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Five9 - Blog

The Force is Strong at Five9

No, Five9 doesn’t have a bunch of Jedi or Sith Lords running around the office. But, in honor of Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you), I wanted to share the cultural impact I’ve experienced with Star Wars and Five9 employees, adding to the fun work environment.

At our old Five9 headquarters, there was a section of the office called the “dark side.” The name of that section of cubicles derived from the fact that the office lights were turned off during the majority of office hours. And, only lights from the computer screens and individual desk lamps provided illumination. To lighten up the spirits of the office, (pun intended) a longtime employee (still with us today), decided to give all the Support Engineers in the “dark side” a Darth Vader mask, embracing the way of the Sith. This was all before Star Wars Day was even a thing. I would say that was just the beginning of camaraderie you find at Five9.

Today we have many employees at the current headquarters that are Star Wars aficionados. We left our “dark side” behind us at the old office. We have an employee that owns an actual Storm Trooper suit, and others owning models of Millennium Falcons and Tie Fighters. We even have an employee with a recent birthday that received a Death Star/X-Wing Balloon.

You can’t put a price on having co-workers that you enjoy working with and also coming together by having many things in common like Star Wars. The force is strong at Five9, may the force be with you!


Publish Date: May 4, 2017

My Highlights from Oracle Modern CX 2017 – This Year Vs. Last Year

Gartner has researched CEO’s around the world to find out “What are your top technology investment areas?” One of the top results was Customer Experience Management. In fact, Des Cahill, Head CX Evangelist at Oracle, mentioned he’s seen over 4,500 companies around the globe have appointed a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) reporting directly to the CEO. The importance of customer experience for a business and many other digital transformation topics were discussed last week while I was at Oracle Modern Customer Experience (CX) Conference.

What a difference a year makes, last year I was at this very same conference and it’s always meaningful to network with peers, learn from prospects, connect with customers, and collaborate with our Oracle partners. Last year I attended Mark Hurd’s keynote, the CEO of Oracle, and it was great to hear his focus on customer experience directly aligns with Five9’s perspective on modern consumers and customer loyalty. This year my experience with Oracle’s CEO was much different. The Five9 team networking with Mark Hurd at dinner during the conference was one for the books. Talk about the ultimate customer experience, not much tops that.

A few other highlights from this conference was seeing the relationship liftoff since last year’s same Modern CX conference. For example, last year my team and I met with prospects at the booth, and over dinner at the many networking events. This year, my team had two of the prospects we met last year (Lululemon and Booker Software) and now Five9 customers, speak on our behalf at the conference. Another example, last year I was introduced to many Oracle SI and ISV partners and discussed how Five9 can team with them to help customers with their CX challenges. This year, we actually held joint customer meetings and events with many of these partners including Directly, OpenMethods, AmberLeaf, Helix, ApexIT, Infolexa, and Eventus. Lastly, last year I met many Oracle reps, sales management, product management, Service Cloud Executives. While this year I met all the same and more (see the picture of Mark Hurd with Five9 and Lululemon above).

It’s great getting the CEO to engage with your customers and truly address their CX challenges. Mark truly has a focus on our customers!


Publish Date: May 2, 2017

Could Congress Force Call Centers to Stay in The US?

Last month, Congress reintroduced a bill that could deter certain companies from sending call center jobs over seas.

The United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act of 2017 would make certain offshoring call center companies ineligible for grants or guaranteed loans from the government.

If the bill is accepted, it will require companies to to notify the Department of Labor at least 120 days before relocating outside the United States. Those who don’t will be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 per day. Once a company is blacklisted by the Department of Labor, they will remain on the list for up to three years after each relocation and remain ineligible for federal grants or federal guaranteed loans for five years. Furthermore, the bill will require offshore contact center agents to disclose their physical location to customers and offer the option to transfer to a U.S. based representative.

If you are expanding overseas, plan on relocating your current contact center, or currently have offshore contact centers this bill could impact your growth, finances and general practices. It’s important that you take notice now and prepare for the worst.

