Specialists Weigh In on Customer-Support Concerns

Call center

CHANNEL PARTNERS EVOLUTION — Top specialists on Monday discussed how best to address startup Acme Connected Apparel’s (ACA) customer-support questions regarding phone support, e-commerce and social media management.

The Channel Partners Evolution keynote panel discussion, titled “Customer Support in a Connected World,” was moderated by Jamie Zarate, executive director of cloud services at Richardson Consulting. Panelists included: Brian Crotty, COO of Broadview Networks; Ira Feuerstein, director of channel sales for Nextiva; Gary Testa, president of Star2Star Communications; Charles Cuggino, vice president of contact-center solutions for Fusion Connect; and Scott Kinka, CTO of Evolve IP.

Crotty said nobody’s running a business just to “save 10 percent on their telecom.”

“They want to increase revenue, decrease costs and decrease risk,” he said. “They want to increase flexibility. You need to understand what those are. We’ve got all these great tools, so gee, you could figure out how to get a faster average speed of answer, but it’s more about how can you get an employee to do more with the same amount you’re paying.”{ad}

If a business can get a salesperson to sell $1,000 per month versus $400 through the use of technology, “as an executive of a company, that’s where I’m going to make my money.”

“You have to be competitive, but it’s no longer about how do I save the biggest dollar amount, it’s about this technology meets my business needs better, and people will pay for that,” Crotty said.

Kinka said it’s important to start the contact-center conversation around what the contact center is trying to accomplish – such as controlling costs or booking business – and then which systems the business is using today to support those initiatives.

“Architect a solution around the applications that the business is driving today,” he said. “We have a tendency to think about calls when we think about contact centers … but what’s happening is that channel is becoming the add-on channel, not the center of the universe. The center of the universe is their business systems.”

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