Nextiva, Broadview Networks Make the Case for Customer Support

Call center

Lynn HaberThere’s no looking back when it comes to the customer support offered by today’s digital businesses. Whether or not you think you’re a digital business – you are – because customers demand it. That’s why in the retail sector, the customer experience must be consistent and convenient and retail companies must select customer-support solutions that provide what they need on the back end and customers demand on the front end.

Customer service and support operations sit at the core of customer satisfaction. Siloed support solutions won’t cut it; integrated solution suites will.

Nextiva's Ira FeuersteinIn a keynote session – Customer Support in a Connected World – at Channel Partners Evolution, August 14-17 in Washington, D.C. – several panelists will make their case for provisioning the best customer-support solution for a startup challenged by growing customer-support issues.

We caught up with two panelists – Ira Feuerstein, director, channel sales at Nextiva, and Brian Crotty, chief operating officer with Broadview Networks, to understand the challenges companies face when it comes to selecting customer-support solutions and benefits to implementing the right solution. Other session guests include: moderator Jamie Zarate, executive director, cloud services at Richardson Communications and Consulting; Scott Kinka, chief technology officer at Evolve IP; Gary Testa, president of Star2Star Communications; and Charles Cuggino, vice president, contact-center solutions, at Fusion Connect.

Channel Partners: Why is customer support such an important topic today and is it a premier issue for companies of all sizes?{ad}

Ira Feuerstein: Customer support is one of the biggest issues companies face on a daily basis. In today’s day and age, if a customer has a bad experience, that experience can be broadcast on multiple channels in a matter of minutes. It can be heard by hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Additionally, customer reviews are now a huge part of the research and buying process, and most reviews are heavily influenced by the amount of support and level of customer service they received from the provider. 

Brian CrottyThe need for better call-center solutions has never been more essential for businesses of all sizes, in all verticals. Understanding how quickly calls are answered, how many customers or potential customers are waiting in a queue, and routing calls to representatives with particular skill sets is essential to ensure that those customers are getting the best customer-service experience every time they call in because one bad experience can have an exponential effect. 

CP: Why would partners be interested in the customer-support session?

Brian Crotty: They’ll learn everything they need to know about selling and supporting unified communications solutions to accelerate their revenue and …


… differentiate their business. That includes how to harness business drivers to drive new revenue and plan for long-term UC business growth including building long-term relationships with their clients.

IF: The world of unified communications is rapidly evolving, and in order to stay current on the trends and direction the industry is going, partners need to attend this session. Businesses of all sizes are moving toward a more mobile workforce and customer service is key. There are many options when it comes to hosted communications solutions, including call center solutions, mobile applications, and connecting multiple locations and remote employees into one system. Our goal is to provide clarity on [which] solutions will work best for businesses as the need to adapt to the millennial workforce arises. 

CP: What are some challenges that companies face when it comes to customer-support systems?

BC: Three key challenges: getting a real ROI of a switch system; employees moving locations around offices; and security.

Most customers do not get the benefits of moving to a cloud phone system right away because features are not easily deployed or used by the customer. So, for example, we make an ongoing commitment that allows customers to realize a return on the investment of moving to a new UC system more quickly.

For customers ready for cloud, moving offices, between offices or throughout an office is easy when everything is stored 100 percent in the cloud. With Broadview’s OfficeSuite UC platform, the employees’ individual user profiles including their designated phone number, extension, contacts, voice mail and speed dials follow them with any device they log into, allowing phones and workspaces to be shared interchangeably. This offers the ability to save on equipment costs while keeping productivity high. Just sit down, at any desk, in any city and login.

When it comes to security, we address how our solution relies on SilNet, not SIP or any open-source protocols. Data is transported and secured using government level encryption, so nothing is vulnerable to hackers or worse, competitors.

IF: Another challenge to address, as well as lessons learned, has to do with migrating business of all sizes to the cloud.

CP: What about best practices?

BC: We address best practices for partners around learning how to leverage UC differentiators to help close deals faster, stay competitive and ensure an excellent customer experience for clients by empowering them to increase sales, deliver better and faster, track payouts, manager the customer base and grow their business.

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