The structure of your contact center, your overall strategy and infrastructure will dictate the impact of this and future policies. Globalization continually faces off with nationalism, and the political rules and regulations may create about-face reactions from companies. It’s easy to get caught off guard.

Cloud contact centers have a clear advantage in the crossfire of this policy war. On-premise contact centers aren’t just relocating employees when they move locations; they have hardware and software baggage as well as carrier agreements to consider.

In a volatile process of up- and down-scaling contact centers internationally, cloud companies have the benefit of adding and removing agents at will. They can restructure their routing systems to accommodate new policy and deploy broadly without many boots on the ground. Cloud contact centers give companies the ability to shift resources and manage from a single, universal dashboard. It’s just one more strong case for enterprise companies to consider cloud contact centers.

Outbound call centers will remain under-fire for selling across borders. Too many scams and black hat call centers overseas have bled into U.S. territory. Similarly, inbound call centers are embroiled in controversy around lack of “local” and “informed” support. It has taxed American patience, and congress has taken notice.

The U.S. Call Center and Consumer Protection Act isn’t a sure thing, but this isn’t the first time it’s been proposed, and lawmakers on both sides of the table have made it clear that they plan to crack down on offshoring. Companies with a clear and dynamic strategy, flexible contact center infrastructure and smart management systems will have a significant advantage if this bill passes.


Publish Date: April 4, 2017

3 Reasons Why Customers Choose Five9, In Their Words

It starts with a vision. For Five9 our vision is “great customer experiences every time.” Every day our employees around the world focus on this vision and every action is based on our customers.

While it’s good to feel like we are doing a great job taking care of our customers, the true validation is how our customers feel we are doing. We recently noticed many Five9 customers posting product reviews on a website called Trustpilot. After analyzing the reviews we found some trends. The top three trends found from these reviews are:

  1. Customer Service/Support
  • “Their support is the best support I’ve experienced across any company.”
  • “Five9 support staff is like none I have ever worked with. Professional enough to pass you off to more advanced staff when needed, and personal enough to attach themselves to you until the problem is solved.”
  • “What is really unique about Five9 is their customer support.”
  1. Product
  • “This product has changed our call center completely.”
  • “Great Product, great service, great leaders.”
  • “Excellent product with relatively easy to set up and use. Would recommend anytime!”
  1. Reliable
  • “Five9 is very reliable. Overall, Five9 is a great platform for your Sales and Customer Support needs.”
  • “I’ve used other calling software programs and none of them come even close to Five9’s features,reliability, and smooth integration.”
  • “Helped implement several different dialers over the years and Five9 is the go to for a solid and usable experience.”

Click here to see more Five9 reviews on Trustpilot or to leave your own review.


Publish Date: March 29, 2017

Real-Time Resolution for the Modern Contact Center

Do you respect your customers’ time? When it comes to customer service and customer engagement, does your contact center deploy technologies and solutions that reduce the time that customers wait on hold, speak with an agent, wait for a response, or get their issues resolved?

How can businesses provide a great customer engagement experience that lets customers know that they are truly valued and that their time is respected? We’ve been hearing about First Call Resolution (FCR) for several years, but how about taking that one step further to “Real Time Resolution?” On Wednesday March 29 at 3:00, I’ll be at the Five9 booth at Enterprise Connect talking about ways to achieve Real-Time Resolution, notably:

  • Enabling agents to quickly and effectively identify and reach out to subject matter experts (SMEs) in order to respond to customers’ inquiries while the customer is still on the line, and even have the SME speak with the customer directly;
  • Proactively assisting the customer while they’re browsing your website through Web Engagement.

Moving to Real-Time Resolution Using Subject Matter Experts

In most cases, contact center agents have the information and knowledge they need to provide an answer or resolve an issue when a customer calls or contacts them. However, over 10% of all telephone inquiries handled by contact center agents require some sort of assistance from subject matter experts in various parts of the organization. For example, an agent may need to reach out to a product specialist to answer a technical question about a product, or to someone in marketing about a new promotion. Generally, when the agent doesn’t have the information they need, they either put the customer on hold or tell the customer that they’ll call them back after they get the information, in which time the customer may go to a competitor instead. The result is lengthy calls and multiple customer interactions, which can be costly to the organization.

