In the world of contact centers (aka call centers), innovation is out there; it's just not always immediately visible. One of the forces of innovation on the employment/employee side comes to us from Liveops, a major force in providing skilled contact center employees on an "on-demand" basis. I spoke with Keith Leimbach, CEO of Liveops, who explains more what that means and how their approach could potentially benefit to your company.
Micah Solomon: Can you give me an overview of Liveops, Keith?
Keith Leimbach, CEO of Liveops: We are the leading provider of on-demand skilled workforces for customer service and sales. What does this mean? When companies have customer service needs, we provide flexible, skilled, pay-per-use agents who can deliver call center services and/or augment their current call center capabilities. The company was founded 17 years ago, and we have hundreds of customers, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies in industries like financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail, and e-commerce. With no call center overhead or wasted idle time, our pay-per-use model scales to meet seasonal or time of day spikes in customer demand.
Our workforce, agents who make up the "Liveops Nation," are work-from-home, independent business owners, from all over the U.S. We source the best talent to handle our customers' service and sales calls, training them for specific client needs, so that they can provide top-notch service. Our customers have full visibility into the agents' work and can supervise and audit agent/customer interactions. Our agents use an industry leading, secure technology platform that operates in a Level 1 PCI DSS certified environment to ensure we are maintaining our clients' privacy and are in compliance with strict health care and insurance regulatory environments.
Solomon: Taking one step back, tell me something about the current contact center landscape, what's good and bad out there....
Leimbach: The enterprise service industry is at a crossroads. Key trends in technology and customer demand require businesses to evolve the way they deliver customer service voice work affordably and effectively, without sacrificing quality. The need for skilled workforces to address complex issues, especially when customer demand surges, has given rise to "gig economy organizations," and enterprises can tap into these on-demand workforces anywhere and at any scale. As companies bring on these flexible workforces, it's never been more challenging--or more important--to provide new skills development. Skills development for both employees and flex workforces needs to be accessible from anywhere, at any time, as opposed to the training offered to service agents in traditional call centers today.
Solomon: What is new at Liveops--what are you excited about today?
I'm excited about many things at Liveops, but I'll focus on two. First, there are big changes afoot in the call center industry and we believe that the modern call center isn't a brick and mortar building with agents sitting in row after row. The modern call center isn't a building at all. It will be made up of highly skilled, independent, motivated agents who are working at their own homes and on their own terms - making their own hours, deciding how much they want to work and what works best for their lives. They just need the proper training and technology to provide their services from wherever they are. As I continue to hear numerous agent success stories and customer testimonials about the positive impact Liveops has had, I know I've joined a company that is really doing some incredible work.
In addition, we recently announced Skill Builder, a customizable, distance learning and development solution that enables enterprise organizations to develop highly skilled, remote customer service agents. So not only are we providing skilled, trained agents to work with our customers, now we're also delivering custom-made curriculums for organizations to train up their agent workforces, aligning with their specific needs.
Solomon: Why should my readers, many of whom own or lead companies themselves, consider hiring Liveops?
Leimbach: Companies looking at call center solutions have had to make trade-offs between cost, quality, and flexibility for a long time, and there's no need. With Liveops, companies can increase cost efficiency, deliver quality service to keep customers happy and maintain the flexibility to stay responsive to seasonal spikes and lulls. We also provide access to the best agents through our Liveops Nation, a group of 20k highly skilled professionals. Not only do our agents offer a greater set of skills to support our client's customers, but they have deep background and expertise in our customers' industries. Lastly, our workforce flexes to match our customers' needs. We proactively plan for upcoming spikes (for example, the holiday season for retail customers or the hurricane season for insurance companies) and ensure our customers have access to the workforce they need, when they need it.