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Up Up and Away - The Five9 Way



Juanita Coley: Hey! We are in episode five, that is right. We're in episode five and today we are talking through more of technology and how it's shaping the call center world and so I'm super excited. We have Genefa Murphy with us, the CMO of Five9. Okay. I'm kind of fan Girling a little bit. So, I'm going to calm down because I'm super excited. I've been waiting to have this interview because as you know, I love Five9, I love technology and I'm super excited about how we are using it and adopting it, to have better customer services and customer experiences. So, without further ado, let's hop right into the show.


So, you guys know, okay, so my Call Center, Chronicle family, last week, we talked to Joel Richardson, Senior Executive over at Group Elite. And we talked through just kind of where we are going with technology and call centers as a whole. So right now, we call them call centers, contact centers, because we have this hub of people that are coming together for a common good of serving the end user, the customer. And so, it got me to really kind of thinking how we are progressing with that model in the pandemic, we will be in a place right now. I can remember just before even doing customer service consulting and call center consulting, if we would have ever said, Hey, we want to have this remote environment that would have been like this big no-no for reasons that were good.


We were just kind of stuck in our ways, and now post pandemic, that is just a norm to have customer service reps at home providing great customer service in most instances. And so, I wanted to understand more about what does post pandemic, the call center industry looks like. And so, we began to really talk through that and talk through, I think it was really important, Joel kind of noted on, and we talked through how going back and looking back at where this call center arena, this evolution kind of evolved from talking about the telephone, how the telephone was even invented and talking through all of that. So, we did a little history lesson and I want that fun to continue, so we are going to do the same thing here.

So, let's go ahead and talk through our history lesson for today with us live, you will see my screen and so we began to talk through ancient. We talked through the telephone last week, but I wanted to talk through ancient civilization technology and just the history of technology, period.


So, we've come a pretty long way as it relates to technology, so we talk about ACDs, we talk about AI and we talk about all our modern technology, but as I begin to really kind of do more and more research, I began to see how technology isn't just electronics; it's really a methodology and a systematic approach to doing some very unique types of things.

And so, when I began to look up technology from ancient days and we look at, you can see some images here from the first tools dating back 3.3 million years ago.


Like that is absolutely insane. My mind was just really blown when I begin to think about how far technology goes back. When we think about before the common era, it began to progress and we begin to see things like gunpowder. We also saw things more, we would probably be more familiar with around conferences and all of those different things and then as we transitioned to become more modern and modern, we saw things like photography, the use of the telephone or the invention of the telephone, automobiles and then just here not too long ago, Artificial Intelligence really has begun to be introduced into how we're servicing human beings and how we are just progressing and evolving as human beings and so I think technology is just such a great helper of the human civilization.


And as I begin to really think about how Artificial Intelligence is one of these new things that is really not new, but we are now more adopting it more. It really made me begin to think about how we're leveraging it today. And so, I begin to see that the code COVID clinic, it's the largest US COVID testing organization. They selected Five9 to power its cloud contact center and so I thought that was super cool and as I was reading more about it, it was saying that a caller can call in, right, put their zip code in and it'll tell them where the nearest testing center is. And as you know, COVID is something that we're dealing with across the globe and to be able to have that type of information readily at your fingertips is going to be so impactful to how people are getting rapid testing and all of those good things.


But then the other thing I began to think about is how that frees up the agent in the call center, to be able to move on to bigger and complex task. So, they're not a person doesn't have to wait to speak to a person. They can actually type in their zip code, find COVID testing center near them and then again, that allows agent to deal with some more complex types of things. And so, I thought that was super cool, that technology one has advanced to this point. Okay. So, we've started back 3.3 million years ago with snowflake stone chips and carving out different things to make human civilization better to more modern types of technology, like the telephone, printing, conferences, steam boats, automobiles, all those different things and now we're at a place in history where we are leveraging technology to automate things, even remove and do a lot of the heavy lifting that we no longer as humans have to do, but still advance, our advance our life.


