Five9’s Genefa Murphy on the role of the contact center, IVAs and AI

Genefa Murphy is CMO of Five9 – a cloud-based contact center solution. I recently spoke with Genefa to learn more about their role, Five9, and the impact of AI on customer service.

Tell us about your role… what does a typical day look like?

Cutting-edge marketing offers the opportunity to address all aspects of business and technology, and as a CMO, no two days are alike. I can go from super tactical to strategic in a day and from data to design in a few hours.

I normally start my day very early in the morning to give myself time to reflect and tackle things that require more creative “free time”, like messaging or strategy, then at the start of morning meetings I will start to dive into a variety of Topics: How is the team doing against their goals and commitments to the business? What do the numbers look like? How is the budget? Where should we focus more or less? How do I get buy-in from our other business stakeholders for marketing projects and investments? – to name a few.

I can also say that every day, almost without fail, I get an email or notification from someone in the company who has a great “marketing idea”, and to be honest, I love it . It shows that people care about me, that they want to engage with me and my team and normally ideas can spark big thoughts from the collective group, and that makes us all better.

What do consumers want from a contact center (and how can brands deliver it effectively)?

Customers are using more engagement channels than they were before the pandemic. They interact with brands through more touchpoints and are much more comfortable with digital and self-service channels.

It often comes down to customer effort: how easy is it for customers to meet their needs? Can they resolve requests through self-service and their preferred digital channels? When live support is needed, are customers connected quickly and efficiently to the right agent? Any friction along the way causes dissatisfaction.

Consumers are more likely to engage with a brand if it provides personalized experiences. In the contact center, inbound and outbound communications can be much more relevant, effective and personal when it is clear that the company knows the history of customer interactions. For example, what products they have purchased or viewed, where they are, or what devices they like to use to interact with the brand.

To meet these expectations, companies must be able to accelerate and respond to change. It is one of the underlying drivers of adoption of cloud technologies, as it allows businesses to be agile.

What is the impact of AI on customer service? Are there big challenges and what are the benefits for the customer and the company?

Conversational AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated to enable customers to have more natural conversations with automated self-service applications. It can also help with routine tasks such as scheduling an appointment or checking the status of an order. We see many companies adopting intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) for self-service, replacing traditional systems that customers hate, and for digital self-service. Data captured during these automated interactions can be used to understand common customer questions or issues. Then, it can help improve self-service resources so customers can engage on their own terms and have their issues resolved quickly. In addition, this increased automation leads to significant cost savings and efficiency gains for businesses.

AI and machine learning can also be applied to real-time calls or chat transcripts. It can help the agent recommend a suggested action or next step during the interaction, or it can extract information or links that the agent needs to resolve the customer’s issue.

For these types of applications to work really well, the AI ​​models must be well trained on the organization’s unique terminology and data. Not every organization can hire a team of data scientists, so AI vendors need to find ways to make this process more convenient. For example, low-code/no-code development tools allow non-technical contact center employees to continuously improve their applications through more intuitive analytics and training.

Can you give me an example of a customer service or brand experience that has impressed you recently?

Oreo cookies. Oreo.com in the United States may create personalized Oreo cookies. It’s such a simple process, but it’s super interactive, super fun, and super easy. Also they had a really cool feature where I was building a custom cookie for a friend and got distracted by something, a few hours later I got a reminder in my inbox that I had some ” stuff” like a “stuffed” cookie in my cart with a quick link to go back and pick up my shopping experience where I left off. The email was personalized, relevant and context sensitive; I didn’t have to go back and retrace my steps. I could just click a button and go back in time.

What has been your biggest challenge at Five9?

I will say that I constantly have to remind myself to slow down. In marketing, you’re always thinking about what’s next, the next event, the next market trend, the next hype cycle, and the marketing tech stack is constantly evolving. So I have to constantly remind myself not to get too far ahead of myself and to give myself and my team time to reflect on what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and what we’re doing. want to do, to take the time to learn, adapt and apply these learnings .

I also think the old adage that someone has to hear your message seven to eight times before it resonates and acts, so in today’s fast-paced world it’s important not to flip-flop, just because as an internal team, you may be tired of hearing the same catchphrase, you have to remember for a client or a prospect, that this may be the first time that he hears it.

What’s next for Five9?

One initiative that really excites us is our new partnership with the PGA European World Tour Group. We are now the official software partner for the Tour’s Customer Contact Center and will work with the Tour Group to develop a world-class, AI-powered digital concierge service for players, corporate partners and fans. This partnership also gives us the opportunity to find new ways to communicate with our customers, partners and employees within the framework of live events.

Commercially, we anticipate continued strong growth in our contact center and artificial intelligence solutions for both the mid-market and high-end. Corporate clients are the fastest growing part of our business. We also anticipate continued strong adoption of our Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVAs) for AI-powered self-service, as our customers realize tangible improvements in customer satisfaction and agent productivity, combining the power of humans and technology to create what we call collaborative intelligence. . We invest in technology that allows customers to train AI models using their own data without the need for machine learning or AI expertise – just business expertise. Traditionally, this training process required machine learning experts who were hired under long and expensive consulting contracts. With our technology, these costs are reduced, opening up a greater market opportunity for AI in the contact center.

What advice would you give to someone in your industry?

Know your truth; represent something: a way of working, an approach, a point of view. Make it educated, informed, and grounded in real-world experience and use that experience and belief to drive you forward, and be bold about what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable or humble. These are not signs of weakness. They can be incredible assets when applied authentically.

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