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.

Smarter Than Me Series: Interview with Dave Recktenwald

with Alex McBratney and Aarde Cosseboom


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

Alex McBratney (Host) (00:05):

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 the customer experience. Dave, I just realized you've been with interactive intelligence slash Genesys for almost 16 years.

Dave Recktenwald (00:28):

Yeah, that's true. It's over 40% of my life, which is pretty crazy if you're thinking about it, longer than the time from preschool through senior year of high school, or even at this point, it's like kindergarten through college, I guess. Yeah, it's crazy. I never intended to be here this long, but there's always a new job on the horizon. I've not been in the same position longer than two or three years, as we've gone through it. There's always something new and fun to do. Yeah, it's been great.

Alex McBratney (Host) (01:02):

As I think about how much technology has changed over 16 years and like when you first started with interactive, how all premise-based cloud was something that you hear about every so often and all of a sudden it's like now where we're at, where is Genesys Cloud, and how it's just changed exponentially since the beginning of your career? It's pretty crazy.

Dave Recktenwald (01:22):

I mean, right now there's obviously we're already knee deep in cloud, but you know, the past four or five years have been the whole prem to cloud thing, right? When I first started, it was moving from traditional telephony to voiceover IP. So voiceover IP was this new thing, build thing. So it interacted when I first started, you know, everyone bought a server that had an acura labrot dialogic board in it, which, you know, was like $30,000 just for the card to go into the server. And you would plug T1 or PRI straight into the back, of a rack-mounted server. And that's how the collecting worked. It was all traditional telephony. And then they started getting gateways and converting to sip and voiceover IP and whatnot. But yeah, at the beginning you were debugging like the D channel on a T1. It was pretty crazy

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(02:08):

I heard from a Genesys team member that you guys do, and I don't know if it's over a year or every two years, but you guys do a development hackathon and the developers get to mess with the tool and play and bill, like whatever they want. And some of the things that come out of it are kind of off the wall on wacky. Do you know about it and follow up question is what's the craziest weirdest thing you've seen so far?

Dave Recktenwald (02:33):

So I'm aware of it. It's not something that I'm too closely involved with or have seen much. I have heard that we've shortened roadmap items substantially by the hackathon, you know, so product management might see, Oh gosh, it's going to take us two years to develop that. And then they put a couple developers in a room with some pizzas and they come out, have a hackathon and probably don't have a good market product yet, but they figure out, how to develop some of these new features. So that's pretty exciting.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(03:02):

Yeah. I can't believe how much like code has been written on just coffee and pizza and late night hackers.

Alex McBratney (Host) (03:08):

Yeah. I mean, that's even, bringing up a competitor, but that's how Talkdesk got started. Right. It was just a hackathon type of thing that the founder did. And you should create a business around this. And next thing you know, that are a viable competitor in the market for contact center. But I think what sets Genesys apart is that you guys came from that prem world. You have a lot of clients that are still in that premise world that you've been able to see the evolution and been able to take those best practices over into the cloud.

Dave Recktenwald (03:43):

Yeah, absolutely. I guess for me coming from interactive initially, it was kind of being a software company when everyone else was a telecom company. So before it was all about circuits and routing calls and whatnot, and Don Brown who founded Interactive was like, well, why don't we just get a generic windows server and write some software and do all this. Right. And of course it was premise-based at that point in time, but using software, instead of all these heavy duty switches for telco to route a call to the proper person, it was kind of a noble idea at the time. And then now of course, it's all transitioned fully to the cloud.

Alex McBratney (Host) (04:19):

So Aarde, I had a couple of questions so I went and did some research. I went on to contact center pipeline and they have like, you know, the biggest challenges for 2021 or the top priorities for 2021. I've got like a top three since you're in the mix with TechStyle, what would you say for you guys and maybe even some of the clients that you've worked with as a consultant are like the top challenges that you see for moving forward this year in the contact center world.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(04:50):

