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Pivoting from Crisis to Innovation

By Rick Hoefert
Chief Customer Officer, ASAPP

“Honestly, some of my peers are in hunker-down mode. But the smart ones are thinking how they can seize this moment to pivot and transform for the future.”
— SVP Customer Experience, $12B Transportation Company

Resilience and transformation are the first words that come to mind when we think of the last 8 weeks for all of our ASAPP customers. These extraordinary times have brought about some extraordinary results for the CX teams we work with. What this crisis has proven is the critical importance of CX teams to the success of companies — across every industry.

Some companies lost 30%-50% of their agent workforce overnight when overseas contact centers shut down because they could not support work-from-home requirements. But our customers are succeeding.

Call volume volatility for some industries meant surges – in some cases  more than an 800% increase, followed by a nosedive to 10% of normal. But our customers are succeeding.

In other industries, digital channel support has grown from 8% of all interactions to over 33% of all interactions in these few short weeks. And our customers are succeeding.

If a silver lining can be found from the last few weeks, it is that business, technical and in-house political barriers have fallen away to allow for improvisation and experimentation. And smart CX leaders are using this moment to pivot.

Rick Hoefert

Our ASAPP team worked alongside our customers in the last eight weeks to:

  • Enable AI-powered automation in less than 24 hours, across all customers, to support +300% surge in customer inquiries during the peak of COVID-19
  • Support customer care teams in shifting to 100% work-from-home status, with secure, flexible, cloud-based software applications
  • Reduce pandemic call support wait times from an average of 3 hour to just minutes by shifting contact from voice to digital channels

This crisis has shown some CX leaders the art of the possible. What if we can support remote work-from-home for the long-term as a way of cutting costs? What if we can shift much of our support onto lower cost digital channels because it’s not only better for our OpEx but it’s actually what our customers want?

In this unique moment, companies can learn and progress more quickly than ever before. The ways companies adjust to today’s crisis will deeply influence their performance in the coming months of economic constraints. They have the opportunity to retain greater agility and build closer ties with customers and employees. Those that successfully make these gains “stick,” will be the companies that succeed during recovery and beyond.

If you’re thinking about how to advance your CX programs using AI, you may find this executive brief of interest: “Shift 30% of your voice calls to digital channels in 30 days.

Rick Hoefert is Chief Customer Officer at ASAPP. He has 37 years experience in leading CX Voice and Digital. Prior to ASAPP, he was COO of TouchCommerce (now a part of Nuance Communications NASDAQ: NUAN).

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