a few customers in retail, and, and manufacturing.

Alex McBratney (Host) 28:17

Yeah, those are great verticals. And there's been tons of growth and all of them right. And they're they're, they're big rocks to take care of. What's interesting is that you said earlier is that you want to work with companies that put the customer first, right, yeah. And that's what you can go to healthcare, and there's all different segments within healthcare. But really, it's finding those specific companies that are really trying to transform their customer experience to be number one, so that way, you guys, you align very well. Yeah, those type of those type of clients, what would you say internally, life size that you focus on for your team as far as like metrics, or any KPIs that are like one or two of the top ones that you focus on to make sure you provide that great customer experience?

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 29:04

For us, what I've got the marketing team with me, so we are constantly focused on getting the right kinds of customers, we're very focused on our ideal customer profile, like you said, it is about you know, is this customer cx first because we're naturally a good fit for them. So there is a chief experience officer, if there is somebody who's got a big project around digital transformation, then those are the right kinds of customers for so when we go out and one we're focused on demand generation, it is it's a big focus for my team. But that ICP that ideal customer profile, if they're in that space and in any of the verticals, but if we find that there is a chief experience officer or chief customer officer, those are those are always good for us.

Alex McBratney (Host) 29:51

Yeah, what's interesting is that that field is so new seems over the past five years has really grown where you have these chief experience officers head of customer experience. And, you know, five years ago, 10 years ago, that was just maybe a buzzword, but now you see it, you see it everywhere. And really, that gives you the sign that they're actually our customer first type organization, because they have someone that's leading the charge. And the other podcast guests we've had, has said before they came on board, it was disparate, you'd have one group over here doing what they can another group and sales doing something over here. And there was no synergy between these different departments and having that Ted person to take information in from all these different departments really collect, you know, collects it and makes it whole to have that great customer experience, because they can Yeah, together.

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 30:41

Yeah, exactly. And you know, to just really to add to that it is in you always know when, when you're talking to the prospect of the customer, if they have a clear vision of what it is they want to do, that's always you know, that they're, they're focused on it, if you find people who don't know really what they want, I mean, those are tougher, at least you know, they're getting there. But again, in terms of the ideal customer profile, it's kind of zeroing in on those companies where they know what they want, they have a vision, they don't know how they want to implement it. And that's the beauty for our platform, it's very flexible. So we don't force fit into, we don't force fit into try and get them to force fit into our platform. Right. And this, again, goes back to the API design, have note, there are no two environments that are alike. Right, everyone's got different proprietary systems, legacy systems. So they have a view of what they want to deliver, when we kind of help them out with how you can get that. And put that put that together the roadmap of how they can deliver against their vision.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 31:44

Exactly. How do you guys work with a company who isn't necessarily customer first, but they want to implement all these cool shiny bells and whistles like chatbots? And I want to deflect 20 20% of my calls or chats to do you try to refocus them and help them through the process of understanding that you have to think customer first and for it to be successful. Otherwise, it's not going to be successful deploy.

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 32:12

Yeah, yeah, I think that, you know, using that terminology is always important. And we could really structured kind of go to the table with a framework of, you know, where are you in your journey, kind of map it out for them and talk about, okay, these are based on past experience on our history with people doing these sorts of implementations, here's where people are successful first. And most people they, you know, they, they put their neck out there and they want to be successful internally, they want to be seen as successful. So just guiding them with, you know, here's where people who have success, start with this. Here's the next piece. And here's the next one, having a roadmap and having a framework for how to have to have a common discussion, or to get people to speak the same language, I think is really important. And that's what we do. We don't just say, Oh, yeah, let's go, you know, we got a BA, let's go do that. It's probably not the right approach.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 32:59

I don't it's so easy to because it always when Alex and I are talking to people, the first thing I say is we need automation. We need automation, we need automation. And then when we, you know, pull the covers back, we're like, Well, yeah, you do need some automation, but you really need to create an experience around automation that makes sense. So that it's not a bad experience. And there's this term that's out there that's called bot prison, where you accidentally create these workflows that go back into each other, and you never can escape the bot. And so, he's asking you, what can I help you next? And it ends up in people just being extremely frustrated. So, it's important for us to help support with that. But it's, it's great to hear that companies like yours are also helping through that transitional process. Because it's, it's not as simple as just Oh, you want a chatbot? Just turn it on, plug it in and turn it on. So that's…

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 33:50

yeah, yeah. Yeah. And you know, look, I mean, people have data. So, it's good to go back and look at your data and look at where you're going to get the biggest bang for your buck, right? And look at the data, look at your past history, and then figure out the two three things that can you know, do a burrito analysis and figure out where you can really get the hugest value for a few things. So, you can focus on them those.

Alex McBratney (Host) 34:12

So we're, we're running out of time, but what I'd like to do is hear I love the video case studies, right? And hearing like how, how are companies using this video to transform and really take advantage of this new world of video? Is there a case study that you can share or like a favorite example of a client or your like they just, it was really unique and interesting on how they deployed video to help their customers.

