We’re hiring! Visit our careers site to view our openings.
by Aaron Stafford | November 13, 2019
At 5CA, we’ve over a thousand customer support agents working from home all over the world. We provide customer support in any language, at any time and over any channel. We’re developing Artificial Intelligence (AI)-backed tools to empower users and assist our agents. We’re data-driven too: continuously analysing vast amounts of information to improve our operations and we pass vital user experience intel to our clients to help them make better products and experiences.
To do all this, we must have some impressive technology, right? Yep. Do we own any of it? Nope.
At 5CA, our value lies in delivering customer support. We’re not software developers nor technicians and we know it. We, and our clients would rather us focus our 20+ years of customer support experience on delivering value, insights and innovation rather than buying hardware or writing and patching software. To us, technology is an enabler; nothing more nor less. And what an enabler it is!
At 5CA, we choose the public cloud because we choose agility and elevated thinking. We offload the nitty-gritty of IT management to companies who know it best. It’s like me taking the train to write this post; I’m comfortable and able to create while whizzing past those who choose the car and to navigate traffic.
Going cloud isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Public cloud presents challenges as well as benefits, but we consciously choose the cloud because we believe in the net-benefit to us and our clients. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons.
Going cloud requires clarity of what’s important and the confidence to pick your battles. Much like public transport (to stretch my analogy to breaking point), we cannot always choose our route, nor the seat we take. Sometimes too, a service will go down or a cost will go up and we’ve limited influence over the these. Going cloud isn’t a passive exercise, unlike public transport, we can choose our suppliers, we can engage & negotiate, and we move on when the net-value no longer meets our needs. We can and must be proactive customers.
Going cloud means minimising our environmental footprint. By sharing compute power, hardware, cooling, power etc. with others, we use (and pay for) only what we need. The alternative would mean purchasing dedicated kit whose spare capacity we’d rarely use. Going cloud also compliments our Work From Home & Bring Your Own Device (WFH+BYOD) approach in which our agents reduce their footprint by not commuting to work and using the kit they have at hand.
Going cloud means being intelligent about security. A large and distributed BYOD workforce coming in over the public Internet is something worthy of thought. It means being clear on what constitutes our security perimeter and how much trust we place in anything associated with our services (it’s zero btw). We also assume that a breach will occur as this sharpens our thinking toward least-privilege, data loss prevention and surveillance.
Going cloud means discipline because there’s no lack of exciting, feature-rich products out there. At 5CA, we exercise a low code/high config strategy to support our desire to elevate our thinking and be creative. No less important are security, access to data for analytics, and synergy with existing systems and skillsets. IT therefore maintains simple evaluation & selection criteria and we build strong relationships across the company to enable our colleagues to choose the right services.
Going cloud gives us agility. We’re continuously exploring new product ideas and better ways of working, and we do a lot of tinkering to learn and see what comes of it. We can do this without the limits of capital outlay. In general, we can spin up some compute power or switch on a service and have a go. If things look positive, then we scale it up. Otherwise, we switch things off and pay only for what we’ve used. This low-risk context is key to our entrepreneurial spirit and our geeky need to experiment. Cloud gains us an innovative edge and a positive culture of play and learning as we go.
And finally, going cloud means our business is underpinned by the best that technology has to offer. We reduce risk and we gain credibility by using a hyperscale provider for our backoffice and security workloads and for our frontend toolsets, a number of innovative, cloud-born industry-leaders. We also benefit simply from being a customer in a crowded cloud marketplace. As providers jostle to compete they invest deeply in new and improving services that we gain through little or no effort or additional cost.
5CA wasn’t born in the cloud. We’re well-versed in purchasing and maintaining hardware, and to hand-cranking software to meet our needs. But as cloud technology matured, 5CA made the move and like so many agile and entrepreneurial companies, we seem to have found our home. It’s still under construction and a door handle may sometimes go missing, but as space to imagine, to create and to be at our best for our people, our clients and their customers, there’s no better place than the cloud.
Aaron is our Chief Technology Officer, which puts him at the center of 5CA’s capability to deliver incredible things today and to do even more tomorrow. Australian by birth and Dutch & British by choice, Aaron’s collection of passports rivals that of Jason Bourne. According to Aaron, IT is a fantastic industry to be in: It’s always changing, there’s always something new to learn and plenty of opportunities to make things better. IT’s biggest plus though is its people: Interesting, smart and geeky; there’s never a dull moment in the IT crowd.
