In the latest instalment of our contact centre executive interview series, we spoke to Christoph Cyrol, Product Marketing Manager – Contact Centre at RingCentral about his company, industry opportunities, challenges, technology and Stranger Things…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
RingCentral delivers cloud-based CCaaS and UCaaS to provide fresh approaches for contact centres and customer engagement in businesses of any size. Our solutions are tightly integrated, making it easier for companies to increase agent performance and enhance the customer experience across all interactions and throughout the entire organisation. RingCentral provides an open platform that integrates with today’s leading business apps while giving contact centres the flexibility to customise their own workflows.
The RingCentral product portfolio, comprising Contact Centre, Engage Digital and RingCentral Office, offers a market-leading business communications and collaboration platform for organisations that wish to compete in the 21st century.
What have been the biggest challenges the Contact Centre/Customer Services industry has faced over the past 12 months?
The sudden pandemic outbreak with most organisations trying to enable their workforce to work from home. Before that, we realised that delivering consistently high levels of customer experience (CX) across multiple communication channels is one of the biggest challenges for most of the existing contact centres. Digital channels here are really important as they have shown a very strong rise in popularity among the customer base, so businesses need to meet the expectations of customers to communicate on these channels.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
Cloud contact centres: To improve customer experience (CX) by improving employee experience (EX) with the support of providing a fully integrated contact centre solution to agents. This integration allows agents to simplify their daily workflow, which results in shorter average handling times (AHT). Adopting a cloud-based platform provides the immediate opportunity to move the contact centre operation from office to home and enables remote working as the new norm.
What is the biggest priority for the Contact Centre/Customer Services industry in 2020?
Many industries and organisations might struggle right now and their main focus is to stay open and online and continue to meet customer expectations. This will be followed by analysing existing business continuity plans and how they can improve them moving forward. All this will become a regular process across the industry.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2020?
I see a strong trend of using additional digital communication channels (Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc.), in-app messaging (iOS® and AndroidTM) and social media (Facebook®, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Working on business continuity improvement plans for contact centres is another trend I predict when we all get back into the office.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?
Integrations with the most valuable business application; often this would be the CRM solution. It clearly delivers day-to-day advantages for ever-busy agents. On the other side, cloud solutions are great to improve and simplify any required analysing and reporting tasks for contact centres. This can be achieved as cloud solutions break up the data silos that still exist in many of today’s contact centres.
In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?
How we all used to be in a call centre running separate data silos and now we are all connected anywhere.
Which person in, or associated with, the Contact Centre/Customer Services industry would you most like to meet?
The day-to-day heroes, passionate in keeping each contact centre operation up and running.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Contact Centre/Customer Services sector?
That almost 4% of the working population in the UK is in this industry.
You go to the bar at the Contact Centre Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?
Argentinian Malbec after 18:00.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
I love the action and variety. Things are moving fast, and it’s thrilling to help push contact centre technology forward. Every day is different, bringing new challenges and opportunities, and that’s what keeps the work fresh and fascinating.
And what’s the most challenging?
The scale and speed requires focus to keep on top of. I’m involved with a number of fast-moving projects that require a lot of attention during the workday, so I need to prioritise, focus and deliver at speed. It’s demanding and exhilarating in equal measure.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you get stuck. A problem shared is a problem halved, and asking for advice is a good way to start building relationships.
Succession or Stranger Things?