Yeah. Oh, a lot. And you'll hear buzzwords a lot. You'll hear migration to the cloud. You'll hear AI, chatbots, automation, self-service, but what I've seen or at least what I've seen with my peers is, and every time this topic comes up, we try to break out and have little round tables, either digitally and online community, or when we did have conferences, we'd sit down at conferences and literally sit down and talk through them. We call them birds of a feather round tables where we all have a common mindset and a common goal. And we just want to pick each other's brain, a lot of it is migration to the cloud. So getting off on-prem getting into a cloud ecosystem where you could have open APIs to integrate third parties or go into a third-party marketplace and quickly enable without having to do any heavy lifting or have a team of people write code. So that's the goal for a lot of people. That's like the biggest challenge. If you haven't migrated to the cloud for the people who have migrated to the cloud. And this is probably like number two and number three on this list. Automation, self service, and, categorizing the customer intents. So when people are contacting you, what are they asking? And, you know, one person may ask it one way and another person may ask it a completely different way, but it's the exact same thing. And you could service them with the same results automatically, or you can route them to an agent who's skilled to answer both or either types of questions. So that's kind of at the top of the list there. And then the last one, if you've mastered that and you figured that out and you're in the cloud and you've got your intent mapping screen, you've got kind of chat bots and all that stuff, then it gets a little bit more technical, a little bit harder, which is, bulls-eye routing. So how do I get the customer now that you know who they are, where they're calling from, all of this information about what they're trying to solve for, how do you get it to the one person out of the hundred people in your call center or a thousand people in your call center that has the right answer is most equipped to answer it and can answer it the quickest and have first call or first contact resolution so they don't have to, the customer doesn't have to call back. So how do you use machine learning AI algorithms to get that match, kind of like or like Tinder or any of the dating websites, like how do you find that perfect match? And then once you route it, if it was successful, then keep using that algorithm, it'll start to learn and get better. If it doesn't then, you know, mark that as a failed experiment and then move on and try something else. But yeah, those are the three that I've heard about. And they all center around migrating to the cloud, making an easier, chat bot, self service and how do you route or do predictive routing.

Alex McBratney (Host) (07:52):

Yeah, exactly. And it's funny, the top priority that they have here is implement and improve self-service right. So it's right on point, you know, as far as getting that customer experience to happen quickly. Dave at Genesys, you guys see a lot of customers coming on board, and you've seen a lot, whether they're coming from an existing cloud provider or even just coming off a premise-based system, like when you guys have those clients come across, I do see it being a lot of self-service or is it more, we just need a better system because this unequated premise-based system just isn't getting us, what we need is almost like the first jump into the cloud, or they're not quite to the second step, which is self-service AI, where do you see people jumping in and what's the main reason for that?

Dave Recktenwald (08:39):

Yeah, I'd say it's all across the board. I mean, we migrate very sophisticated customers to Genesys and we migrate complete greenfield customers or customers that are on a really outdated legacy system. So one of the tools that we use is what we call the CX maturity model. And so we try and understand, you know, on their journey from being extremely simplistic and just having to put out technology fires toward offering the ultimate customer experience, where are they at on that journey and then, try and kind of dive in and figure out, well, what's the next natural step. I mean, some people it's just having a system that's available 24/7, like that's the next natural step for them based on where they're at. A more mature customer takes that for granted and that's kind of table stakes and they're looking to really utilize AI and bots and really automate and move into self-service. So it's really all across the board. And that's kinda what it's exciting because every customer is definitely in a different place on their journey for CX.

Alex McBratney (Host) (09:41):

Absolutely. And that's what we've seen as far as where the customer, we had one recently at Aarde and I, you know, we were working on where they had one side of the business was on a Vonage and the other side of the house was on a ShoreTel system. So they kind of have that. They know about the cloud on one end with the other end they're like they've had a ShoreTel for 15 years, and now all of a sudden they're getting rid of a cloud and they're getting rid of a friend and they're going to Genesys in this case. And I think what's hard for the operations person that we're working with is she wants to be able to take advantage of all the cloud has to offer, right? And the first step was and Aarde explained to us is that crawl, walk, run approach, where let's just crawl into the cloud, get it set up, get it working and then that's where that next step of that CX journey is. Okay. Now what's the next step that they can take to get them to start taking advantage of all these bells and whistles? I mean, it seems like it's endless between the app stores and between all the AI available and then you almost need just a full business assessment and figure out what's going to be the next best step in that journey for sure.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(10:49):

