As a seasoned sales leader, David D’Antonio intuitively understands the importance of cultivating strong and meaningful customer relationships at LiveVox.
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Today, we share insights from a chat with D’Antonio in this Executive Perspective. In the interview, David sheds light on why one-dimensional, product-focused approaches fall flat with customers and suggests a more effective alternative, one informed by education and empathy.
David D’Antonio emphasizes that while evangelizing your product and your product alone may seem appealing, it often overlooks a fundamental aspect of the business relationship: your customer’s perspective. Customers are not primarily concerned with the industry category you belong to or the awards you’ve won; their focus lies in finding solutions to their problems and meeting their goals. He advocates for aligning your efforts with this customer-centric mindset.
This customer-centric approach allows you to cultivate trust, loyalty, and long-term partnerships. Regularly seeking opportunities to provide additional value beyond your core product or service, whether through educational resources, industry insights, relevant partnerships, or even other products is what truly changes the game for sales teams.
Below are excerpts from the interview.
On understanding the changing contact center landscape and why a one-size-fits-all approach to customer engagement no longer works
The landscape of customer service is undergoing a seismic shift. Customer demands are evolving rapidly, requiring businesses to adapt and embrace new communication channels. Customers expect seamless experiences across multiple platforms, from voice to digital channels like SMS, email, and chat, and back.
Traditional siloed data systems no longer suffice because they don’t allow for the dynamic customer-led interactions that customers want today. Customers evaluate you based on the last best experience they had with another organization. Frequently, in an unrelated industry and setting. Customer service leaders are grappling with the need to consolidate data, integrate various systems, and empower their agents with the tools needed to deliver these exceptional service experiences.
On the power of making customers the heroes
As a leader within LiveVox, I believe in inspiring and empowering our sales teams to effectively communicate the value of our platform to potential customers. But, that enthusiasm shouldn’t be one dimensional.
I encourage my teams to empathize with the struggles faced by customer service leaders and envision what a better contact center could look and feel like. I want my people to act as guides on a journey towards operational excellence. In doing so, we empower our customers to be excited about future possibilities.
By positioning themselves as a guiding partner, rather than the protagonist in the story, sellers can inspire their customers to view themselves as the heroes in their journey toward organizational transformation. That is a powerful feeling and refreshing for customers.
On what agent empowerment really looks like
Agents fill the critical role in delivering outstanding customer experiences. By focusing on improving the agent experience, you enable your agents to better serve your customers. You want a software capability that organizes data on agents’ desktops, providing them with access to vital information and communication methods. The result is a more powerful agent who can efficiently and effectively address customer needs.
You don’t want your agents logging into multiple systems to get the job done and you want commonality of experience across the conversation channels that your contact center employs. So, you want all communication channels available in real-time in a single interface so agents can seamlessly engage with customers through voice, SMS, email, and other digital channels.
The ability to communicate from a single dashboard across multiple channels empowers agents to provide quick, personalized, and efficient support. You want them to be able to share an email with necessary forms, engage in real-time conversations via Webchat, or reply to an inbound SMS, streamlining the customer experience.
On being a flexible partner
I met with a small lender who was considering LiveVox as a new solution for their operation. They partner with companies to offer loans to employees. They’re a small outfit with under 25 agents and were really protective of the value they delivered to their customers. Initially, they viewed LiveVox as only a dialer and were wary of the negative connotation that entails. They were skeptical about using a dialer and wanted to avoid the perception of harassing their customers.
But, after listening to their needs, assessing the issues they faced, and focusing on mapping the benefits of the LiveVox CCaaS platform with the experience they were looking to provide, the LiveVox team was able to help them see how we provided a solution that aligned with their values. By implementing our CCaaS and Unified Agent Desktop platforms, we showed them how they could improve the experience they provide to their customers, while simultaneously improving their operations without compromising their conservative approach. I think this example showcases how LiveVox customizes its technology and services to meet specific customer needs and preferences, emphasizing the platform’s flexibility and ability to adapt to different business models rather than trying to shoehorn a customer who might not be the right fit onto the platform.