The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

83. The 3 Pillars of Post-Crisis Customer Communication w/ Brian Gilman


The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic created a variety of crises and challenges at each of its 3 stages. Though the pandemic persists, its consequences are more clear and the crises become more manageable. As we enter a post-crisis phase (Jun 2020-Dec 2021), we must focus on the systems we’ve put in place to communicate with customers in terms of both how they’ve changed and how they must further evolve.


In this episode, Brian Gilman, Vice President of Solutions Marketing at Vonage, shares his perspective on the 3 pillars of post-crisis communications — and what has to change forever.


What we talked about:


- The permanent changes to customer communication systems


- Why we say goodbye to “future proofing” (and perhaps to long sales cycles)


- How to make the immediate shift to fast implementation and decisions


- The 3 pillars of the post-crisis period: replacement for work from home, fail overs for continuity, and augmentation


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There's an opportunity here for companies tore envision themselves. There's an opportunity here to create better customer experience. Inthese other channel we met new channel to provide better levels of experience. Thesingle most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a betterexperience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internalalignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and humanway. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte.The doors shut on the economy in about forty eight hours, but it'sgoing to reopen into some kind of new normal over eighteen to twenty four months. The circumstance presents opportunities to redefine winners and losers in terms of customer experience. So we should rethink right now what we're doing to prepare for whatever anew normal looks like, whenever it arrives. Today's guest was featured on episode twentyfive of the customer experience podcast. That one was titled Why friction isa customer experience killer. He's back to talk through three distinct periods of timepre crisis, the past few months and post crisis, he served in leadershiproles and services marketing, product marketing and solutions marketing with several leading communications companieslike a Vya and polycom. He currently serves as Vice President of Solutions MarketingAdvantage, the world's most flexible cloud communications platform. Brian Gilman, welcome backto the customer experience podcast. Thanks for having me, and I'm sporting myquarantine cut, so it's a little bit different than last time. Good.Yeah, and you're looking really tight there. For folks who haven't done this before, you can go to bombbcom slash podcast. We include some video clipsfrom these conversations if you want to check out that really tight quarantine haircut.And I guess let's start there for a minute. You know, rerecording herein late May, two thousand and twenty you're in New Jersey, kind ofwhat's the scene there for you and your family, your maybe your team membersand maybe your customers at a high level? What's going on? Yeah, well, I and now in what? What? Well, what was theone of the two hot beds in North America? I'M IN NEW JERSEY.I think New Jersey as a whole, because of its proximity to New YorkCity and the amount of people that will into New York City, became reallyhot beds for the spread of the virus. Thanks I live west, through afairly far west in the city. It's not a very populated area.So the town I live in is not bad, but when you look atNew Jersey as a whole, working at vonnage, we got an email ona Tuesday afternoon essentially saying we're closing our doors down. On Friday, packedup our laptops and haven't been back since and now we're in our weekly meetingswith with executive management trying to figure out when are we reopening? How arewe you know? How are we going to reopen? What is our newnormal normal going to look like? So it's been a it's been an interestingcouple of months. You know, some of our offices overseas have already startedto reopen clowly. So I think it's something to your point, I thinkis we will feel this out over the course of pretty long period of time. I don't think we're just going to reopen ass as we close the doors. Yeah, definitely not. We did the same thing it was. Youknow, we had been talking as an executive leadership team at bombomb about whatwe were going to do and then all of a sudden one of our twocofounders was like we're out, shut it down, everyone go home, andit's just super fast and and it's interesting. I had the you know, Ihad the foresight, because I was in a lot of those conversations,to start moving some stuff out of my office into my home. And andit's interesting. Some people didn't feel like they maybe had permission to double backand grab some things that they would need. And I, and I don't knowthat anyone expected it to go this long out of the gate. Youknow, when that thing happening, you figure like okay, it's going tobe a month, I'll just make it work for now, and then herewe are kind of like settling in and like maybe I should double back andpick up some new items. Yeah,... know, it's really funny because, as this say we were discussing earlier, I think that employees, and we'reimportantly companies, perspective on work from home and even terms like business continuityhave been completely redefined by this pandemic. You know, one of the oneof the time I found I could talk a lot about recently is business conceptof business continuity, and I think when you talk about my days back ata I I remember the conversations we had around business continuity was as well.What happens is a back house cut the fiber line outside of our business andwe're and we're off line for a couple days. Whenever had to think through. Well, what happens if people global pandemic and we're all out of theoffice for several months, and what is the impact on our employees, butour agents, and then our impact to our external customers? It's been ait's a wild ride and it's really redefined every bud's thoughts on work from home, business continuity, fail over. We've seen years worth of transformation take placeand only a matter of months. Yeah, I'm looking forward to get into gettinginto that conversation deeper. But let's start where we always start, whichis your thoughts. Are Characteristics definition? When I see customer experience, Brian, what does that mean to you? For me, a customer experiences isis really providing a little of intelligence for businesses to communicate with our with ourcustomers. I always take it back to the airline experience, you know ofYester Year, when you call the the book a ticket and you you verifyyourself with your social security number, your mother's maiden name, you give thebirthrights to your first born and then you get that. We get that oneagent. They go, Oh, you want to do on an international flight? Let me get you over to the international department. What's the first thing? They ask your Wi her name right, and then you have to reads gettheir rego. Yet there the real up on all of those to meetcustomer experience is about. It is about creating simplicity and seamlessness between interactions andI think over the past two to three years, I would say, moreso than at any other point in time in my career, customer, thecustomer interaction has changed in terms of how they want to interact with businesses,whether that be social SMS, video, that it aims to dramatically and it'sno longer being driven by the business, being driven by the consumer and howthey want to interact with business. And so for me, customer experiences meetingthe meeting the consumer at their preferred channel and making sure that you have thatsame level of seamlessness regardless of whether it's net new to the business or not, really good and if folks want to hear go deeper to that conversation.We spent a lot of time talking about and you can see how the titlewas. Friction is the customer experience killer, consumer choice, channel choice, theshift of Control. Those are all themes on episode twenty five. Beforewe go farther here, Brian, into kind of the three phases in whatyou've observed and what you're learning. For folks who aren't familiar with vantage,who is your ideal customer and what do you solve for them? Or sovondage is is a global leader in cloud communications. We have unified communications andconcenter solutions in addition to Communications Apis. So we own in control our wholecommunications staff, whether it be, you know, the PDX for employee,employee communications, the contact center or Appis to enable those embedded experiences and yourmobile and web devices. We power some of the largest brands in the worldin terms of connecting customers to their to the businesses that they interact with.Awesome. So let's go pre crisis. You know now we're just going backa few months. I'm going to say you in the end of May hadtwo thousand and nineteen, it seems like, for like how do you how doyou think about this creep pre crisis phase and where we were with regardto some of these teams were talking about, including continuity, cloud, etc.Yeah, it's so when I look back to end of nineteen, youknow, maybe January of twenty, a lot of the discussions around communications werewhere the traditional motherhood and Apple Pie.