So that is your history for today. Also, one of the ways in which I want to talk with our guests today about how we are actually leveraging this technology, Artificial Intelligence, how diversity matters and so that is our show for you today. I hope you enjoy without further ado, I am going to introduced to you Genefa Murphy CMO of Five9. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. I'm super, super excited to have you again, like I said, I'm just so in awe about technology and how we're leveraging, how Five9 is leveraging AI and some of the capabilities that we have now. Tell us a little bit more about yourself.


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Genefa Murphy: Sure. So, thank you for having me. I'm really glad to be here and I love a good fact, I love a good history lesson. So, as you mentioned, my name is Genefa Murphy, I'm the Chief Marketing Officer here at Five9.I joined Five9 about three months ago now, after spending over 15 years in enterprise IT.


I came originally from the product management side of the house and then evolved into the marketing side of the house as well. So broad spectrum of the business, but the best thing about all of my jobs has been the ability to work with customers and get to know how they can make the most out of technology.


Juanita Coley: That is awesome. So, I was actually doing some research and I was looking at the COVID Clinic, like I was saying and I saw that transpired on, I think March, beginning of this month that the COVID Clinic was partnering with you guys. Tell me a little bit more about that, partnership.


Genefa Murphy: Yes, so that was a really great opportunity and as you mentioned, so the COVID Clinic provides a critical public health service at the moment by delivering drive-through testing sites for COVID-19. So, they currently have about 65 locations across six states in the US and they're adding about an average of two new locations every week, so they're ramping up really quickly. Their goal is to have roundabout 200 active testing sites set up by the end of 2021, across 27 States.


So, they're going from six states to 27 that adding almost two new locations a week and they want to have 200 active testing sites set up by the end of 2021.We're speaking to them and one of the big challenges that they came to us with was saying essentially, as they were ramping up, as they were adding more sites, one of the challenges that they had is that their call volume was spiking getting some cases. It was going to 20,000 a day and they had live agents, they've still got live agents, but really their goal was to sort of understand how can we really ramp up? And so, using intelligent virtual agents or IVAs, that was really a way for them that they could have this hybrid or buy mode or joined workforce where they were leveraging the IVAs in order to sort of take on some of those routine tasks, appointment setting, date checking, those types of things and then they can augment their live staffing agents, because it was just going to be too expensive and quite frankly, too slow to actually get the live agents ramped up in time.


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So, we're partnering with them to do that inbound calling, to support their live agents and their digital agents, giving them IVA, and then also supporting digital engagement channels like SMS so that they can send appointment updates, so that people can find the nearest testing location, get test results, easily schedule, reschedule, cancel appointments because as you mentioned, especially COVID, it's very personal. I mean, if you have to go get a COVID test for yourself, a member of your family, you want instant information, you want to know where can I go first. I remember a few months ago, my son, he's six, he had to go get a COVID test because he had a bit of a cold and before he went back to school, he had to go and get a COVID test and just that feeling that, Oh, man, I want to get to the nearest place right away and get the information sooner than anything that was just such a personal thing and everybody has their own story. And so, I think for us being able to partner with someone like COVID Clinic and help them to accelerate what they were trying to do was just a really cool use of technology and a really cool partnership.


Juanita Coley: Yes. How long did that take? I'm curious because like you said, you were able to help them ramp up really quickly because in a standard type of situation, you would have to hire all these people do background checks, not only that, train them and all those different things, where to look in the system to find the closest location and all those different things versus using this technology, I can type in a zip code in, within seconds know where my nearest center is or testing station is. How quickly was that ramp?


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Genefa Murphy: Yes. So, we were able to do that within a number of days, weeks, what it came down to at the end of the day was just to get their logic, get the understanding from COVID Clinic so that we could build that into the system. The other idea to benefit our Five9 and inference the technology that we acquired for IVAs at the end of last year is that we have a lot of pre-built task libraries. So, we have pre-built flows based on different verticals, like healthcare, like retail, etc that can be used in order to speed up that process. So instead of starting from a blank sheet of paper, you can look at the task libraries and you can sort of say, okay yes, this gives me a great base of the common tasks that you might want to do as part of a healthcare engagement flow. So that really helps speed things up.