Oh yeah. What I've seen is people who migrate from on-prem to the cloud, they have limitations with their on-prem tool set. So they've built all these weird workarounds and they have 800 different flows, and they don't have the ability to do like variables or like a simple data lookup or data dip, or, you know, just some, some basic tools that come out of the box. But a lot of the cloud-based solutions that are out there today. So when they get a cloud-based platform like Genesys Cloud, for example, it's like, they went from like a broken down like Pinto to like a rocket ship. And they're like, they want to do everything all at once. And you have to slow them down and say, okay, you started with crawling and you can't go to a full sprint and you can be, you know, trying out for the Olympics, you know, try to win the race. You have to slow it down. You have to convert what you have into the next phase and the next phase and the next phase. And then eventually you can get to AI automation, self service, all these cool and robust tool sets, but you got to kind of temporary yourself and make sure you don't run too fast.

Dave Recktenwald (12:02):

I completely agree with that. It's interesting because when we speak to a potential client, one of the first things we'll always ask is how quickly can you come at us? And I'm like, well, two questions. One is, what's your definition of performance and how far do you need to be once you hit using MVP, but what's your minimum viable product for go live? And then two, how much time do you have to dedicate? Because a lot of, it's not just the point technology it's revamping, it's not all processes and making them more efficient. And, I think a lot of customers don't realize, well, number one, the opportunity they have to make things more efficient, but number two, just how much thought they have to put into it. You know, what do they want the experience to be like? It's pretty quick to configure the experience really these days with cloud but deciding what you want it to be like is kind of the first step that can be time consuming.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(12:51):

And Alex, I got a question for you. I want to switch gears just a little bit, you talk to a lot of people and you help them and you consult them and sometimes you're talking to internal IT teams, you're talking to the CIO, CTO. You're talking to people who are very technical. Maybe they don't oversee a call center or contact center, but what they may not realize is that they do have a call center. They may have a help desk. They may have, you know, some sort of team, even a front desk at an office with four people who answer the phone number, the main phone number to the front line. So how do you help them realize that they need not just a PBX or some sort of, you know, cloud-based UCaaS or Unified Communications as a Service tool, and they really need some sort of queueing tool like Genesys, how do you pull that out or what questions you ask to get to that level of the conversation?

Alex McBratney (Host) (13:52):

We will start working with the IT, whether it's a Director or VP and even CIO, like you mentioned, what happens is if they're not aligned with the business side of the company with operations, or possibly even sales and finance HR, is that, hey, we have an old PBX. It's not working. We're all worked from home now forwarding to the cell phones doesn't work. We need a new system and we'll tease out if there's contact center in there. But a lot of times I hated to be considered the other business units. They're just looking to replace this old system. And so the most important part is first off, like help us understand your process, how do customers reach you? How do you reach your customers? Is there, a database that you're using to keep all your customer contact info in. And so that's where we started to get into the thing outside of this is more than just replacing dial tone, moving into the cloud, because it has a mobile app or because it has collaboration built in. And so that's where we start to get them thinking a little bit differently and ultimately bringing in the other stakeholders in those opportunities. And we just had one from last year up in Northern California, and it wasn't a huge contact center, 20 seats, but they had Salesforce. And originally it started off with, we just needed to be both system. And what really drove the project was the contact center. The dial tones when it came to like what they needed there and so really the winning carrier won it because of the contact center, not because they provide a dial tone and some collaboration. And so that's really where bringing in other stakeholders from those departments makes a huge difference. And a lot of times in the mid market, even smaller, they're just so siloed. They don't talk to each other. And a lot of it professionals don't make those connections right away. You know, the CIO is typically do it for big enough company to have the CIO. They're talking with other business students a lot of times, but what's typically driving the project is going to be that operations side where it's, Hey, like we're changing a phone system. You didn't tell us like, here's what we need. And then you bring in all these other requirements and carrier a that normally would have fits like this is not even this isn't even close to a fit anymore. Now it's a sort of looking over here because the context centered in my opinion is extremely, like, way more important than just a regular PBX in the cloud, you call it UCaaS, right? And so that's what we see. And it's just really getting alignment with those stakeholders. Dave, what do you see, I guess, flipping it over to you, like you have eight to 10 reps on your team that you work with, like, what are they seeing and how are they getting alignment with those?