How do I how do I gofrom Capex to off act? How do I eliminate a single point of fillover with my PDF, you know? Oh yeah, and how do Isolve her on the channel, on each channel, the customer challenges. Howdo I integrate into my crm to make sure that I'm getting screen POPs andcalled reappropriate call routing? It was a very technical conversations of replacing beyond primeand moving to the cloud and trying to drive efficiency and productivity measures, butit was still very rudimentary in terms of solving for those unique challenges because itwas agent productivity, it was customer interaction, but it was still rooted in thefundamentals of well, of what the cloud was been. The benefits ofthe cloud brought clearly all changed. So so for a yeah, I meanyou get into to the city here and now, but that was what itwas back then. It was how do we solve for what seemed to bereally easy topics back in the day, and how is that going for youand your team into the degree the of direct customer interaction, like what wasthat was the nature of that. Well, for at the time, pre crisis, you know, the cloud was, it's been the norm in terms ofyou know, I think communications were at the lower ends of the marketand moving very fast to the cloud at the upper end of the market,where there's a little more hesitancy around security, compliance all of those things. Eventhat, you know, when you look at the largest global organizations inthe world, a lot of their data sits in the cloud and while thereare some companies were reluctant to move to the cloud, if he the communications, it was happening very quickly, especially when you started to look at largerbusinesses who are starting to use Apis to communicate, and so it was howdo we tie our communications experience on the API side with our cloud communications inthe contact and you see side. So it was happening. We still weredealing with certain challenges with they were more extry specific and they were more workflowspecific, and the cloud has become the norm in terms of you know,you look at the largest communications company today, they're all in the cloud. That'swhere all the valuation says, that's where that's where everyone's looking to move. It's it's no longer predicated and in landlines and the old telco methodology.Yeah, and so it's it's obviously cost savings, probably some savings with regardto on site it and exact playing. It's like kind of reassigning some ofthe trouble to the provider and future proofing. Don't forget future proofing. That's onethat I don't loves every I would always associate the cloud of future proofing, but it is is they said. Is that it administration. It's costwhere you no longer having to put down for, you know, a milliondollar PBX or a million dollar contact cunner, but you're paying PROCEEEDT. So therewas there as financial benefits, but no one was really looking towards whatwe just ran into. So we're going to go to probably February, Marchand just a SEC but for folks who aren't familiar what is PBX YS?Is is the is the old pre unified communications. It was the it wasit was the it was the on Prem call control for your business phone system. Got It. And so take us into I guess, probably mid tolate February or what. Were the early signs that there was going to bea big shift coming for vantage and vantage customers? And we did that startwith? You know, we are we talked about, you know, theexecutive leadership team to start in that conversation. Or was it you know, customersare starting to ask about this. How seriously should we take it?Like? What was the scene in? Probably midfab it's weird because you talkedabout early signs. There's there wasn't really early signs because, to your point, I don't think anyone thought it was going to go the road that itwent. And so when all of a sudden states started shutting Oh, sowe were in our normal sale cycle with...

