Rebecca Gibson |
Founded in 2012 to help businesses maximise the value of time by reducing unnecessary dialogues, Anywhere365 has developed an award-winning cloud-based contact centre and dialogue management platform for the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.
Over the past decade, the business has expanded significantly and more than 2,000 global enterprises – including Coca Cola, McDonalds, Nestlé and over 30 Fortune 500 companies – have chosen Anywhere365 as their native communication platform. We ask new CEO Enrico Karsten to share his insights into the future of enterprise dialogue management.
Many businesses have introduced hybrid or fully remote working models since the pandemic, but what struggles have they faced when trying to ensure that communication remains quick and seamless?
Companies have faced serious technological challenges, suddenly needing to rely on internet connections outside of their control for both uptime and security. For many, however, the biggest hurdle was finding a way to keep people connected in the virtual world. They had to ensure that communications were not restricted by time, place or the type of channel, and they had to replicate the human factor to successfully execute dialogues between people and technology.
What impact has the pandemic had on customer service?
Pre-pandemic, customers were used to smooth interactions and fast services, but it’s been challenging for businesses to meet these expectations over the past two years. This, combined with the difficulties of keeping the workforce connected and motivated, has led to less satisfying experiences for both customers and employees. However, the pandemic has also shown that we can achieve a much higher level of flexibility with a hybrid working environment that is supported by intelligent connectivity technology. Now that this is commonly accepted, there will be an enormous improvement in the overall experience.
Please tell us how Anywhere365 can help businesses to overcome these issues and ensure employees remain productive and customers enjoy their experience.
The beautiful thing about Anywhere365 is that we’re not focused on growing the contact centre, but instead aiming to reduce unnecessary dialogues for both employees and customers. We want to make reactive customer contact obsolete to give back valuable time to both organisations and their customers.
For example, long before the pandemic, our founder invested in our own low-code automation platform. Now, our customers can quickly design automated dialogue flows by dragging and dropping nodes without codes to a canvas and deploy them with the click of a button. Another great example is our licensing model, which is primarily based on consumption rather than the number of agent seats. This enables organisations to rethink the contact centre and make all their Microsoft Teams-powered knowledge workers part of every omnichannel customer conversation – without having to pay for all those seats.
How will customer expectations change over the next few years?
Rightfully, customers have always demanded first contact resolution, but they have historically been understanding about the complexity of business, and flexible when necessary. However, that is changing. Now that they have experienced what a difference using the right digital technology can make when it comes to communications, they will demand companies always offer the best possible customer experience.
Technology is always evolving, and at some point, every new innovation will become standard; what is new now will eventually become an expectation. That’s why 80 per cent of companies think they offer great service, but only eight per cent of their customers agree. To some extent, elements such as personalisation, new routing principles and self-service capabilities are optional for many businesses now, but they will all be expected by customers soon.
What role will digital technology play in helping businesses to adapt and remain successful?
New digital technologies have opened up a world full of possibilities for companies that want to put customers first and execute excellent engagements. Microsoft Teams, for example, has a potentially groundbreaking future in the workplace. When it is natively integrated with a full communication platform like Anywhere365, it will dissolve the gap between traditional contact centre agents and their colleagues by bringing contact centre capabilities to all employees across an organisation. This means traditional contact centre activities will be absorbed by all departments, driving greater productivity and significantly improving customer experiences.
How will you evolve Anywhere365’s solutions to ensure it can continue to help businesses prepare for the future?
Anywhere365 is always innovating to find the next big thing that will create better experiences for both employees and customers. We invest heavily to improve personalisation methods, integrations with data systems, self-service capabilities, artificial intelligence offerings, and more. In addition, we’re working closely with Microsoft to prepare a new offering for its platform. This will bring our technology to the next level.
We’re also extending our global partner-led strategy, which forms the cornerstone of our business. Channel partners have always been at the heart of our organisation but given our exponential growth, we launched the Anywhere365 Partner Program to provide them with more structure, support and guidance. The programme also supports the fully automated deployment of our services – I’m very proud of this and believe it’s groundbreaking for both us and our partners. Our ultimate goal is to work together to make Anywhere365 the dialogue routing hub of choice for the Microsoft ecosystem, and to help customers accelerate their journey to success.
This article was originally published in the Autumn 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.