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 34:36

Yeah, I mean, we've got more than one. One is actually one is pretty one you can imagine one is a broadband company out of the UK, and there's a third traditional help desk where their customers are calling in trying to get help. And immediately their FCR is going up because the app the visual, they can actually show the person on the on the other side of the call, here's what's wrong, I can't even plug this in, or here's what the broken. So, the visual on the help desk is one, which is a slam dunk that we have a customer using us for. And there's another one also, I believe, out of the UK, which is a plumbing services company, where they're actually they're able to help them tech, prior to the tech getting to the location to show them where there is actually a problem with the plumbing, we have another use case where it's a pre-sales environment where people are doing quotes. And they are able to provide a visual of the lawn or whatever, they're trying to provide a clock bar. And they're much more accurate in terms of what's needed, by magnitude a man by large magnitude of being like right on the money of what, what it's going to cost to actually get the work done. So those are some typical ones that are some other ones where it's actually helping people and nonprofits where they're actually helping some locations, we're in locations where they're battered women, and they need to help them support in certain areas. So, the video actually helps with getting a high touch call going without a representative that's a lot more compassionate, and enables them to provide our right level of support without actually being there. And because some of these are very kind of risky situations. So those are kind of some of the few use cases that we have.

Alex McBratney (Host) 36:29

I love those field service examples. And I could imagine that it, you're not going to see an ROI and maybe the contact center, but you'll see the ROI in the sales cycle. And having people have to not go on site two or three times before getting like that accurate quote, exactly. And I could just think about the landscaping jobs that we've done. If I could just take a video or show the video like...

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 36:51

We'll show them real time.

Alex McBratney (Host) 36:52

Yeah, right. Like I don't need to come out. And then then you just add on top of that just COVID and how less contact is better. contactless, right. contactless quotes. I just pointed right there. Yeah, and that's it just makes it so much simpler, then the crew comes out, they do the work or whatnot. And I think that it's really just it's going video on this.

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 37:18

That was really interesting, Aarde. You went to the collaborative aspect, right? You were also asking about that. And so doing that also in the contact center will be fairly…

Alex McBratney (Host) 37:27

Aarde always has a special last question.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 37:30

I always do just to have a little fun. So the question is, we all we always preface it first, we always think of the negative experiences that we have first, before we think of the positive experiences the great experiences with companies or brands, do you have a great experience that you've had in the last, I don't know, six months to a year with a brand? And if so, you don't have to sell us the brand per se, but just tell us the experience? And what made it so great.

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 37:57

Um, well, I think mine would be with an airline, some really large airline. And it was actually a very positive experience. Why not an airline, not always known for customer experience. But in my case, it turned out to be really great. I was trying to get a reservation for my mom, she lives in. She loves international and outside of the country. And the flight was canceled three times on other airlines. And so and so I call the call this one particular airline, and they went beyond what they what I would have expected to actually get her on a flight and get everything situated because now you've got to get COVID tasks, you have to get the tickets, and all kinds of things. So I was really pleased with this one particular airline. And I think you know, and also the same airline, you know what we were talking about? Who wants to go in and be asked the email address again, you punched it through the IVR. This one where you actually call them they actually send this is your Sarita Fernandez calling. You have a flight that was recently booked on blah, blah, blah. Is that what you're calling about? That is the experience you want?

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 39:06

Yeah. Oh, that is amazing. I shared this in a previous podcast. But I also had a really great experience with an airline. I'll say recently, but it was like a year ago at this point. And the what the experience touch that I really enjoyed from them was when we were right before we're boarding the plane, I got a text message saying oh, by the way, you're playing as boarding your, you know, Section two, or B or whatever it is. And then after I got on the plane, you know, because everyone gets in their seat puts their ear buds and they don't really listen to what's going on. There was a text message from the cab Well, it says from the captain, but I felt like it was very personal and said you know, Hi, my name is Captain so and so. I want to welcome you to this fight. It's going to be three hours. It's basically the same message that they say over that but no one's listening to it anymore because we have all these digital devices. And I thought that was that was a really good touch especially just getting the person's name like knowing Who's flying the plane is just something that's old school and a nice touch. So I really enjoyed that experience.

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 40:06

Funny. So we both have airline stories.

Alex McBratney (Host) 40:09

I think because....

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 40:11

Yeah, there's stepping it up.

Alex McBratney (Host) 40:13

The industry hasn't always been the best. So when they actually start outperforming our expectations, then we're then we're in a good spot as long as the guy is not texting already. This is my first flight. I think you're spot...

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 40:25

Or on his phone texting while he's flying, right?

Alex McBratney (Host) 40:29

Yeah, that would not be mid takeoff. That'd be the worst. Well, Sarita is an absolute pleasure. I'm so glad that we had you on the podcasts. And I love what you guys are doing over at life size, I think you guys are on a trajectory to really take down some good business for and helping customers, your customers customers continue to improve. And I love I love all your story, where you came and how you're over at by size now. So thank you so much for joining us.

Sarita Fernandes (Guest) 40:56

Well, thank you, Alex and Aarde and was lovely, lovely chatting with you guys. 

Alex McBratney (Host) 40:59

Well, that wraps up the show for today. Thanks for joining. And don't forget to join us next week as we bring another guest in to talk about the trends around cloud contact center and customer experience. Also, you can find us at, LinkedIn, or your favorite podcast platform. We'll see you next week on Another Cloud Podcast.