...customers. Customers were looking to moveto the cloud, and then all of a sudden states started shutting down andall of a sudden the tone of the conversation was changing. It wasn't somuch about digital transformation. It wasn't about, you know, help me migrate fromwhere I'm at so where I want to be. Wasn't about future proofinganymore. It was Oh my God, I have to close my contact centerin four days. What can you do? And so the discussion became less arounddigital transformation, and I don't I don't mean to use the term that, use this term Lucy, but it was help me, bubble gum anddust. Take something, because it does a level of urgency and panic.Now to plate. I'm in an on prem environment. I asked to movesix thousand employees. I have to move five hundred agents off site. I'min an onprem solution and I don't have the ability for them to communicate,and so all of a sudden inbound call traffic dies. What happens now?You know, you want to talk about bad customer experience. There it is. You know what, all of a sudden you make a phone call andno one picks up, or you got to. You get it, youget a message which says due to the Google because we don't have anyone totsure call all. Sorry, and you get a hang up and that's thatwas happening. All of a sudden, and so there's a conversations were asfast as vantage shut it doors. From Tuesday to Friday we were customers arecoming up saying what can you do to keep us up and running? Andso the cloud now became you a customers saying we want to rip in replace. We were already discussing it, were ready to move. And then itwas I can't move, I'm afraid to move what I have worked but canyou do something to help me mitigate and that was where, I think allof a sudden the industry changed overnight. It was how can the cloud nowprovide a solution to six thousand employees? And so, rather than replacing thePBF of cloud PBS, it was will enable a number of mobile licenses.We're not going to port your numbers anymore. You're going to keep your same businessline. You're going to forward your business line to your new cloud number. So their seamlessness in that call. Now when your phone rings, YourMobile Lists and rings at home on your desktop or your on your mobile phone, you have continuity of service. Now for us that's a great scenario becausenot only are we replacing the phone number, but we're giving these customers the besttry and buy in the world, because not only is self style tonereplacement, but they now have video collaboration, team messaging, you know, allof these things that that you get with a unified communication solution. Inthe contact center, a lot of the same things were taking place. HowMe Sail over from my my on prime contact center to a cloud based solutionso that I can at least maintain some form of loose voice voice call routing, call traffic called CING, etc. So, for all, it endedup being a very good scenario in the U see and then the contact centerspace. I'll be they weren't there. You weren't getting the big transformational deals. You were now helping customers. So this part of this that was sounprofit of how can we help customers better? But where we saw a dramatic changewas industry changes. Like you think about healthcare. What happened? Whatwe're all what are we all hearing about now? You can't go five secondswithout seeing an article or a news piece on telehealth. The API business shotlike a rocket and while we were a leader, a global leader, intell a health, we were seeing trafficked on our network go up seven hundredpercent for telehealth engagements with you know, we were, we were a leaderin the space with that. Seven hundred percent wasn't a small number going toa relatively decent number, was a large number, going to a catastrophically largenumber. And so now you're seeing changes that were taking place slowly over timenow, while of a sudden, becoming the new normal. And that iswhere I think the market is seeing tremendous...

