I recently had the privilege to interview Nick Newsom, the CEO of Ytel. We had a great discussion which examines many of the most important issues for contact centers these days.
In the interview below, Nick shares his thoughts on a wide range of contact center topics- how to handle cloud migration, the challenges of training agents, and the importance of allowing your customers to succeed.
I would like to thank Nick for his insight.
I welcome comments and further discussion in the section below.
CXperience: Please tell us about yourself and your role at Ytel.
Nick Newsom: Hello. I’m an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in software development, telecommunications, and customer service. I’m the CEO and Founder of Ytel, Inc.
I started our company five years ago because I was not happy with the products and customer service from my telephone carrier. The solution was simple. We started our own, made a great product, and paired it with awesome customer service. There are a lot of items I deal with on a day-to-day basis but one thing you can find me touching daily is our customer service system.
CX: What challenges have you seen most frequently in today’s contact center? Accessibility? Mobility and Responding across multiple channels? Or something more basic like quality of sound or connection speed to a newly available agent? Or maybe others?
Nick: A mixture of all of the above.
Years ago contact centers were “moving to the cloud” and many have now done so.
Today our customers are coming to us asking for best practices when engaging a new channel (like social media or text messaging) or they are seeking technical advice to deeply integrate a backend system or new CRM.
CX: Related to those challenges, what are the benefits of a “cloud contact center?” How does Ytel’s platform specifically help to overcome some of these challenges?
Nick: Well there are two answers.
The marketing guys will tell you that our platform can scale from 5 agents to over 1,000 in a moments notice, that you can connect our system with your favorite CRM, or that you can automate your marketing campaigns.
But my answer is a little different.
I think it is more about finding a company to partner with.
At the core of Ytel’s offering is a very dedicated team that puts the customer first. For example, walk into my office and you will see a monitor with 6 boxes. In these boxes are formulas we have developed to gauge how happy our customers are. My team and I monitor these numbers every day to make sure we meet our customers’ expectations. These expectations of course range from quick customer service to custom programming but nonetheless, we monitor customer satisfaction very closely.
CX: What about from the internal side, specifically training. Contact centers have very high turnover, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time training agents, you want them to go up to speed quickly. Have you found that a cloud platform like yours allows for faster training? And – from customer feedback – is it an easy software to onboard new agents on?
Nick: The answer is yes. Contact centers want technology that just works and it needs to be easy to use. It’s been our job to figure out all the technical details and wrap that up into a single package for customers to use. Most recently, we spent a year revamping our cloud contact center into X5 (our newest version).
As you can see it is simple to understand and uses best practices in web design. All the technical issues are handled by us and we simply deliver a web site for agents to login to. Training takes 30 minutes or less and very little involvement from management. It’s literally as easy as agents logging in, making a few test calls, and off to the races.
CX: Furthermore, beyond the initial training process, how does the platform adapt to each team’s needs? One benefit of cloud platforms is often a high level of customization. Can you explain maybe a scenario in which a customer service managers, or a sales manager, can tweak the platform to fit his/her team’s objectives?
Nick: I agree at a high level.
Most cloud systems have good reporting and allow you to configure the system from a web based interface. But I disagree when it comes to a “high level of customization.” Most cloud systems in our market put you on the same system with every other customer. Whatever you can do in the web interface is all you can do. That is where I know we are different. We allow our customers to think outside the box and work directly with our engineers to customize the actual code “for their system” to implement new ideas.
CX: You are in a competitive market that is constantly growing. What do you think most differentiates yourself from your competition?
Nick: Over the years we have aligned our organization around two missions… Provide the best customer service possible and create amazing contact center software. As a result, we have a shared goal with our customers.
When they succeed, we succeed.
In an industry with a lot of turnover; providing a product that cost efficient, easy to deploy, and train your workforce is invaluable. Few competitors own 100% of their network allowing us to have more unique offerings beneficial to customers.
CX: Any SaaS company like yourself has to also provide your own customer with a satisfactory and seamless customer experience. How does Ytel use WalkMe to enhance the customer experience?
Nick: The biggest impact for Ytel when using the WalkMe technology is the ability to “walk” the customer towards a solution. Unlike other forms of on-line help, with Walkme our customers are both learning and doing at the same time.
Go here, click this, how many agents do you want to receive these calls, submit, done.