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88. Unleashing CX Excellence Journey into the Omni-Channel World with Andrew Moules

September 27, 2023

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Listen in with our amazing partner, Andy Moules of Red Rose Technologies from the UK discuss Omni-Channel and CX in 2023. Andy dives into a very unique and valuable approach of how he journey maps with his customers. He drops countless valuable tips that help his customers down their CX journey you won’t want to miss!

Everybody, welcome in. Good morning. Today, we are wrapping up a CX track titled, “Unleashing CX Excellence and Journeying into the Omni-Channel World.” Today, with us, we’ve got Mr. AndyMoules coming to us from the UK of Red Rose Technologies. Andy, welcome on, my man. Thank you very much. Pleasure to chat to you. Andy, so as we kick this off, I think everybody loves to hear about our guests’ backgrounds. So walk us through a little bit about how did you get into this space? How did you set out to do what you’re doing and building out Red Rose?

Yes, I find it fascinating going and looking at what I’ve done before and where I started. And when we first started chatting about doing this podcast, I started looking back at when I first left college and I was fixing storage drives at the time. So my first foray into IT and technology is I was fixing little DAT drives and DLTs, as they’re called at the time. So cartridges. And so that was my first first role. I’ve very much engineering and technical.

And I think after about a year of that and seeing some of the sales guys flash their cars, I thought there’s got to be a different side to explore within IT and technology. And so what started out as a very technical based role was taking me sort of from 360 and back now to kind of what I’m doing, loving doing the best, which is kind of supporting customers. So talk to me then about how did Red Rose come about? How did you transition others? All right. I’m an engineer. This is good, but I’m seeing other things happening over here. What did Red Rose come about?

Yeah, so I spent most of my career within the channel, if I’m honest. I work for the UK here, distributors, I work for some vendors. And one of the probably most successful periods I had was when I was working with I was kind of working for Samsung at the time. My role then was kind of like a pre-sales channel account manager. And quite regularly, I would get resellers who would contact me and say, Andy, we’ve got this opportunity. Can you come out? Can you bring your Samsung demo kit? Come and see the customer. And I would go on a full PBX on the desk, plug in phones and just be in my element there. I’ve kind of almost run into the project sort of from start to finish, you know, coming up with that idea of listening to the clients and sort of just walking through. And when I made the decision, probably I think it’s about three years ago, I wish track of time now has been so busy that I went outside and once I had Red Rose, it was I want to bring that back again. That was my period that I absolutely embraced and enjoyed the most. How can I get that back and do this in my own little way and in my personal touch?

What is the I mean, just for you kind of starting this thing out from scratch, what’s that journey been like? I mean, is it what you expected it to be? Is it harder? Is it easier? Is it somewhere in the middle? Help everybody understand that. It’s been a very strange journey for me because I started right in the middle of Covid and I sort of think back to myself. If I was to start a business in normal time and in normal environments, starting a business without a black book of contacts or any old customers I can go and speak to, I could quite imagine I would be up and down the motorway driving to see everyone and anyone I could who could just talk to me about TIF and the contact centre, etc, etc. But so from that point of view, Covid being kind of in lockdown kind of kept my costs quite low to be, to be brutally honest with you, because everything was, you know, new business seemed to be done on platforms like LinkedIn, which was again, was completely new to me. I wasn’t a big social media user, still probably not as much now. But, you know, it was all video calls. It was, you know, done.

Everything was done over email or like I said, you know, introductions done over LinkedIn. So saved myself a lot of cost, I think, by not having to actually have a car and travel around the country to have conversations that may or may not go anywhere. So from that point of view, the start in, I feel I was quite, maybe quite lucky.