...shifts. I did a Webinar forour company last week and one of the quotes that I had found was largeUS banks, the largest of the banks, we're seeing call spikes of like fortyfour percent. The consumer package goods industry we're seeing call spikes during weekfifty six percent. And the world can't slip like that. And so,you know, even for companies that were in the cloud and so for youknow, forget it forgets the the worst case scenario. I'm in a nonprimate environment. I need to find a way to make things work. I'min a cloud environment. I can't hand callftspike the call volumes like a fiftysix percent. I can't throw it up agents at it. And so thethird pillar that I think is dramatically change was this whole concept to help meaugment what I already have to make it more efficient or more productive. Sothings like ai came into play, where we can now insert virtual assistance tohelp with those customers that needed to self serve. Help me track my packagethat isn't showing up at my door anytime soon. Help me check my checkingaccount balance to make sure that, you know, that I still have moneyin the account. Those things can now be all off set out that withoutthat age and interaction to help keep the you know, Preefe the foods alittle bit to keep things moving. So that that's really where where the markethas now changed. It's now not only replacement for work from home, it'snot only fail over and continuity, but it's this augmentation piece that were nowthat we're now helping solve for and that is really change the market dramatically becauseit's not something that is easily done, whether you're on prem or in thecloud. Talk about like just go back maybe three to five minutes here,where you have someone that's maybe been on the fence for a while. They'vebeen evaluating some of the benefits. They're probably sitting, you know, witha little bit of chronic pain because they fear the acute pain of the switchoveror whatever, and now they're forced to rip off the band aid or makethe commitment or make the jump, the leap, the whatever. How didyour team to the degree that you're able to describe it? How is yourteam able to I'm assuming there were a number of companies that were in thesevarious situations? How are you able to a reorg kind of workflows internally inorder to help convert all of these clients in this like really tight window whileyou're going through the transition yourself and and maybe, to the degree possible,go into the depth of you know, all of these call center workers thatare now being sent home or on a new system. They have new workflows. Like how do you get those folks trained up? Like so much hadto happen in such a short amount of time internally on your side, atthe decisionmaking side, at the high level adoption side, and then all theway down to the front lines of your customers. And so what are acouple tips maybe that you've picked up or observations around making that many changes inthat short amount of time under these stressful situations? Yeah, yeah, it'sa okay. So there's a lot to unpack their internally as a business.For us, you know, for our contact on our because I you knowclearly we have to deal with this. We're a world of four lines ofthis as well. For also was relatively easy because we're our own best customer. So we got the email and for us as like all right, Ipack up my laptop, I go home. I don't even have a desktop phonein the office. I use my use my mobile client on my cellphone, so I'm never at my desk, usually in accomplishing somewhere. So ifsomeone wants to reach me, I get a call myself and I decidewhether I'm going to take it with depending on the meeting that I'm in.For us, it was relatively easy. The adjustment that started to take place, though, was when your sales motion becomes more of a consultative approach,where you're having to solve for different from this is where things aren't being rippedin replaced necessarily, but we're having to play as a fallback for an existingsolution, and that that's where, you...

