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Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.
Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.
Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others.
A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications.
Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.
She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.
A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.
Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.
Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.
Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.
Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.
Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
Scott Gilbert is Senior Director of Global Customer Support at Qumu Corporation. He is a problem-solver who is passionate about customer success and turning around under-performing teams. Scott has extensive experience in setting strategies for both customer and tech support teams, maximizing renewal rates, measuring and analyzing departmental performance, implementing proactive customer management tactics, fostering strong inter-dependent relationships between customer support and other departments, and leading special projects. He is also highly skilled at team construction, hiring and staffing, team performance management and team development. In 2019, his team earned the highly coveted Gold Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year. Scott holds a Master’s degree from Mays Business School, Texas A&M University.
Interviewed by Shwetha Mahesh
/ / How has the contact center function evolved in your company over the past few years?
To me, the thing that evolved most in building the high performing team we have today is communicating a strong sense of mission and collective vision. When I took over nearly six years ago, my first objective – along with my executive sponsor – was to establish a clear focus. We helped our team connect the vision and mission of the customer support department to the underlying values of the team by creating a “Team Operating Agreement” (TOA). The TOA lays out the team’s values that underpin its mission and vision. The TOA also helps the team bring the values of the organization to the ground level by providing examples of behavior that are congruent with the values of our organization.
In addition to team mission and goals, we also helped connect the department’s vision and mission to the overall company vision by having our customer support team members participate in sentence completion exercises that helped the team members understand how the department’s goals fit into the bigger picture. Finally, we encouraged the team to complete written experiential exercises to help them envision what success in accomplishing our department’s vision and mission looks like from a customer’s perspective.
/ / What challenges do you face while planning your contact center strategy?
The biggest challenge is just the enormity of the responsibility my team possesses. We’re out there providing worldwide, 24/7/365 support for some of the most complex and mission-critical technology being used within organizations today, i.e., enterprise video technology. In a world where Global 2000 firms are implementing their own, customized instances of Netflix and YouTube, in addition to fully-functioning live video production studios, you can begin to understand the talent, dedication and service-centric approach required to support technology implementations of this complexity and scale. Over the course of 2019, the role of Qumu’s customer support team has been threefold:
Doing these three things well in the face of the complex environmental picture I painted earlier is not easy, and it is our biggest challenge in being able to plan our changing strategy every year.
/ / What are the key metrics you track to gauge the performance of your contact center?
Organization-wide, the Qumu team is all about customer success. Delivering value and results are core to how we think and operate. And in terms of delivering results, I am pleased to report that our team is the number-one-ranked customer support team amongst all our competitors in the enterprise video content management market, based on anonymous customer reviews hosted by Gartner Peer Reviews. Our team also won a Gold Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year in May 2019.
In terms of granular metrics we track on a day-in and day-out basis, here are the key ones we are focused on for our customer support team:
We are very serious about delivering value and results to our customers, and our emphasis on metrics helps us achieve this.
/ / What is the scope of cloud customer support in this industry?
From a pure customer support perspective, the issues we receive always fall into one of four categories:
Documentation guidance and clarification — Answers to questions by way of referring users to product documentation or clarification related to documentation already provided.
/ /Have you implemented an omnichannel approach in your contact center yet? What are the key areas you need to focus on while implementing an omnichannel approach?
Yes. Qumu offers support via our phone line, via email and via tickets supported on our customer support website, as well as through both live chat and social media. I would say the best advice around implementing an omnichannel approach professionally is to get experienced help in adding these channels. Technically, all of the good platforms that are out there make it generally easy to add new channels of support, but the hard work really involves helping your internal team adapt to the new tools and processes.
/ / Has AI been introduced in your contact center? If it has, when was it introduced and how exactly has it helped your company?
We have experimented a little with AI in our customer support process. Although we did not find much benefit from our initial use, we definitely believe it will be important for improving our support in the future. But for now, we need to wait for the technology to improve.
/ / Which platform does your contact center currently function on? Why did you choose that platform?
Qumu has used Zendesk for a number of years now. Originally, we had been using Salesforce, and honestly, I was very reluctant to transition to a new platform. But fortunately, our transition turned out to be relatively easy after hiring an outside consultant to assist us.
/ / What are the most effective ways in which your contact center captures customer feedback?
Our customer support team is constantly improving systems, processes and people to deliver the right information at the right time. In order to do this, we take our customer satisfaction very seriously. The Qumu team requests a survey at the close of each and every ticket a customer opens to ensure constant feedback and input to improve our ability to serve our customers. On the rare occasion when we do get a bad survey result, a follow-up is executed by a member of our management team, who is alerted the second a customer submits their negative feedback. The follow-up is focused on what customer support can do to make the customer satisfied with Qumu’s response to their particular ticket.
Also, on an ad hoc basis, the Qumu support team surveys its customers to gain additional feedback on special topics of interest. For instance, in the past, we have contacted those 10 customers who open the most customer support tickets to poll them and find out what changes they would like to see made to our customer support site (Qumunity). We also conduct a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey once a year, where more in-depth feedback is gathered on all of Qumu’s various operating groups. This feedback is reviewed by all teams and internal plans are coordinated to address customer concerns through our department.
/ / What are the pain points with respect to delivery in your contact center?
Trying to make sure that everything we do exemplifies transparency and openness in the way we operate is always a challenge. Positive or negative, we don’t run away from our feedback. A customer’s negative comment might be difficult to read but this job is all about sharing feedback. Over my career, I’ve seen too many customer success leaders cherry-pick what they communicate to the rest of the organization and back to the customer base. Our focus should be on making sure that any feedback we receive – positive or negative – helps direct the company toward a better outcome. Qumu never edits or deletes negative comments from a support forum.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive the contact center industry in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
I recently attended a seminar hosted by Aragon Research, an analyst firm that covers our industry. The entire seminar revolved around this idea that the emergence of the subscription economy has ushered in this new era of focus on customer experience and that leading companies should look beyond managing customer experiences on the vendor’s terms. They called the concept “Context-Drive Customer Engagement,” or CE for short. Aragon’s point was that because of the emergence of AI and the increasing amount of data vendors have about how customers use (or misuse) the vendor’s service, vendors can really now begin to fully understand, meaningfully engage and reliably delivery great experiences for the customer based on the customer’s context. So, I believe the future really will be about using AI to do this because it’s not about me (the vendor) – it is truly all about the customer.
Building customer relationships in the healthcare tech sector
Marco Armienta, Director of Customer Experience, Valant
Designing your contact center around your most valued asset – your customer
Anthony Daubenmerkl, Vice President of Global Support & Client Success, Thycotic
Delighting customers or meeting expectations: The role of contact centers
Customer contact centers are now playing increasingly larger roles in B2B environments.
Preparing for the call center of the future
David Donatelli, Senior Vice President of Global Customer Support, Fuze
Customer support on a global scale in the financial services industry
Jessica Lovell, Director of Global Customer Support, Morningstar
Customer service: An untapped gold mine of VoC insights
Brett Frazer, Head of Customer Service, Sun Basket