Interesting. Okay, so let’s talk about, let’s get into a little bit of the omni channel side here. I mean, this track is about journeying into the omni channel world. And so, you know, we’ve had this kind of history where UC has evolved, contact center has evolved. So from your perspective, it’s 2023. What, as a partner, what does omni channel mean to you? Yeah, it’s, again, another fascinating conversation that comes up whenever I speak to a client. And I’ve been very lucky that a lot of my clients I speak to are generally right at the early stages of not only kind of migrating to the cloud and looking at a cloud strategy, but at the same time, just at the early stages of their kind of CX and customer experience and so on as well. So when I’m talking to clients about omni channel, for example, you know, it’s one of those reasons that will facilitate really, really meaningful engagement with my clients, customers and kind of end users. And it’s one of those things that are kind of like, there’s so much within the technology stacks now, which one do we prioritize first, which one do we put as the next big thing for us? But certainly that way we talk about it, and I talk about my clients is, you know, it’s just that new way of a customer centric approach because customers now, they expect convenience and they expect a personal feel and they want to do it in their own time, their own fashion and in the way they want to do it on the platforms they want to do it. So so that’s the kind of conversations we’re having. And I see this a lot with my clients is their customers, you know, younger generations are kind of starting to become their customers now, they’re really having to think about, well, these next generations expect new social or they expect chatbots and convenience. So it’s it’s really fascinating just listening to the different spoke. Yeah, yeah. Good point. I guess it always comes back to we have to meet the end customers where they are. If you meet our customers where they are, right. And I’m kind of curious from your perspective, I mean, as we think about trends, I’m open to hear any trends that you’re seeing across the customers. But I guess part of that I’m interested in the trend of when you talk to customers and prospects about this, are you finding that they know what they want? Did they know how to get to that omni channel? I mean, walk us through is that a trend or is there better trends? That it I have to say there’s there’s different conversations at different stages. But I think the biggest trend I’m seeing is that a lot of my clients are at such that early stage and they they don’t know what they they don’t know. And they think a chatbot or they think on the channel is probably the right stage for the next. But they’re at such an early stage of their kind of CX journey that sometimes I have to say to them, let’s not just go all in straight away. Let’s test the water. Let’s have a plant. Let’s have a phased approach to what’s coming next because one of the big things I focus on is not just the CX side, but actually is the user experience. And if you’ve got a happy user and someone that knows how to use it, certain bit of technology, then they’re going to come across really personal, really empathetic to the clients. And that’s the start of the CX journey in my opinion. Yeah, great point. Let’s talk about industries, verticals, markets.

I know it seems like this technology certainly applies to everybody, but are there any specific industries or verticals that you go, wow, these guys really struggle with CX? And if so, what are some of those challenges that might might be tricky for them? I think two of the industries and one in particular that I work quite heavily in is the legal sector. And it is absolutely fascinating now to see the rise of contact center technology within the legal sector and law firms, because I don’t think they will mind me saying that they’ve traditionally been slow to change and to uptake. And now a contact center in my clients can represent anything from their internal support desk through to a concierge, a switchboard or even a customer facing tool. So it’s really the contact center technology, that sort of CX and user experience has just kind of exploded within legal firms. And it’s great to be apart because it feels like it’s a really early journey that we’re growing with together and learning about as we go. Yeah, I would echo that. I think when we got pulled in historically to legal discovery calls, we’d think about this and go, these guys aren’t going to do anything. They’re not going to make a move. They never make a move. They love to hug the on prem. They love to hug the legacy technology. And yeah, I mean, if those guys are evolving, that should tell everybody where we’re at in the curve. Yet there’s still so much opportunity. Yeah, I agree. You know, I think certainly the legal sector in particular, there’s a big reputational element to anything they do. And that, again, that’s the conversations I’m having is more about what’s the outcomes, you know, what is it we’re trying to achieve here and then kind of work in that backwards. And reputation is such a big thing for legal firms. And even if that contact center or on the channel, whatever it is, is operating internally within a legal firm, those users are still expecting convenience and they’re expecting to do it at their pace and at their time. So there’s just lots and lots to think about. And this will be the same with all clients of all sectors, really, which one of these thousands of features within this technology do we switch on first and what do we switch on next?

Yeah, you know, it’s interesting. I think if you’re when we think about who’s listening to this podcast, right, like we talked about before we started, it’s current partners. It’s people that want to be partners but don’t understand our world yet or don’t even know that this exists and just think customers are buying things directly.

And so you think, well, geez, you know, UC and contact center, that’s been about out for a while. It’s been evolving for a while. But it’s incredible when you still talk to customers. There’s evolutions in every journey. So just because somebody bought a UC or CX technology, that doesn’t that can’t stay stagnant, just like a prim piece of telephony couldn’t stay stagnant. We replaced that the UC has to evolve, it has to be bolted on to it has to be have some analytics have some AI have whatever’s next. And so to me, everybody is always an opportunity in this because they’re just nobody’s at that spot. Correct me if I’m wrong, but nobody’s at that spot where they say, No, no, no, we’re good. We did everything cutting edge bleeding edge, right?

I totally agree with you. Yeah. And that’s why I really emphasize to to my clients when we’re going through this process is actually to be to just trial and test really because and keep evolving and keep trying new things because there is a lot of features out there and clients are always evolving. Things are always happening. So it’s to have that kind of staged approach. And like I said, it’s if you’re looking at technology stack and going, Oh, that would be quite good. That only channel or maybe that AI is pilot trial and see how it fits if it fits the culture because again, that’s a big thing as well is is the not only the reputation, but the culture within the organization as well does that bit technology fit the culture of what they’re trying to do. Good point.

