For a long time, performance evaluation in customer experience has facilitated a race to the bottom. For both industry and customers, the results haven’t been pretty.
But things are changing fast, riding on big data and software innovation. Voice, AI, and predictive technology continue to unleash new value with lower and lower overhead. Machine learning promises to keep cutting costs and deliver better user experiences over time.
Released this year, Nextiva’s NextOS is one program that tangibly capitalizes on these tools. The all-in-one business communications platform offers a way to align your team, keep customers happy, and make sense of the piles of data your business is accumulating every day.
NextOS promises to bring quality into call centers, as well as all customer experience points across the web. By measuring, tracking, and even predicting customer sentiment, the platform is geared to meet the steely demands faced in the “era of the customer.”
Empowering consumers, and sales reps too, in the era of the customer
In the 1990s, most ginormous corporations began outsourcing their call centers globally. It was way cheaper, so it made sense from a free market perspective. However, over time, this strategy took a wrecking ball to many a company’s reputation for customer service.
Let’s face it, it’s not exactly easy to stay ‘aligned’ cross-channels when you’re in a big office and/or working remotely. But delegating customer-facing tasks to teams far afield is a recipe for dysfunction if not handled with care.
That’s particularly true given that so many all-in-one, cloud-based digital tools like CRMs only reached maturity over the last decade. Like, can you even imagine how crappy cross-channel communication was with the software of the late 90s and early 2000s? Yikes.
Then there’s the general way many call centers have been run over the years.
The stereotypical ‘bad’ call center really is run by a slaughterhouse mentality. Forgive the grisly metaphor but really, there’s mainly only one objective: kill problems as fast as possible.
Team members are rewarded, and punished, according to an employee review system based on speed.
How many customers bought the product? how many customers did you convince not to cancel their plan, and how fast did you manage to do it? Time is money, foul peon!
In this system, a rep who handles a low volume of calls, but generates consistent customer happiness and satisfaction is not recognized as a high return-on-investment employee. Actually, they’re liable to be fired or at least de-incentivized to be ‘real’ via plummeting personal income from lack of commissions. Burnout for customers and reps is a built-in feature.
These days, customers are demanding better quality service. Businesses need to be able to deliver outstanding customer experience across email, chat, social media, and the good ‘ol telephone. Reps deserve a break too - they need tools that let them succeed in holistic terms, empowering them to do good work.
NextOS proposes to capitalize on this auspicious moment, using technical innovation to make customer service agile, affordable, and actually good.
Nextiva’s NextOS is the next big thing
Nextiva started in 2008 as a Voice-over-internet-protocol (VoiP) company. It was founded by Polish-born entrepreneur Tomas Gorny, who continues to be Nextiva’s CEO and driving creative force.
Over the past decade, Gorny’s company has become the industry leader in cloud-based business phone services, primarily through sales of the Nextiva Office platform.
The platform allows businesses to keep track of their clients in a single piece of software, accessible from any web-enabled device. Nextiva Office became a game changer by giving management and reps dramatically better visibility on what’s going on.
Today, they have about 150,000+ customers who run the gamut from very small to very large. Netflix and Delta Airlines are a couple notables. According to research by Deloitte, the company’s revenues grew a whopping 1,548% from 2009 to 2013. They’ve been growing steadily ever since.
Recently, they’ve pivoted from their VoiP roots to becoming a full-fledged software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, covering everything under the sun. With NextOS, they’ve really crossed the Rubicon.
The reason NextOS got made is, however, not so grandiose. It’s kind of funny, and very human.
Basically, Gorny looked around Nextiva and realized his company’s customer service was held together by a tangled mess of communications platforms. Ironically, the company that got huge making great, all-in-one business communications solutions was just getting by with an ad-hoc system.
Therefore, Nextiva developed NextOS as an in-house project, specifically designed to address the customer experience challenges the company faced as it scaled rapidly. Gorny quickly realized, however, that NextOS was a tool with universal benefits.
The platform offers everything you need in a one-stop shop. It integrates voice, chat, email marketing, and survey features with a full-fledged service CRM.
Machine learning and AI integrate into the fabric of NextOS. Advanced analytics use data to determine what you should do with a customer’s woes. For example, an intelligent automated workflow can send out an apology email to a dissatisfied customer, even schedule a later phone call follow-up.
A salesperson can track an individual customer’s interactions across channels and find out who’s most dissatisfied. Meaning it’s easier to prioritize call-backs to exploding volcano customers who are ready to walk, rather than the slightly miffed ones.
Voice analytics gives you visually-rich, actionable insights into your data. View incoming calls by region, check out call summary reports, and listen to individual voice calls. Even turn team’s sales into an ever-so-friendly competition with advanced gamification features.
In terms of visibility, the benefits of having all your information in one place become more and more apparent the longer you use NextOS. Redundancies are totally eliminated. Don’t experience that transcendentally awkward moment when your company calls a customer twice, about the same thing, ever again.
Overall, NextOS manages to make the act of running your business’s communications… strangely pleasant.
It’s easy to forget that working ‘on’ your business is just as important as working ‘in’ your business. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture in the daily grind.
NextOS makes this easier to do. It not only streamlines operations, it also empowers you to think about streamlining operations further. How meta is that?