...know, our sales teams, whilewe had always did the role of somewhat consultants. I think this sales cyclesfor what has been challenging. You needed a longer time to go and havethese compulative solutions and you had two days to figure it out, and soit's just the worst case scenario. My apologies for the for the leaf blowerin the background, but you're being forced to have what would be an extendedsale cycle take place, since twenty four hours. So from our sale thoseteams perspective, they were monumentally helpful in identifying solutions and as we were buildingout that, we were we were custom building IDR solutions for food banks,for covid testing centers, where they needed to set up in twenty four hours, and we had we had systems engineers that were were helping figure those complexsolutions out and getting them spun up in twenty four hours, you know,building them in standboxes where their apis spending them out to these organizations quickly.Now what then has to take place is all these are complex things for thetens of thousands of contact centers that we were helping to fail over and ina short period of time. A lot of that wasn't as complex as itsound. Has We weren't out in existing solutions. We weren't having to portover new numbers. So it was getting the customer comfortable with the fact thatyou're keeping what you have, we're going to overlay you with new employee phonenumbers, new agent numbers, and they will follows numbers from from an easeof use that wasn't incredibly complicated. The hard work was being taken space onsome of these one off, help me spin up a complex call routing treefor a covid testing center. We had some of the best systems engineers inthe world and so they were doing this to overnight and we were taking onphilanthrophic efforts to go and stand up some of these customers very quickly. Andso, like I said, some of the it was becoming more of anadvisor or a member to the customers to get them comfortable with what you're doing. For some of these others where it was, can you help me standup something with no infrastructure? Those are almost easier discussions to have. Canyou get handles off to some of our restees? They would take a lookat and go we can have this stood up in forty eight hours for you, and it was so best practices kind of fly out the window a littlebit in these environments, because you have a some teams that are that arerushing in and solving for some of these complex issues overnight, and then inthe other and the other hand, you have our sales teams that are havingenough things very quickly, but they're not necessarily ripping and replacing, and thoseripping and replacing the discussions have now, now that we're kind of this alltook place, saying, a matter of thirty, two, forty five days, where you had companies that work in the throws of what they needed todo, and now we're in this place of whether or not they stay,we do something immediately. They either stuck with what they had. You know, there are some companies that couldn't make to change and they're like use yourcell phones, which is horrible, beyond belief, but it works for them. Is, you know, the their percent of where they needed to be. Their employees are kind of productive. They're figuring ways out through third partyover the top pollutions. It's not elegant. They're now coming to say we're throughthe witnessed. How do we start to plan now for the next andI think that's the real important thing. And so now that we're out ofthat, conversations have started to normalize, whereas we need to accelerate our thoughtsaround the cloud. We've all we were going to we're going to keep whatwe had for another six months or a year. That's clearly not going tohappen. How do we get out of this before the next whatever comes downthe road, which I think is what everyone is now starting to think?So things that were we knew the cloud adoption was going to accelerate. Itsaccelerating now because they we don't want to get stuck in a second wave ofcontact centers having to figure out fail over...

...method on. So the conversations arehappening a lot faster. Yeah, I feel like you really teat us upthere for kind of the the third phase here, which is, you know, you you're doing some clean up now, which is people who came up withtheir own kind of bubble gum and band aid and duct tape solutions andnow they're saying, okay, we weathered the initial part of the storm.Now let's, you know, figure out how to prepare for the next phaseor the next incident or where we know we need to be now that we'vesuffered this experience as an organization probably let some of our customers down in theprocess. So talk a little bit about your the conversations you're having about thepost crisis period, like the timeline, what it might look and feel likeand maybe where we're headed, just assuming that, you know, the vastmajority of companies will have successfully migrated a lot of their operations and communications andother processes into the cloud. What does it look like twelve, twenty,four months from now? Yeah, so this, this is this. Thisis the main reason why I reached out to you. Know, what we'venow seen is not only companies having to scramble to figure that out. Thatthat that's one piece of the puggle. I think the piece that's the mostimportant is this has forced certain industries to rethink how they engage with customers.I don't think the healthcare industry will ever be the same because you now havehad fundamental changes in confidence. Don't am I go compan in going to mydoctor, that I won't set that I won't be exposed to something. Youknow, I don't know who does. People are sitting in the waiting room. That, coupled with the acceleration of the technology to enable tell a healthwhere all of a sudden they're like wow, this really works. Oh my God, my insurance, my ensure, actually covers this as a message justto meet with my doctor. I can't tell you how many Tele Health engageswe've had in this house. We are speaking early about the number of kidsthat I have here. It is thing that has forever changed and while I'vebeen in the video conference space for a decade, harder coming to vantage.We saw tell a health. We were we were able to do tell ahealth. Ten years ago we kept waiting for that hockey stick moment. Wedidn't know is going to be a global pandemic that was going to do it. But now all of a sudden there was a stat I think it's fromFus to research. They're going to see a billion tele health engagements by theend of this year. One billion. That is going to now I don'tknow that we are going to see this. This a credible upticks is stain goingforward, but it's sure not going to be down with at the levelsthat it was back in January of two thousand and twenty. And so forcompanies, you know, you think of retail let's leave a moreg in ourhealth care. Think is very specific and you have that. You had atransformational event take place from the technology perspective retail. Now you see target.You so target earnings. I think it was yesterday that for a hundred andforty, a hundred and sixty percent increase in their online traffic. Are Consumersgoing to go back to Britain mortar as fast as they did? Yeah,over time things will normalize and you'll go back to shopping and you're going togo back to the mall. But until we know what we know about secondways and until we know what we know about vaccines, I don't think you'regoing to see the overwhelming amounts of traffics at the mall anymore. And sothere's an opportunity here for companies to re envision themselves. There's an opportunity hereto create better customer experience in these other channels, these net new channels,to provide better levels of experience and the seeing that I'm seeing, the thingthat I'm hearing and the thing that I think will happen is you will seenew winners and new losers coming out of this, because the companies that getit and the companies that are trying to...