All right. So let’s talk about a deal. So I want to dissect walk us through a customer current or a prospect that you got brought into. What were you told the problem was? And then as you kind of went into that, what did you really find out that the problem was? And then what does it either? You know, what does it look like? The in solution is going to be or what was the end solution that you put in place? Yeah, yeah, I’ve had so many projects, funny enough, actually, where I’ve gone in day one, and I like to hear what the team there are expecting day one. And quite often I hear, God, be a Microsoft Teams. It’s got to it’s got to integrate with with with our E fives. Okay, that’s fine. We can we can deal with that. But you know what are the what are the other problems? And then that’s really how I work is is is trying to be a problem solver for my clients and not just kind of speaking to the technology team or someone leading a transformation or change project to kind of go, where’s your end goal? But if I was to kind of immerse myself within your business and spend a day with a fee or spend a day with an agent in the contact center is looking at how they work. What are they facing those problems and taking that back to to the IT team. And that’s kind of most of my projects, to be honest, is actually right. Get it understand where you want to be Microsoft Teams, but what are we trying to solve here? And so, yeah, all my projects, I make sure I immerse myself as if I work for that company and go around stakeholders users and run user workshops, user interviews, bring analytics and cost analysis to the IT team or to that transformation team go right, okay, here’s some meaningful data and meaningful outcomes that we can work towards. And like I said, with most of these law firms that I’m dealing with now, the rise of the conversation around, you know, let’s take, for example, a project I’m working on at the moment where the contact center is all about their internal service desk and they want to now bring that service desk closer to their internal users. And so it’s now really investigating about what technologies like on the channel or AI can enable that, that kind of bring in the users closer to the users. So that service desk. So I kind of suppose I kind of go around the business and find problems. Yeah, I guess. I mean, do you how important at the end of these, if you look at the deals that you’ve looked at that start with teams, teams, teams, teams, how often does teams become the driving point at the very end? Is it 100% of the time it’s still critically important? Or is it? Oh, yeah, 10% of the time, they’re still talking about it. Yeah, yeah, I, I bring up the teams element because I’m so heavily focused on the user experience, as well as the customer experience. And so there’s a reason why I sort of mentioned this because, for example, you know, if you’re talking to a business that have got thousands and thousands of users, and maybe they’re already using teams in a certain fashion already. And dropping another application on their desktop or asking them to retrain something completely brand new, as well as having maybe teams or something, for example, you know, it’s just potentially could cause numerous problems and delays and so on. So I actually went on to go around and looking at these users and talking to them. It sometimes makes sense to actually go, you know what, this route would work best for you, because, you know, the adoption of new technology and how much they want it to be plugged into play.

And that’s the reason why I mentioned teams. But in all honesty, I would probably say maybe half, maybe actually end up being a teams in some fashion, but I do see a lot of mix and match just again, depending what that user wants.

That ultimately, you know, resonates. Well, I think that’s such a good, honest statistic of I think it shows the value that we have to add, right? If you were to say, oh, 100% of the time teams ends up at the very end, then we would say, okay, customers know what they want. They know what’s out there. They know what’s possible. But this is where we come in and where we all add so much value is because, yeah, it doesn’t. The story here is always the same. It doesn’t end how it starts. And so helping people uncover that, I love to hear the journey that you walk through with that awesome stuff. It’s essentially, I mean, I think on one of your previous podcasts that I listened to, there was someone who made a comment of, okay, well, if we’re going to put that in, well, what metric, what KPI does that change? And generally, you know, there’s certain people that kind of go, oh, I don’t really know, actually. And so that’s where I go, well, let me work out what that KPI and what that metric is. And I always remember that podcast. I thought that was such a great saying. I’m going to steal that and use it myself for being honest. Love it. Love it. That’s why we do this podcast. It’s a whole partner. So please do. I love it.

Okay. So we talked about a deal. We’ve talked about the markets, the trends, kind of lay the groundwork a little bit. That all sounds awesome and great and unicorns and rainbows. I want to hear about something hard.

What’s a problem? I mean, when you go and talk to these customers, I love to hear and maybe get in a little bit to objection handling. And what are some things that you hear, unexpected or expected, and kind of how do you get through those?

Yeah, I think with any hurdles in a project, I try to lay them out very early to my clients because I can be nothing but honest and let them know what lies ahead of them. And bar the normal, you know, watch out for number 14 at some point, that’s going to be really, really painful. I think when we’re talking about contact center and CX and so on, I feel the unexpected hurdle that’s going to come is when an agent is faced with a new bit of technology. Okay, they’ve been trained, they’ve been through all the relevant onboarding and so on. But what happens when they get that first disruptive customer and they’ve got a bit of technology signed from them, they’re going, I think I know how to use this. I’m getting to know it. And how do I remain kind of professional, empathetic and so on while I’m still trying to work out what is going on on my desktop. I always make sure I kind of bring that up, but you know, there’s going to be some bumps in the road from a user perspective and customer experience. But that reputation or pitch, you know, they’ve got the right tools in place and they’ve got the right people and they use some of the analytics afterwards, you know, sentiment analytics. They use that afterwards, actually, they can dive into that call and go, okay, well, maybe why did that agent struggle? Is there something we could be doing to help train them? But, you know, that and of course number two is always the unexpected hurdle. But, you know, again, talking about law firms, you know, some of the expected kind of hurdles is, you know, it’s the resistance to change. We already spoke about it.

