EXaaS FTW

Employee Experience as a Service for the Win!

According to 8×8 and a few cloud contact center vendors, the next phase for organizations to manage will be CX or Customer Experience. Some companies are adding CXaaS to their marketing; a few are trying to pivot to “experience as a service”. Vonage tried that with VBC. 8×8 is trying this with XCaaS, a mashup of UCaaS + CCaaS (+CPaaS) to get Experience as a service.

Most of call center functionality is built around making the employee (call center agent or customer service rep) as efficient as possible. In other words, handling as many calls as possible. It makes for an awful employee experience, IMO. Yet this is what WFM is for: “Workforce management (WFM) is an integrated set of processes that a company uses to optimize the productivity of its employees.” [source]

CXaaS is really the mashup of the unified communications platform (voice, video, messaging, presence) and the cloud contact center functions. Instead of buying two packages, this would be about providing the needed functionality to the customer org from the vendor’s platform. Single Call Resolution requires the whole org be on a single communications platform. This means that the UC has to be integrated with CCC – and every employee gets the functionality that they need. This is easier on a meshed platform from a single vendor. It allows for better performance, easier management, one throat to choke and single source to secure.

Not all contact center software sales are to a call center. Departments can have a need for some call center features. When I wrote my book on selling cloud services I explained that selling functions to each employee would add value to the sale. Maybe the three people in account payable could benefit from their own auto attendant or call queue or reporting. Not just the tech support reps need the call center licenses, right?

Small business would like omni-channel messaging for Facebook, SMS and chat mixed with a little bit of AI to handle the FAQs. Maybe an IVR overlay. These are all CCaaS features but can be sold to small business for business process improvement. It can be sold to departments for the same thing. We need more use cases per vertical – how did CCaaS help a jewelry store increase sales? How did omni-channel help a dry cleaner get more repeat business? Specific use cases in order to make these features concrete.

This means that the channel partner has to ask about departments and employee duties just like you have to ask if they need a lobby phone or a receptionist’s office. The partner will need to map functions to technology and tie it back to improvement in business processes of the org. This means we are looking for Employee Experience (EX). We want to leverage the CCaaS technology to improve how many employees – not just the call center agents – perform their jobs.

It is about how customers and employees interact with each other and with the brand. Tom Peters says How you treat your employees matters. Happy Employees make Happy Customers.

The functionality of cloud contact center can be used to monitor employees working from home. It can also be used by managers to check on employee engagement (sentiment). The investment in AI, ML, transcription and more can turn the org into Big Brother, but smart(er) management would just leverage the technology to keep employees engaged and collaborative. The reporting is a way for managers to coach employees up. (This requires perhaps better managers than we have today since no quits the job – they quit the manager.)

In hybrid or work from anywhere scenarios, engaging employees will promote culture and innovation. There are studies that prove it. Employees worry that out of sight is out of mind — promotions, raises, etc. will not happen in a remote work scenario. Can technology solve that?

How can new employees meet and share with other employees in other departments? The most effective channel managers have a rolodex of employees to get stuff done for partners – from billing errors, to expedites, to compensation. How would a new remote employee interface with other employees in the org? Can tech help with this? I have seen a contact center feature that looks like Rapportive in Gmail. Rapportive (before is was acquired by LinkedIn and canned) allowed a user in Gmail to see social media profiles of contacts inside the mail program. What platform today adds this ability to Presence or LDAP or Contacts or as a pop-up? Imagine knowing more about people calling you or messaging you?

There will be software that is targeted primarily at call centers. But many orgs will leverage AI and WFM from the cloud contact center for employee experience outside the call center. Done right instead of Big Brother, we have effective coaching from managers and a better employee experience, which leads to a better customer experience.

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