Jumpstart 2019: AiThority Interview Series With Anand Janefalkar, Founder & CEO at UJET
Our platform has had a strong focus on ‘Experience-as-a-Service’ since inception. It is a core component of our DNA.
What opportunities and challenges did you and UJET identify at the start of the 2018 and have managed to conquer by now or plan to soon?
The natural way in which people communicate is multi-faceted. Observe human interactions you will see voice, chat, SMS and visual and contextual communications, all happening together in a very sophisticated and integrated manner.
In 2018, UJET began to demonstrate the power of real-time voice, chat and visual communications working together in an intelligent way that begins to resemble natural communications. The results are astounding in improved operating ease, customer satisfaction, and first call resolution.
Going forward, we will expand our platform capabilities on many levels. The themes of that expansion are to anticipate the needs of the customer, provide the context agents need to deliver superior service and help our customers realize higher value from their customer relationships.
As a Customer Service Personalization platform, how does UJET look further into 2019 to build on its expertise to connect cross-medium experiences?
We will evolve several of the core value propositions of our modern communications center solution, such as: ease of use for end users and agents, improved efficiency by maximizing the value of available data throughout a session, offering flexible self-service for calls and chats, and extending user comfort by providing a broader range of channels. Specific examples include:
Channels – SMS: After launching ‘In Call SMS,’ a feature enabling end agents to initiate SMS sessions to request texts or media files while on a support call, we will expand on our SMS capabilities in 2019, including support for inbound SMS sessions.
Channels – Social Messaging: Provide the option for a more personalized connection experience by enabling end users to reach our customers through the messaging app of their choice.
Intelligent Automation: Provide new capabilities based on AI, NLP and ML to expand self-service options, as well as enhance the overall user experience, e.g., voice recognition based IVR.
Maximize the value of available data
Provide efficiencies and personalized experiences by leveraging available data; e.g.:
Enhanced Context Awareness: Expand our capabilities to define advanced routing logic based on end user profile data for increased flexibility and optimized scenario and session-based personalization. While we will maximize our data/context evaluation capabilities, we will continue to meet secure data compliance standards, including SOC2, PCI, HIPPA, GDPR and so on.
Surfacing important data to agents: Passing useful session data unavailable in the CRM to the agents. Flexible configuration to define which data is surfaced, under what circumstances.
What are your predictions on the “Role of CEOs and CMOs” and the closing gap between Sales-Marketing functions?
Years ago, sales and marketing were led by a single leader. Later, it became more common for sales and marketing to be managed separately in favor of focus and specialization. Marketing has become more specialized, including brand management, awareness, demand generation, and product marketing. New technology platforms and tools made it possible to measure and analyze virtually every aspect of marketing leading to enhanced performance.
The ability to fine-tune marketing performance through measurement made possible with technology is beginning to reach into the customer service and support side of the business. When the tools and platforms on the services side catch-up to where they need to be, I predict that customer service will become a much more strategic element of the sales and marketing mandate.
Do you think AI-as-a-Service and Experience-as-a-Service could be the new destination for MarTech companies?
Our platform has had a strong focus on ‘Experience-as-a-Service’ since inception. It is a core component of our DNA and our product philosophy. The evolution of our platform and all new capabilities are designed to extend and improve on that tenet.
Our pending offerings in the AI space, including Voice Recognition and virtual agents via a flexible chatbot platform will enable our customers to offer a broader range and depth of service, support and communications experiences to their end users. Our focus is on applying these technologies in logical ways and by doing so, gaining flexibility to focus and optimize their human talent on the more challenging, strategic/high touch, or unusual scenarios.
In summary, we see ‘Experience-as-a-service’ as directly reflective of end user expectation today. New technologies, such as AI, have the potential to enhance that service experience if appropriately applied.
How do you prepare for this new line of business in 2019?
We’re preparing for 2019 by continuing to focus on human interactions at the point of connection between the customer and the company/ agent and on the system-to-system orchestration to make the communications interactions as intuitive and efficient as possible.
Do you think CMOs now have more grip on technology budgets than ever before?