And traditionally, law firms, you know, they’ve got their set ways and something new is a big step. And with that comes potentially shifting processes or changes in workflows.

And you just have to lay these out day one because there’s nothing more than getting so far into a project and, you know, a client going, oh my gosh, I didn’t realize we had to do this. So, you know, that careful planning, effective communication, while at the start on those unexpected things that are going to come along is absolutely critical. And definitely the way I like to run my business is, you know, it’s got to be that personal kind of approach and honest. Yeah, I love it. Get the I think people respect you so much more to get the difficult things out of the way first. Get those roadblocks, those hurdles. Hey, this is not as easy as just a technology change. And I think coming from coming from somebody who they might think, oh, this person’s here to sell me something. And then you come in and say, here’s the hard and scary parts about this. They go, oh, wow, he’s honest. Okay. Well, listen, maybe he can help us. You know, it probably breaks down such a huge wall. And we just go, you know, that’s just part of our process. We want this to go smooth so that you want to, you know, you want us to be your partner on this forever. Yeah. Yeah. But, you know, ultimately, I explained to my clients that no matter what the hurdle, we’re in this together and we’re going to work through it together. And a part of my role is making sure that the vendor, the client, the self, we’re all on the same journey. We all understand what’s going on. And actually, it’s not a battle to go past these hurdles. It’s, you know, jumping them all together. All right. Last final couple of thoughts here. So if I’m a partner, I’m listening to this. You’ve convinced me to want to jump into this kind of CX, you see omni channel side of the house. What’s the biggest tip that you would give a partner on maybe how to have some of that conversation?

Yeah, I think I kind of alluded to it fairly early on is actually I spend a lot of my time really focusing on actually the user itself. And, you know, there’s all sorts of customer journey mapping you can do. There’s all sorts of technology you can throw at this day one. But I really focus quite heavily on that user experience because, like I said, if you’ve got a happy user, a confident user, and, you know, let’s say one of these users of contact center, is financially driven and earns commission off of certain sales. And you’ve put the right technology in place that when a call lands with them, they haven’t got to go through certain levels of discovery. And actually, they’ve got a kind of a hot prospect in front of them and they can close it quickly. Then, you know, you’re just gonna have a happy user is just gonna resonate that that CX part.

That’s without giving people too much about what I do on a day to day basis. Really, that is my focus is actually what are the users need and bring the users along the project as well. Give them a voice. Yeah, in the project. Yeah, no, that’s really good advice. Good. Because if you’re gonna get good adoption if users bought it. Yes, it can’t just be, oh, great. Now I’ve been told I got to do this. It’s no, I was part of that discussion. They heard us. They listened to us. They know actually what we need. So we’re all in good stuff. All right. Final thoughts, Andy. So let’s talk about your opinion on the future. And I know any more, it’s hard to look out past 12 months because this technology is just it evolved so incredibly fast. But if we just look out 12 months, we talk about the evolution of the broader CX market here. I think you’ve defined what Omni channel means. I think you’ve defined kind of where we’re at, how you go through some of these germs. But what do you think is going to happen over the next 12 months of evolution? I think it’s going to be exciting time for sure. I mean, you know, you’re seeing already some of the vendors with what they’re doing with AI and automation. I think that’s going to be a real huge enabler of any conversation that is based on a client’s culture and how they want to approach speaking to clients.

I feel like the whole AI, the automation and of course social media, that’s always still going to be there and only get more relevant and stronger. But I just can’t wait to see where the automation side of things is going to really drive this technology because certainly I feel at the moment that not only clients are really at that early stage of technology adoption around contact sensing, but our vendors are really putting some serious R and D into contact center as well. And it feels like we’re right at the start of a really, really cool journey. So I can’t wait to see what else is coming to be honest. I love it. Yeah, it’s a fun time to be in this space. I’m with you. I think we’re in the middle of a once in a great, wild paradigm shift. So it’s a good time to be in technology. Yeah, great stuff. Okay, man. Andy, that wraps us up for today. I’m out of questions, man. I really appreciate you coming on. Thank you. It’s been a pleasure. Awesome. All right, everybody. It wraps us up for today. Andy Moules Red Rose Technologies, talking about Omni Channel and the journey. So I’m your host, Josh Lupresto SVP of Sales Engineering. This is Next Level BizTech.

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