...think through not just how do Irip and replace what I had for something like, for liking the cloud,but how do I re envision how I can engage with my customer? Isthat is really going to change and we and we're seeing it in very weirdways. And I'm seeing it as a vendor in this technology space where,you know, we have a significant amount of our marketing budget that in everycompany in our spaces, tied to events. That's how we drive a ton ofour demandagin events are now going virtual and so you know, they theevents that are going to solve for a hybrid environment which I'm no longer goingto have to fly to our Lando to go to you. Somebody like me, get up on a podium and speak. are going to be the ones thatwin hackathons. Another thing that our company was very well RACII business.We used to go and we used to travel all across the country and docity by city hackathons. We're now hosting global hackathons online and we're seeing immenseamount of traffic. Is, how do you reimagine when you now, whenyou know have a a lot of your budget that has been sunk towards thesefixed cost events that have now been blown up for who knows how long.But we're having to rethink it. Retails going to have to refit. Youtell a health is going to have to rethink it. Hospitality, you thinkof all these industries. How are they going to expand their channel and engagewith customers and ways that they have it in the past? Communications are goingto be part of the puzzle and those that those that are better at meetingthe customer in where they want, where they want to do business, aregoing to succeed going forward. Yeah, it's really, really interesting. I'vebeen thinking a lot about just because I'm going to have more access to theselike I was able to get a haircut and so I started thinking about okay, this shop has eight chairs in it and only three of them are beingused to one in the corner and the two on the far end, sothat all the chairs are as distant from one another as possible. So ifthis shop wants to generate the same amount of revenue, how do you dothat? You extend your hours. So the guy that cuts my hair isan early morning guy like me, so I rescheduled my next haircut to sixam because he's going to start cutting here at five am. I like gotto turn over feast after exactly. And you have few of them. Sothe same thing. And so when you think about restaurants, I've seen someof them, like high end restaurants. I heard about one that started kindof like a curated wine club thing, because they have this deep wine stockand so now I'm sure it's a very expensive service. You're seeing more mealsat home things, so you come by not to pick up the completed mealbut to pick up all the meal components that were you know, I'll somany of these services are going to be doing like online training. I knowI'm talking like small now, like small business entrepreneurial, but you're having theseeffects from top to bottom, from you know, giant corporations down to smallbusinesses and into your point. It's okay, what are we good at? Whatservices were we providing before? How is the market change so that theour customers needs have changed, or ability to serve them as change, orability to meet them as change? Like all of the stuff is shifting andyour see, I'm excited about the inventiveness. Obviously, so much of the opportunityis cloud driven. I think about what customers to your point earlier ofyou know, targets online purchasing. You know customers are maybe going to cometo like this. I can shop at my convenience and then just drive byand pick it up and I'm off and gone. I don't have to park, I don't have to get out, I don't have to mess with mykids in the car seat and I have to do any of this nonsense.There's drive by and pick it up or have it shipped to my home.And then to the employee side. I saw a nationwide that sent insurance companyset ninety seven percent of its employees home, or ninety eight percent, like almostthirtyzero people. They sent home, of course, as all businesses are, most businesses did, and they just announced that they're going to collapse fromfor physical offices down to sorry, from...

