Steve Bederman on The CX Leader Podcast.
In this podcast episode entitled “Get Comfortable Saying “Yes”” Steve Bederman of NobleBiz and host Steve Walker discuss the impact of call centers on customer experience and how contact center technology and culture can have a large impact on customer experience.
But how is call center technology adapted to accommodate customer experience? Well, I’m very happy to have my guest on this episode, Steve Biederman, president of NobleBiz, a contact center technology company providing world class voice services, cloud contact center, and omnichannel solutions. And he’s going to give us his view on how CX is integrated into the modern contact center. Steve, thanks so much for being a guest on The CX Leader Podcast.
Steve W.: So let’s talk a little bit about your services and what you do for call centers. What? And actually, I loved your comment earlier about it all comes back to customer service. This is one of the things I’ve always thought, you know, back in the, you know, early, early days before a mass marketing, almost all business was local. And everybody knew who they did business with, right? And then because we got so much choice and so much volume and so much mass marketing, it became, you know, personalized. And really what we’re trying to do today is to recapture some of that at scale. And that’s why some of these things are timeless, you know, and it’s important. But, you know, just talk a little bit about kind of the mission critical aspect of of, you know, leveraging technology in a in a modern call center today and how you guys do that?
Steve B: Well, you know, a call center can have anywhere from probably 25 agents to twenty five hundred or more agents. They’re usually in the same area. Well before the pre-pandemic most of them were sitting in buildings and in large spaces together. Today, many of those same agents are sitting at home but doing the same work because technology like ours allows it. So when when I began in this industry, we called what we built dialers, and these were ways for these large groups to call millions of phone numbers quickly and to make sure that every time an agent hung up the phone, they had another call in their ear and they were ready to talk. So you were trying to to change the the formula, which was when you were hand dialing, as I said I did in the seventies in a contact center, you were doing 100 dials in your shift. Now, and with that, you were hoping to get about twenty five contacts. Now, when dialers came into existence, that was allowing a single agent to have 40. contacts in an hour, not in a shift, but in an hour or more, so 40 potential quality conversations in that time. So things became automated and we built dialers, and today the difference is not much. The difference is this everything was done for call centers in voice, and today it’s done two different ways than it used to be done. And one is it’s in the cloud. So it’s just easier access, less cumbersome, much easier for a contact center to just not worry so much about the technology infrastructure and simply to worry about how do I do my communication and which is good because it gives them the ability to just think about their activities versus their back end. And then the other part is it allows for a wider range of communication tools. So instead of just voice today with our technology, we call ours, in fact, OmniPlus. It, it’s Facebook, it’s Telegram, it’s video and email and and chat. And and so the difference is you have these agent groups that, by the way, in the old days with the dialers, you’d have five hundred out of five hundred people doing voice connections. And today you you’ll have you can have five hundred doing voice connections. But choosing also to do chat, you can do these other things. And what the versatility of that allows is for the customer side to make the choice of how they want to communicate. You know, not everybody wants to do voice anymore. Not everybody likes an email. Some people just like doing it through Facebook. Some people do it through chat and other means, and a contact center said, essentially by the use of our technology, they’re saying, Look, I’m more interested in communicating with who I want to or need to communicate with, not communicating in the only way I know how. So they’re saying, let me do it the way the and the customer, the consumer knows how. So if they want to do it a different way, I’m able to do it for them. And it it’s an early stage for contact centers in how they’re figuring out how to use these robust media channels. But we’re there to help them and teach them and talk about the strategies.
Steve W.: Yeah, I’ll never forget it was probably it was before the pandemic. I want to say it was maybe summer of nineteen. I was touring a modern call center of a large cable operation, and they showed me an area where they were monitoring Twitter and they were responding and it just blew me away. But that that’s the kind of power that we’re talking about today.
Steve B. It is, but it’s even different today, Steve.
Steve W.: Well, I’m sure it is in two and a half years now, the COVID and everything.
Steve B.: Just in two and a half years, whereas what you were seeing in that organization was a group of people monitoring Twitter and other people on the phone. Today…
Steve W. :They’re doing it all.
Steve B. :…that one person can do the Twitter, do Facebook, do Telegram and do voice all at the same time.
Steve W.: Yeah. And you know, a lot of that’s just come from some of the innovative companies. I mean, when we’re used to using Uber and Amazon, you know, you pretty much want that kind of experience in everything you do.
Steve W. : How do you go about helping your clients and and your employees and and even your clients employees to make sure that they keep this spirit of service front and center?
Steve B.: Yeah. Well, and honestly, when I say culture, it’s a generic word and people all feel they have their great culture. But to me, it’s stating to your people every day, constantly in every meeting and every thing that you do, what your single core value is. A business. You know, often businesses state their 12 to 15 to 18 points of what their mission is, and you can read it on a form and say their mission is all these things. In my opinion, your mission is your core value, and your core values should be simple and easy to understand, such as at NobleBiz, a promise is a promise and we keep it.
Steve W.: Steve, we’ve come to that point in the program where I ask every guest to give us their take home value and this is your best tip or any idea that you might have for our listeners that they could actually take back to their office and implement and make sure that they are being better stewards of their customer focus in their organization so. Steve Bederman, what is your take home value today?
Steve B.: Steve, thanks for asking that because I think it’s the most critical piece of every business, every relationship in your life. And it’s this: get comfortable saying “yes.” Stop getting comfortable saying no. Businesses are often built around the idea of living within their their structure, and that means that you either fit in their structure or you don’t. And you know, in an applied way, you’re saying your organization. No, when you can’t say yes, and I’m saying to people building these businesses that that care about their client get used to saying yes, get used to the idea that there must be a way to do this well for the customer and to support them. So back to the original. Be uncomfortable saying no and get really comfortable saying yes.