Today, with the use of UC tools like presence and IM, when an agent needs to get additional information in order to answer a customer’s question, they can use presence to see which subject matter experts are available, and send an IM to ask an available expert for information while on the call with the customer.

This is made possible when contact center solutions are integrated with UC solutions. For example, by integrating Five9’s Virtual Contact Center with Microsoft Skype for Business, contact center agents can identify and connect with the necessary experts to answer customers’ questions in real time while the customer is still on the line.

Moving to Real-Time Resolution Using Web Engagement

These days, if a customer or consumer has a question, needs support, or wants to purchase something, they begin their journey on a company’s website. Companies can turn these experiences into real-time interactions resulting in real-time resolution with the use of web engagement, omnichannel, and customer journey analytics tools. Using tools that gather and analyze a customer’s activity as they browse a company’s website, the agent can view the customer’s activity on their screen in real time as the customer moves from page to page and proactively reach out to the customer to initiate a chat interaction. Proactively reaching out to the customer, saves the customer time searching for information, providing real-time resolution. In addition, it prevents the customer from having to call in to the contact center, which is more costly to the organization.

Respecting Your Customers’ Time While Making Your Customers Happier Faster

Your customers’ time is valuable, and serving your customers more quickly and effectively through the use of subject matter experts and proactive web engagement will lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as increased sales and revenues. Why settle for first contact resolution when you can have real time resolution?

Come to Five9’s booth at Enterprise Connect on Wednesday, March 29 at 3:00 to hear more about ways to achieve Real-Time Resolution.


Publish Date: March 27, 2017

Customer Journeys Have a Starting Point, But Not an Ending Point

Netflix users, don’t you love when you sign on to your account and see a list of suggested shows to watch?

For me, the shows are always right in line with what I enjoy watching. After several years as a Netflix account holder, it’s safe to say that Netflix knows me, and I’m a loyal customer. They have done an excellent job creating a positive customer journey to ensure my brand loyalty. Netflix has a constant and continuous relationship with me as a customer. What drives our relationship? Great analytics and a seamless customer journey.

A positive customer journey is what we all work towards – both customer and company. And customers both actively and passively hint at what their ideal journey looks like. In order to craft the perfect journey, businesses need to see all the ways customers are communicating their wants and interests. With the right contact center software, business can track when a customer is interacting with their brand. Customer journey tools can alert companies as to the best way to steer the customer and help guide them through the journey.

To successfully map a customer journey, companies need to have full transparency, starting with a customer’s initial interaction on the website. Companies need analytics that drill into all the nuanced actions a customer takes with indicators of when and where it’s important for the company to step in. Once a company has complete visibility of what customers are doing, they can use proactive outreach, and step-in in a relevant way, so that the customer feels welcome.

It’s not easy. Customers often don’t just linearly move through one channel when interacting with a company. They may call, email, text, chat, tweet or interact with a brand in numerous other ways. Customer journey tools must stitch together all these highly relevant touch points for a full understanding of the customer wants.

Why? Analytics fuel recommendations and become better prediction engines when they have all the data.

Without all the pieces, a company can’t see the full picture and their recommendation engine becomes flawed. The more data a company collects across channels, the easier they can recognize choke points and purchase obstacles.

Remember: Customer journeys have a starting point, but not an ending point. Good relationships require constant management, and that starts the moment a customer begins research on your website, and continues to influence their journey throughout their lifecycle.

To learn more about customer journey management, I will be speaking on this topic during a panel session at Enterprise Connect on March 29th at 1pm. The panel is being lead by Frost & Sullivan’s Melanie Turek, and I will join other industry thought leaders to answer key questions such as:

  • How are contact center vendors and their clients handling analytics?
  • What measurable results have companies deploying customer journey software seen?
  • How easy is it to embed customer journey management solutions into an existing deployment?

I’m looking forward to discussing this topic with other industry leaders and learn from their take on experience with customer journey management in contact centers.


Publish Date: March 27, 2017

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