Dave Recktenwald (16:37):

Yeah. I mean, it's been a dramatic shift over the past couple of years, again, not to keep mentioning the cloud, but it's causing the buyer to now be, you know, the business operations, not IT. So you used to be a big infrastructure. We're changing out the phone system. We're physically removing servers and putting new ones in and we're depreciating them off the books and we have this much budget, that whole thing. And it's really moved from that to more of a operational expense of the business itself. And it's way more fun to talk to the business because you learn about actual challenges, how they're trying to service their customers versus... I mean, it's fun to say you don't have to patch a bunch of servers and stuff, but, how do I push something out? My customers get them answers fast, you know, boost my C-SAT or NPS score, while I'm doing it. So a lot more to talk about on the business side versus just uptime and then servers and things like that on the IT side.

Alex McBratney (Host) (17:34):

What's nice in the business side too, is typically they can get more budget if they can make that case to the CFO or through the different business units because you look at sales departments, they spend a ton of money on tools for their agents, whether it's Bombora or 6 cents that are all these other add ons to help them sell better. Well, now here's a SAS product, essentially as an add on to help with the customer experience. And so it was nice it doesn't have to come out of their budget if they can position it right. And say, well, this is what the budget can be split. Right? Half the cost, maybe it goes towards operations. The other half goes towards it budget, and then it becomes a much more feasible project for even it to push through and get other stakeholders bought into that. For sure. Yeah.

Dave Recktenwald (18:21):

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's a lot more of an exercise in calculating an ROI versus PCR, right? So we're looking at a lot of the soft savings now becoming more efficient. What are the savings behind that becoming more productive? What are the savings behind that versus how many dollars does it cost to put this box and this license in place?

Alex McBratney (Host) (18:42):

Yeah. You mentioned so productivity. That's a big one, right. And I think even when I was looking at the context center article here, you know, figuring out where to take that. Right. And how to get that, how do you monetize that? Or how do you put those two numbers that productivity that they're going to gain by moving to a new system and in your case, you have other spreadsheets you guys use, what's the process for getting them those soft costs on a paper to prove that ROI out.

Dave Recktenwald (19:12):

So we actually have a web based tool now. So we've got a business consulting group that's focused solely on value add. Right. So, an example would be, you know, self-service right. Let's look at, obviously everyone knows in the contact center, the most expensive component is the people, right. So how much time are you spending, answering monotonous calls, password resets, send me this form, repetitive things. And then, using that to say, okay, well, let's automate some of those things and look at the savings, with your people, not doing those. And, and it's kind of two fold the advantage. Not only are you not spending money on your resources to do these monotonous tasks, but you're also reserving the resources for the complicated tasks, because self service is great, but there's always going to be a type of call or a type of communication where you need human touch, you need that extra help. And it's so much better when you can have your business using your employees to service those sorts of tasks, rather than repetitive one. So yeah, we've made a whole tool out of that, around self service, around workforce engagement, automation now around scheduling, that's where a lot of savings are as well, staffing the queues appropriately, not overstaffing. And there's a lot of savings to be found that basically can make the system pay for itself.

Alex McBratney (Host) (20:31):

Yeah, absolutely. And Aarde, I'm gonna ask a question for you since you're needy with agents and in a large contact center. According to what I was reading, so agent attrition seems to always be a top the top struggle. So in your 12 plus years of experience in contact center, what have you seen as ways to retain agents and keep them happy and keep them engaged so that HR isn't always having to spin up new ones and losing all that precious time.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(21:06):