...twenty down to four. So they'regoing to cut the number of physical offices by eighty percent. And so they'reinto your point of telemedicine. This is weird. Why would I do that? To all of a sudden I have to do it and, Oh,by the way, I kind of like this. And so there is goingto be some stickiness there, and we saw, and then I'll give itback to you in a sec we saw the same thing happen at bombomb.Of course we make it easy to record and send video messages in a varietydifferent ways, and so we saw the same thing you were describing, whichis, you know, some of our larger deals that were kind of longerprocesses and there were questions about security and how many licenses and who's going toget it and who isn't, and you know, so so, like youlet these things mingle, mingle and hang out in it. You know,there's no the salesperson just tried to drive it to a point of decision.All of a sudden, boom, there's enforced point of decision and we've hadsome major deals pushed through in addition to like large volume on individual accounts becauseit was forced. Yeah, I think of it. Think of Sport Carina's. I mean I was reading an article today that Ohio State may had gameswith Twentyzero, twenty thousand pounds. Movie theaters. You know, you nowhave, you know how movie houses that are going direct to digital. Imean, my kids, the biggest thing we ever got this year was thetrolls Ro leaf on demand and I can't say how many times I had toI had to rent that called me like eighty buck because I had to rentit over and over and over. But what you're finding is is a newdistribution model, finding new ways to reach customers, and what they're finding isthat, you know, some of these ways are pretty successful. And sonot to compare contact centers to to digital media, but to call out thefact that people who are reimagining the way that says this is done. Youknow, and this is going to forth, that this is not going to bea short term thing, whether or not there's a huge second wave orwhether or not. You know, we're discussing our kids going to school nextyear. My son is going to be a freshman in college next year.I don't know that he's going to make it a false semester there. Wedon't want it. They're not going to close down, but you know,the schools that that are better prepared with online learning. You know, onthe other end of the equation, the CAL state system is now going completelyonline for the false semester and so they feel they can provide a better experience. Those parents are probably a whole hell of a lot more comfortable than Iam sending my kids North Carrie and go to North Carolina to go to school, you know. And so I just think that companies that can rethink whatthat new normal is and rethink what not only not only how do I getmy work done, how do I do what I did as well, buthow can we really think it maybe do it better and provide a parader anenhance level of experience? I really think there's a major opportunity in all marketsto to succeed and to find new ways to win in ways that didn't didn'texist private of all those. Yeah, and and again, what's what inthis tight window that we're still in now, to customers really like and what toemployees really like, and how can we sustain those and and grow onthat, on that new base? Something my notice since we connected last timeis that your title is vp of Solutions Marketing. It was VP of productmarketing in this product solutions conversation was part of our last conversation. Talk aboutthat shift, is it? Is it purely semantic, or is it nomeaningful talk about what that means? It's actually is. So I still runproduct marketing advantage. Well, we're when you look at the cloud, theclouded. The cloud is the easiest way to distribute product, but product doesn'treally exist within the cloud because it sits within a Platfax, that's within alicense. The way that I have viewed the role when I took the rolethree years ago, why I do it today, is that those product groupsthat are successful are going to find ways to message more around workflow and morearound business productivity and when you can now marry communications to what does what isessentially a horizontal function of communication. But what is that horizonal function of communicationlook like within a doctor? A doctor,...