Juanita Coley: I love that. I love the prebuilt slows based on industry that's even like taking it to another level, because then that gives you ramp really quickly. So hey, if you are in the healthcare industry, these are some things that are standard that you may want to consider and really be able to build out that workflow very quickly so that you can now go live very quickly as opposed to a hospitality industry, we'd have different types of workloads. So, I think that is super cool and a very effective way to use that technology and leverage it to get the best use out of ramping really quickly. That's cool.


Genefa Murphy: No, and that's what a lot of our customers want, is how do you we say re-imagine your customer experience and realize results and part of realizing results. One of the things we did with COVID Clinic was we actually helped them. We've got an ROI calculator that we use with customers in order to show the ROI that they can expect to get and to help them to build the business case. So, it's the content to get things done, but also building the business case and with COVID Clinic, the cost savings probably in the first year, we said that it could be anywhere up to $2 millions of ROI that they could start to receive back. But that time to market is what's actually really going to help them because that helps them to provide a better level of customer service and also to be differentiated.


Juanita Coley: As we talk about technology, right? It's not the technology, it's the users of the technology that we got to worry about, right?


Genefa Murphy: See that's it but the civil way is going to be a world where you need people,

Juanita Coley: Right. But now it's actually going to be that perfect segue into one of my other questions that I was going to ask you about. So, one of our goals at Solid Rock Consulting is really to normalize women in tech, get people really used to technology and leveraging technology so that we can make better and larger impacts on human life and human experience, customer experience. And so, with leveraging technology so much, do you think that diminishes the importance of diversity or that diversity becomes more important? I don't know. What do you think?


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Genefa Murphy: I think, it's a balance. I think, if you just take a step back for a moment and put yourself in the shoes of the customer, you say in your intro, being in the shoes of the customer, being with customers, I mean, think about it when you have got a problem that you're really stressed about, that you're really frustrated about, a lot of the times you want to interact with another person. I think technology is great, I think that the role of AI and automation in the contact center is evolving and people are looking for practical use cases to make it real. But I think at the same time, you still want that human engagement, you still want that person on the other side and I think as you mentioned as well, like people often misconceived as a bit of a bad rap the automation gets, right. Everyone always thinks all automation, AI, you're going to implement that in the contact center and it's going to lead to people losing their jobs, but that's not really the goal of AI and automation. The goal of an AI and automation is to improve, make you more efficient, IQ more effective, use your people where it matters most.


Juanita Coley: Yes


Genefa Murphy: So, I think that's the key, it's how do you leverage the human brain power and the human element with technology to augment it and just make it better, just make it more efficient, more effective because a lot of contact center agents, they don't want to be doing the routine tasks necessarily that can get a bit mundane, a bit boring. So, if that can be automated and they can spend more of their time engaging with customers and using their knowledge and experience to provide better customer service, then that's a win-win.


Juanita Coley: So, this is your first time on the show so I have to tell you about the "Gem Drops", right. So, we do "Gem Drops" when I need to get a mind blown emoji, first of all, because that's what I really feel, right. When you said that about using your people where they're needed most, and then you also said, when you have like these high stress situations customers; the last thing they want to really probably do is deal with AI, right?


Genefa Murphy: Well, you leverage technology, you go to the website, you do self-service, you do what you want to get. If you making the effort to call it's probably because either you're not quite used to that technology yet, and you're not comfortable with it so you want a person, or you're so frustrated you can't find the information that you want to speak to a person. If you look at things like technology buying cycles, 70% or more of the assessment is done online, why? Because there's so much great information out there, there's chatbots, there's FAQ's, there's knowledge bases, there's forums. So, most people are coming to a call having probably done quite a lot of that and they want to speak to a person.