Yeah. So everyone who's listening to this call who has worked in the contact center world probably already knows this. I'm not saying anything new, but for anyone who hasn't, attrition for a contact center is anywhere from five to 20%, year over year or sometimes even a month over month, which is pretty horrible. And that means that if you're not growing as a contact center, you have to always be recruiting. I was a team lead of 20 people then became a senior manager of 200 and then became a senior director of 2000. I lived half of my time was interviewing people, whether it's an initial or final interview, depending on where I was in my career. And it was just to replace the amazing talent that was going out the door. And the reason, at least in my opinion, and the reason why people would leave or agents would leave, coz we would do exit interviews as well, too. We would ask them, why are you leaving? What can we do that are for the next person to come into this ecosystem? It really falls into kind of three categories. And it's the ones you all heard have heard of a million times, but it's the people, the process and the product. So I'll work backwards, product. If you have technology, that's really hard for them to complete their job, they're going to hate their job. So if it's hard, they have to click 12 buttons to do something when it really should only be one they're going to hate their job because they have to do that 40 times a day, 10 times an hour or whatever that is. So that's the technology or product side. The process side is if you don't have good training, if you don't have good career development, if you don't have the ability for an agent or a team member to get off of the phone and talk to a supervisor in person about a really bad or hard call that they had, if you don't facilitate the process behind your head count, you're gonna imprison them. Or we like to call it leash them coz we all have leashes now to our computers, leash them to the computer and leave them to the queue and they will feel like they're trapped so make sure that you open up your processes, allow for your employees to really expand and grow. And then the last one is the people you gotta hire the right people in the beginning. No one goes to college and says, I'm going to major in answering customer service calls. No one does that. There's no way. This is a industry, at least in America, other countries are different. Some countries, people love and prescribe and will have careers out of that because that's what they enjoy. But in America, it's usually not the thing you go home and tell grandma about, grandma will ask you, what do you do for a living? Oh, I work at a call center. What do you do? I take customer service calls. I've done it for 10 years. That's not something that you brag or you wear a badge about. So with your people, you have to make sure that you foster not only the image that they are, the powerhouse they are, the voice, the ears and the eyes of the customer. You have to make sure that they feel empowered so that when they come to work, they're not feeling like they are the bottom of the totem pole. They always get the last perk in the business. Sales always gets the cool parties and all the recognition. And I get nothing because all I do is answer the phone. So you have to make sure that you have a good strong group of people and support them in that.

Alex McBratney (Host) (24:40):

That's really interesting. And we talked a lot about the product, right? And with Genesys and the cloud platform, really, that's just one of the three legs that really make good contact center, good customer experience and call center, right. Contact center. So Dave, let's get an example of a great company. What company have you guys worked with, or maybe in the past that you can easily say or example that had the people in the process down well, that where you said, wow, they've got really figured out based off of the culture of the company and what did they do differently? We can't say the name, but what did they do that really stood out to you?

Dave Recktenwald (25:20):

Oh man. Some of the more exciting companies that I've worked with are in the mortgage industry, right. So, they really treat their reps well because they are a direct driver of revenue. And so there's a lot of gamification before that was even a term, right. Whoever's answering the most calls and whoever's processing the most leads or the most digitals, they were already years ago tracking things like that on whiteboards, on screens. But it really wasn't a term, you know, gave a vacation and now the product has that all built in. Right. So finding ways that have been proven and done without software in the past, but having a product, do that and recognize, you know, top performers and have employees challenge one another to try whatever metric it might be. So that's one, I guess industry that we've seen that already had the culture and already had the people and then the product is really against that even further.

Alex McBratney (Host) (26:22):

Yeah. But you know, in the mortgage industry, they're hiring competitors, right. People that want to like win and it's very revenue driven. I think the challenge is probably for the companies where it's more customer support, less revenue driven. So like the sales contact centers, easy to gain and fire are easy because they're driving revenue for the company. But then there's the other types of customers service where it's all they're doing is feeling complaints. Well, we work in telecom. Everyone knows that the telecom industry, the cable company, or the big mall bells, like no one wants to call them because they've merged a hundred times and they don't know one side of the business from the other when you call in. And so I think it's hard as a contact center, right. If you're on the customer support side where you're fielding complaints all the time, how do you keep people motivated, right? And then how is the company culture, is that driving towards giving someone a feel good experience. Last week, Aarde and I were talking about Zappos and how great they were at supporting calls and doing like bending over backwards and doing this just odd ball things and make the customer experience really stand out. Aarde, what have you seen as far as conflict coz you've dealt a lot on the consulting side, on the outside on really building up on the people in that...

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(27:50):

Yeah. Ooh. We've touched on a couple major topics here and I'll answer your question with another question cause I'm going to defer to Dave cause I want to hear his opinion on it. But Dave, we've talked about kind of the buzzwords in the last decade and a half. I'll frame it up before I ask the question, but the buzzwords in the last, maybe 15, 20 years in the contact center world have been gamification, customer satisfaction. So C-SAT, and those are kind of separate bubbles and then self service and automation. So out of those three things, which, you know, 90% of the contact center world, they don't have those, or they have maybe just one of those for someone, who's maybe listening who doesn't have one of those, like gamification, a good customer satisfaction, process or a closed loop process or they don't have a really good self service chat bot or some sort of tool like that. Which one should they focus on first? Or what would you rank in order? Which should they do this one first, then the next one, the next one. So they do all three at the same time or so they only focus on one.

