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The customer experience space is alive with entrepreneurs — bright minds who’ve spotted a gap in the market and come up with a disruptive play or mind-blowing product. Sadly, many of those ideas never see the light of day. Often, the latest and greatest technology enablers are perceived as too expensive and only available to organizations with deep pockets.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The story of US-based start-up, Activus Connect, is a great example of how entrepreneurial spirit can win.
Building a One-of-a-Kind Business
Felix Serrano, Co-Founder and CEO of Activus wanted to create a different kind of business — a coast-to-coast customer experience provider, not a classical BPO. He wanted it to be a company that’s intensely focused on doing human customer experience better, helping clients drive brand loyalty and deeper relationships through unparalleled customer insight. He wanted to employ, life-experienced professionals and call them “Ambassadors,” instead of agents. And he wanted to provide living-wage jobs at above-market rates that enabled Activus Ambassadors to work securely from the comfort of their home.
Making all that happen meant getting the right cloud contact center — not just for rapid scaling, but also to balance the books. And that required a capex-light, consumption-based solution that protected the business against technology obsolescence.
Serrano thought Genesys customer experience technology was out of his budget range and was close to choosing another supplier when a chance meeting with Genesys executives brought the PureCloud® application to the table. The PureCloud app ticked all the obvious boxes: omnichannel desktop, skills-based routing, reporting and workforce management. And the added attraction of the AppFoundry Marketplace as well as painless integration with CustomerView big data analytics sealed the deal.
However, that’s only a prelude to the story. The really interesting part is what else Serrano and the folks at Activus have done with the PureCloud customer experience product.
Marrying Innovation and Human Experiences
At Activus, everything is set up to ensure people come first. Firmly bucking the trend of male-dominated techs, Activus is run as an ethnically diverse business and has no trouble recruiting employees. Soon, it’ll reach 150 ambassadors, many of whom are in their 40s and would never have considered working in a brick-and-mortar call center. In addition to employee freedoms, the company hands back 10% of profits to charities and community projects each month.
Behind the scenes, artificial intelligence (AI) behavioral analytics constantly monitor for brand sentiment, quality and buying signals across voice, messaging, web and social media channels. The same intelligent approach is applied internally, using AI to measure and model top ambassador performances. Coaching is delivered on-the-fly, via video calls or self-serve drop packs. It’s all about attention to detail. Supervisors want to make sure ambassadors have the right pitch, that they’re correctly opening and closing conversations, and that they identify small adjustments that have the biggest effect.
Combining external and internal human elements enables Activus to take customer service and customer experience management to new heights.
It’s hard to believe this brilliant business venture almost didn’t happen. There’s a lesson here: Don’t ever feel that you have to compromise. Enterprise-grade technology is available — and it’s closer than you think.
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