...patient, teacher, Student High Network, Advisor and client environment are the ones that can differentiate provide better businessvalue to their customers because they have a better understanding of how communications impact theirbusiness. You know the way that vantage owns and controls the whole stack betweenyou see contacts and Apis. Those three engagements between doctor, patient, feature, student high, no worth of FISOR and client. While they are allsimilar in terms of the communications thread, they all engage in different ways.When you think about everything from the time of patient steps into a doctor's offus. What is the biggest form of revenue leakage to a doctor now shows. So what if I can now send you an SMS to make sure twentyfour hours that you're going to come to your appointment, and if you're notgoing to come to your appointment, I'll at these notes. I'm more likelyto respond to a US a mess of then a voice call. If Ican now, as the doctor say, Oh, he's not coming, Johnny'snot coming tomorrow. Open Book Sally, who is waiting for a new appointment. I've now thought my revenue leak kids are. You have tele medicine,you have, you know, the traditional back office. You See, Ican now start to architect and be an advisor to a to an entity,whether it's healthcare, finance, education, to talk about their workflows and howcommunication can impact them. I view product as part of a solution and partof a vertical market as being paramount in terms of succeeding in the space.Really good. So if you are listening and you enjoyed this conversation, andI assume you have because you're still with us here, then you will loveepisode twenty five, which is of course, with Brian Gilman, our guests todayand we went through several topics. Some of them we already kind oftouch down a little bit here. That last pass on product versus solution ispart of it. Competitive Intelligence was part of we talked about a lot ofstuff and of course that's that one's called why friction is a customer experience killer. And then on this theme of consequences, thoughts, I hope you I hopeyou found some of what Brian offered provocative and you were thinking about yourown situation, your own customers, your own team members. And episode sixtyseven with Samantha Stone, the founder and CMO of the marketing advisory network,was really our first episode that we recorded as the pandemic was setting in.That one was called customer communication and Times of crisis. And so if youliked this kind of what is tomorrow, next month, next year look like, Samantha brought a lot of ideas that will have you think about communication channelsand communication and messaging strategies in particular. Again, that's episode sixty seven.So, Brian, before I let you go here and thank you so muchfor walking through kind of the pre during post. I feel like we're kindof somewhere on the back end of the during probably, and who knows whatAlos looks like. But I'm gonna give you the same chance here that Igave you last time, which is to thinker mentioned someone who had a positiveimpact on your life, for your career, and an a not or a mentionof a company that's delivering an experience to you that's fantastic as a customer. Just as a reminder, last time you say thanked Sophia Williams, whois VP marketing at a Viya, and she gave you your first marketing joband really turned you onto marketing with a capital m. and you also gaveme one of my favorite lines on the podcast ever, which is you're talkingabout dominoes and the way, the various ways you can order pizzas, andyou said something to the effect of I'm not sure I would ever order apizza that way, but I'm inspired by the aggressiveness with which they want tosell Repizza. So anyway, I'm doing a double down on either of thoseare give to give me a new fur you new company? Yeah, I'llgive mine this time to actually somebody who's passed, guy named Q watchung.He's someone I worked with when I was a polycom. He was a peerof mine who ran the experience centers with me. Qua was one of thevery close from me. became very close friends, but taught me to behumble in my role and taught me the value of humor in a workplace thatcan sometimes be a meat grinder. Qua...

...passed year ago, January, froman aneurism. Forty eight years old, but somebody that I will remember everylasting moment that I had with that with back he always kept me saying becausehe was, you know, when you think about ends of the spectrum,where he was kind of my you was my counterbalance on the scale and alwayskept me saying, always kept me laughing and somebody that I respect and probablysaved me from many mental breakdowns while I've been in the marketing space in termsof companies. One of the has been a life saver for me recently,I has been the experience that I've gotten with Tony Boxed as a company that, as a family with as many food children as I have, you know, finding things in Bolt has been difficult at times and you know, aworking with you know the Amazons of the world and everyone else is you know, you something in all that it used to be to day shipping. Ithasn't been the by found the box experience to be fantastic. I find theirmarketing to be very clean. I find their their service to be amazing andsomething that is refreshing in the space of something that has been dominated by sofew companies. Seeing a company do it pretty well has been has been prettyinspiring, really interesting. When you see backs. I'm thinking of like thethe cloud storage box Ed, it's it's like it's like almost like Costco,Costco in terms of both goods and whatnot. They're big out by us and withsomething that you know. I caught one of their ads not that longago, went on to their website. Is a great experience to my doorin two days. It was one of those that, in the middle ofa crisis, caught my eye and and and in terms of customer experience,is probably far surpassed a lot of the others that I've seen. I gavea Webinar not that long ago what I should approach. Shouldn't done it,but I took screen taps of every customer contact US page that I had triedto content business within the past forty eight hours and it was a screen shotof just all of the different places where our one in hundred numbers no longerworking. You know, you may experience longer than longer than average way time. I haven't gotten it with this company yet. I'm sure coming, butin light of the multitude of bad experiences that I've had across the board,it was a breath of press. Are Awesome, briand if someone wants toconnect with you or follow up on this conversation, where would you send folksto learn more about you or about vantage? Yeah, it's bond and calm.Brand new website. We just long with the new brand late last year, where we collapse all of our brands, our parent brands, into a single, single brand experience. You'll reach out to me directly on twitter,the Yoman Thirteen, or hit me up on Linkedin. Awesome. I willadd all those links at the post will put up around this episode at Bombombcomlapodcast. Brian, thank you so much again for your time and insights.Glad we were able to reconnect and for all of you who are listening,thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits ofadding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do withjust a little guidance, so pick up the official book rehumanize Your Business.How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order todayat Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experiencepodcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is tocreate and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategiesand tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcompodcast.

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