Dave Recktenwald (29:03):

That's a good question. I mean, I think customer satisfaction is kind of the end state, right? I mean it, at the end of the day, everything that you're trying to do and most contact centers is to drive customer satisfaction. So you have to think about how do I do that, right. I think everything contributes to it, right? I mean, gamification makes happy agents and happy employees to provide better customer service, providing self-service options to your customers and makes your customers happy. All these things kind of add up, I mean, just kind of turning the table and thinking about myself as a customer. I just want my problem solved. So I think having technology that can get me to the right answer, the fastest is what I'm most interested in. So a lot of times that that's going to be either skills-based routing or what we would call predictive routing, you know, using AI to find that right agent, or it could be self-service if it's a simple task to me. So I think it's going to vary a little bit based on industry, but I think finding a way to get your customer to the right answer, the fastest is the first step and increasing that customer satisfaction. And then there's so many different things, you know, we haven't even talked about quality assurance and training and all of that. They did add on to it as well, but I think, first call resolution, if that's possible, that's really what I think most customers or companies should strive for

Alex McBratney (Host) (30:31):

First call resolution and how long it takes, right? The average handle time. As a customer, right, as we all are. And this is, what's so great about this industry. And what already I talked about last week was we all have customer experiences from the companies that we buy from. So everyone that we work with, all of our clients, everyone has been a customer. They know what it's like to be treated poorly. They know what it's like to be treated amazingly based off the customer experience with whichever brand you're working with. And that's the beauty of this. We all know what it takes to make a great company. Then it just comes down to company culture, right? And the top down the top down approach to what's that CEO or what's the C-level pushing out, is it just churn and burn and just do whatever it takes to make as much revenue as possible and cut corners wherever you can. Or is it more of the approach of we're going to do what's right by the customer? And yeah, we're going to lose some money on certain things because we have to do credits or we have to do refunds or things like that. But with a long-term goal in mind of this is going to be better for the brand better for the longterm. And I think in today's world with just the social media and cancel culture and everything, you can't make one mistake. Otherwise people are gonna blast you on social media, that's where we have omni channel right now. We can track social media to fix those when they come up. So we talked a lot about how we've all been a customer, right? Like, and last time Aarde and I talked about what's been a great customer experience we've had, and I'll put that on you what's a great company that you've worked with a good example, not a bad one where you've been wowed by their service and impressed by how they've treated you as an end-user. If you can think of one right away,

Dave Recktenwald (32:32):

You know, it's across the board. Gosh, I hate to use the Amazon example, but I'm all about, so there's a book. So if you've ever read the challenger sale, which is a book that a lot of sales people read, I think the third book in that series called the effortless experience. And it's all about just make it super easy for your customer. And, you know, the Amazon examples, the first thing that pops in my mind, it's so easy to buy from Amazon. It's so easy to return to Amazon. I'm not a huge fan of a super mega corporation, but there you go.

Alex McBratney (Host) (33:06):

They're not a sponsor of this podcast.

Dave Recktenwald (33:09):

That's a great book, by the way. There's three in the series, I think, starts with the challenger sale. Then there's a customer one that does the effortless experience. Anyway, it's just so easy to do business with Amazon. That's why they're taking over the world. I mean, I don't have to waste moments in my day worrying about anything. If I have to do a return, it's two mouse clicks, right. And me as a customer, that's what I want. I want easy. I might not get the personal touch. I'm a pretty good researcher online anyway so that works for well, for me. I'm trying to think of any other, a different sties or maybe not a huge corporation that I've given a great customer experience. ,

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(33:50):

And while you're thinking about it, shameless plug in my book, I talk about the frictionless experience.

Alex McBratney (Host) (33:58):

Friction, not copyrighted?

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(34:02):

Not copywritten. I did actually ask Matthew Dixon who was the author of effortless experience. If I could use that term and he signed off on it, but a frictionless experience and I reference, effortless experience a bunch in my book. And if you ever want a copy, reach out to me or Alex, we've got probably more copies than we could possibly know what to do with in our copy.

Dave Recktenwald (34:25):

I'll take a copy.

Alex McBratney (Host) (34:26):

There you go. We'll deliver it when we go to lazy dog full circle.