By the very nature that marketing has become highly measurable, driven by the advent of marketing technology, it is logical that more technology budget control has shifted to marketing. This technology pattern is beginning to repeat in the contact center to fill the gap between data and decisions and enhance customer experience with effortless connections and enable better interactions; having a direct impact on the measurement and performance of customer LTV, CSAT, and even CAC. This shift will draw the marketing organization closer to the contact center and will expand marketing’s control over the technology budgets and possibly the operations.
Tell us more about your UJET Voice platform and what roadmap have you planned for it in 2019.
Voice Recognition for IVR: Supports conversational inquiry by end users to automatically get routed to the most appropriate queue and the ability to offer interactive.
Virtual Agents for IVR: Adds new self-service options via interactions through our pending bot platform. Sample use cases range from knowledge base look-ups to multistep business processes; e.g. getting the latest update on an insurance claim status after verification and defining/selecting an open claim.
Wait Time SMS: An option to engage users and have them submit useful information or files while they are on hold, thereby expediting the session for themselves and the agent.
Manager Launchpad: Enhanced monitoring dashboard that optimizes the information a manager of agents should have in view most of the day to track the performance across his teams as well as a clear, real-time view of the status of all their agents and the sessions they are engaged in, customizable alert triggers and agent score. An expanded set of actions includes ‘whisper’ (to an agent), ‘barge-in’ (engage in the call), and ‘listen in’ as well as the option to change the agent’s status.
Context Awareness: Enhanced ability to interact with different data sources, evaluate and route end users based on their current context, selectively manage or move session based data to various destinations.
Sentiment Analysis: The ability to track both end user and agent sentiment from the inception of the call through the end of the session.
Reporting Suite: The addition of an extensive set of visual reports for viewing historical data based on our existing set of rich metrics. Includes the ability to create custom reports, schedule report generation, and export reports to a variety of file formats.
Transcription & Analysis: Option to add transcription service to voicemails and a customizable percentage of call recordings. Transcripts will be analyzed for keywords and phrases and logically grouped and surfaced in reports automatically.
Power Dialer: Sales focused auto dialer to automate outbound call campaigns.
More: TCA compliant, Self-adjusting dial rate depending on a number of parameters, including call pickup rate, available agents, total agent count and average call length.
Dedicated outbound campaign reporting.
Which technology are you hoping would make the biggest impact on Customer Support results?
Our integrated suite of intelligent automation, focused on self-service offerings, including:
- Voice Recognition
- Virtual Agents (chatbot platform)
- Automated business workflows
- Sentiment Analysis
- Audio Transcription
What was the most impactful lesson you had learned from 2018? How do you plan to implement that lesson in 2019 within your company and with Partners?
Through the last quarter of 2018 and after many notable successful enhancements to our communications platform, data visualization became a more cohesive focus for our customers and prospects.
With a deep and broad data metrics catalog, our customers’ appetite for more in-depth, visual and customizable dashboards and historical reporting directly through our platform became evident.
Having been previously prioritized in our roadmap, we are excited and looking forward to providing enhanced real-time dashboard capabilities and a new broad historical visual reporting suite for our customers in early 2019.
Which leaders in the industry do you closely work with? How do they help you stay close to the business actions?
UJET works closely with CRM tools such as Salesforce and Zendesk. Customer data is critical to personalized support. Your support platform should connect disparate systems and give you a single view of not only individual customers but also the health of your customer base. We also work with workforce management and quality management systems. We will continue to evolve the UJET platform to reach our tandem goals of powering effortless connections between customers and the company/agent and orchestrating system-to-system integrations to make interactions as intuitive and efficient as possible.
Name one piece of advice to all the CEOs and leaders in your community.
Recognize that to consumers, your product is your company — and support is your product. That is, take as much interest in the quality of the customer experience after the purchase when your customers need support, as you do in marketing the product or building your brand.
Thank you, Anand! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.
As Founder and CEO of UJET, Inc., Anand Janefalkar has 15 years of experience in the technology industry and has served as a technical advisor for various startups in the Bay Area. Before founding UJET, he served as Senior Engineering Manager at Jawbone, and also previously contributed to multiple high profile projects at Motorola.
UJET is the innovation leader in cloud contact center software. Our ultra-modern customer support platform lets you optimize customer communications at every touch point: phone, web and app. UJET’s actionable data intelligence and insanely great tools help customer support teams elevate their performance so they can delight your customers — and you can grow your business.