Avaya is a software and services organization that has a long legacy in the telecommunications industry. Headquartered in California’s Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley, the business has evolved alongside the industry. “The evolution really came down to the mobile device – the smart phone becoming the entry point for communications across every platform,” explains Tim Gogal, Senior Director of Client Experience Innovation at Avaya. “Looking at it from a corporate perspective, not only do we have a very strong focus on evolving our customer strategies around the evolution of a multichannel or omnichannel approach to customer service, we also internally create and invent software that ties all those things together.” Gogal’s team has developed its strategy to optimize the transition from legacy telecommunications engineering skill sets to software developments that cater to clients’ needs.
“I run a sales organization that focuses on evolving our clients’ customer service strategies. We’re moving away from simply focusing on contact centers and looking at a larger digital transformation imperative,” Gogal says. “We’re understanding how customers are communicating with brands and social media using crowd sourcing websites, and we’re addressing the larger understanding that customer service today, in a digital transformation mindset, is completely different than the industry as a whole.” Having previously worked as a contact center agent, Gogal realized there was a better way of doing business if organizations could align technologies with customer service strategies. Through his analysis of the strategy, Gogal earned his place as a global voice architect which led to him selling the technology that can transform businesses.
With the proliferation of mobile devices, Avaya ensures it is offering the most advanced services whilst maintaining a tailored approach, enhancing efficiency and desirability in its communications component. “Digital transformation is ultimately defining that there’s a larger imperative at play; it encompasses much more than just technology. It encompasses the importance of understanding who is at the other end of the communication channel – whether it’s a phone call, a chat or an SMS – and giving that particular individual the opportunity to communicate through the channel that’s most appropriate and most effective for them,” comments Gogal. “I have a team of software developers that focus on creating individual, customized and unique experiences on a case by case basis for each and every one of our clients.”
Avaya’s omnichannel approach has enabled it to adapt to customers’ needs. “We have the ability to integrate very seamlessly with virtually any enterprise application that’s available and bring the contextual data sets of those back-office applications into the overall client experience. We are uniquely positioned to provide our clients with a personalized service across virtually any media channel and that’s a fundamental game changer for us,” Gogal adds.
“Avaya’s business lineage leads us back to the 1-800 patent. Having such a strong legacy in the communications space, along with the customer service industry, uniquely allows Avaya to position itself as an industry expert,” says Gogal. As a business with a great understanding of the industry surrounding it, the firm uses its knowledge to stay on top of vertical trends. Avaya combines trends of the future with its end customer experience through two key areas – service design and driving business outcomes. Gogal will deploy a team of software developers and digital transformation strategists to build prototypes for the client leveraging service design practices focused on streamlined business process models. “We start the process by understanding explicitly what our end customers want from the brand from an experience perspective,” he notes. Following the initial stage, the business will conduct interviews to align with the executive level visions of the company. During the consulting process, the team will build the business model into a communication workflow that focuses on streamlining the experience.
“We look at whether we have opportunities for deploying artificial intelligence (AI) via chat bots. We look at things such as IoT devices and how we can leverage them to build a better and more desirable experience. Are there IoT sensors that can be leveraged in this process depending upon each case-by-case basis? We look at whether or not blockchain is applicable as it relates to security needs. It is important to understand where our clients are today and what their end customers want, and what technologies are in play which can be leveraged to achieve a digitally transformed experience, with security in mind, of course.”
As an example of the Client Experience Innovation team’s “Art of the Possible” mentality, the group developed a prototype last year that incorporated the customer service agent and the residential establishment – working with technologies such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa. To show how the client experience is evolving, and how uniquely positioned Avaya’s open architecture really is, they wanted to show how they can enable its clients to book trips via voice command. “The idea is in creating that use case of booking a trip, selecting your flight itinerary, your hotel capability, and capturing all those attributes through the in-home AI platform. Then, if there’s a need for a conversation, it can be escalated to an agent or a customer service representative in a contact center who receives the appropriate data along with the contextual history of everything that took place within that AI platform,” Gogal explains.
As Avaya continues to target each customer’s individual needs, the company looks forward to facing new and distinctive challenges on a case-by-case basis. “The focus is understanding what the uniqueness of each business process is and layering on the Avaya solutions as the communication fabric for making operations as seamless as possible,” says Gogal. “It’s a delicate balance of understanding high level trends but also targeting the minutia of customers’ business issues and overall expectations, and how we solve for them.” Whilst streamlining the operations of its customers by removing human latency, striking a parallel between technology adoption and personalization will continue to be a top priority to the firm.