Alex McBratney (Host) (34:34):

That's the best experience for me.

Alex McBratney (Host) (34:37):

Yeah. I think you're absolutely right. It comes down to making it easy. I'd say probably the next one is easy and simple and then just do a quick do what's right, right? And that'll solve most 95% of any customer frustration is do what's right. And make it easy. Right.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(34:58):

I think we've changed our culture over the years. We're now in this Amazon culture where we want it immediately and fast and quick and free shipping and to our door the next day. And we expect that of other things other than physical products to our front door, we expect that, we don't want to have to wait on hold, or we don't want to have to talk to an agent for 20 minutes to solve a problem. We just want 10 minutes. We want two minutes. We want to just go faster and faster. And it's getting to a point where it's hard for contact centers to deliver that level of expectation, first service, without going to the cloud, without having these amazing platforms to build upon to make sure that you have good C-SAT scores and you have agent engagement and they're not getting burnt out because they're having, you know, 35 calls that are three minutes long, as opposed to 10 years ago, they had maybe 10 calls that were an hour long each, you know, it's a different culture and we have to adapt to it. And I think it's, it's changing a lot. We'll see what the next couple of years brings, but the expectation of customers is immediate fast and hopefully free that's what we're all looking for.

Dave Recktenwald (36:20):

And one of the big terms that we're using a lot at Genesys lately is personalization. So we see that, that's kind of the next evolution, right? I mean, the expectation, like you said already, that if another company can do it and they know who I am, and they can treat me as a person and not just as a random inbound call, why can't everyone do it? Right? And so the cloud is enabling that, but I think that's definitely what you're going to see across all industries is a personalized experience. We're starting to use the term experience as a service, you know, just cause that's really where it's headed, too. Cause it's not really just the contact center anymore. It's any way that you would interact with a company and trying to make that experience as seamless, as efficient, as personalized as possible. And that's not just through one piece of technology, right. And that's kind of, to a point Alex made earlier, it's the power of the cloud. You've got this ecosystem. Every business is going to have nine different cloud products to accomplish their goal, but weaving them together to present that personalized experience. That's really where I see it headed.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(37:22):

Yeah. I remember the last time I went flying, which was actually not too long ago, but it was during the pandemic. And, we were talking to the in-laws and right before the flight and my in-laws said, how are you going to get your boarding pass? How are you going to get your ticket? Because no other workers there. And I had to think to myself, I was like, Oh, I don't remember the last time I got a physical paper, airplane ticket. It used to be that. And then it migrated to the kiosk, which was great. And then now it's just check in on your phone and now it's not even checking on your phone. Like I get a text message. All I have to do is reply. Yes. And then I get the boarding pass on my watch. Like I it's like getting easier and easier by, I don't even know what the month. The experiences that we're getting, it's things are just rapidly growing. And if you said it best, if your competitor can do it and are starting to do it, you should look into it because you don't want to be left in the dust. You don't want to be that, cheap airline that still forces people to go to a kiosk and they have to show their passport and, get a physical printed out paper ticket that the person will lose three times before they board the plane.

Alex McBratney (Host) (38:38):

Yeah. And what used to be (like Spirit Air?), it used to be just enterprise could afford those technologies to get that type of experience what the mid market and even SMB is missing out on is that it is all available to them, too. They just have to get out there, look into it, research it and take that crawl, walk, run approach to blowing by their competition because of the experience that they can provide their customers. And it's there. No more are the days where, Oh man, like, well, Delta can do that or AT&T can do that. Or whomever now it's like, Oh, we can do that, too. Right. And there's support systems around them to do that. Dave, I'm glad we had a chance to this and drink and have a little happy hour on a Thursday.

Dave Recktenwald (39:30):

Thanks for having me.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host)(39:32):

I wish we had like three hours long of a podcas cause I think you can pick your brain forever. This is a volume, one of five, maybe six. Such a pleasure to have you on, such a wealth of knowledge. You've been in the industry for, you know, forever and you've seen it migrate to the cloud. You've seen these buzzwords, you've seen it all. You've been on both sides, such a pleasure to have you on the podcast.

Dave Recktenwald (40:04):

Thanks for having me guys. I really appreciate it.

Alex McBratney (Host) (40:05):

Well, that wraps up our 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.