Gaming has been one of the few beneficiaries of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Global quarantine and stay-at-home orders preventing people from traveling, commuting, and socializing has resulted in a boom for the gaming industry.
Maximize the value of your VIP players and discover how work from home (WFH) support helps you add more value to your gaming whales.
Game launched? Check.
Player hype? Check.
Champagne? Crack that bottle, you deserve it!
But while it bubbles on your tongue, let me ask you this: Have you considered how to respond to players who need assistance or want to provide feedback? And when your player base grows (and let's be honest it will - your game is awesome), what will you do when those interactions start exploding in languages you do not speak? How will you manage the volume of requests coming in, but still provide the best possible user experience to your fans?
Yes…. Another thought piece on how COVID-19 is re-shaping life as we know it and what can we learn from it going forward.
With people stuck at home and shops closed, several industries, such as e-commerce, streaming entertainment, and gaming, are experiencing hyperactivity. The influx is driving revenues but also customer support needs.
Did anyone see that Assassins’ Creed Valhalla announcement trailer? Of course you did. Chances are you did not discover it on your own, but instead it appeared on your social media channels, most likely shared by a fan of the franchise or an influencer. At least that is how it happened to me. Game marketing truly has changed in the era of digital, community, and influencers.
It’s often said, ‘people are the weakest link in cybersecurity’. I get that and I agree that we must seek to minimize human-related threat vectors. But I believe that if we view our people, our teammates, as our greatest security asset, then we start from a position of strength.
In BPO, we often talk about how we deliver the best possible customer experience. We focus on training knowledgeable and empathetic agents, we run and rerun staffing simulations to ensure minimal wait times. These things are important, but, for the most part, once a customer is reaching out to us, it’s already a ding to the overall customer experience. Customers want an easy experience that works as it should and is intuitive.
Last month, Vice ran an interesting article by Jess Morrissette on how games marketing invented toxic gaming culture by promoting toxicity and harassment as value propositions for gaming. While considered perfectly reasonable at the time, games marketing has luckily taken a turn for the better.
One of the most interesting things about the gaming industry is that gamers don’t behave like customers. Sure, they have no problem spending like customers, but their devotion and passion makes them more like super-fans.
With more and more companies providing work-from-home possibilities, and children spending more time at home during school breaks, many tend to fill the time previously spent commuting or at after-school activities on picking up new or old hobbies. It comes as no surprise that playing video games is one of those favored hobbies.
The World Health Organization and almost every national government has encouraged everyone in non-essential roles to stay at home. With millions of people in self-isolation, there is a real need to ensure these people have something to do.
Companies across the world are facing an unprecedented wave of disruption at present. One of the specific outcomes from this is that many people are suddenly working from home. Many have no experience working away from the office and so the business journals are full of tips on how to make it work.
Companies across the world are finding their business extremely disrupted at present and it looks like things may get worse before they get better. During this time there has been a strong focus on the need for people to work from home...
In this new day and age where no one spends more than 67 seconds away from a screen without at least a hint of anxiety, recruiting and engaging this new wave of job seekers is no less complicated than swiping right, get a match and then not really knowing how to open a conversation anymore (sound familiar?).
One methodology to aid in creating the right structure and behaviors in the customer support or customer service domain is called KCS (Knowledge-Centered Service).
In virtually any organization where continuous learning and improvement are priorities, there will eventually be a need to organize learning and training using a Learning Management System (LMS)...
Consumer support over any channel, in any language, at any time: 5CA’s successful contact center as a service is possible because we use technology to make planet Earth our talent pool. It also presents an intriguing challenge: How do we balance flexibility, productivity, and security?
The most common response I get when I tell people I work in Workforce Management (WFM), often coupled with a very confused facial expression, is “Hmmm, is that in HR…?”
We’ve probably all heard of quality assessment (QA) before, where a quality specialist goes over agent interactions and checks to see if there are any possible areas of improvement or development...
The most successful companies make listening and understanding their customers a vital part of their business strategy. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Staff engagement has a variety of factors that employees should give attention to, and one of these factors that I am particularly passionate about is employee development.
Chances are your company has a defined mission statement. A short description of your market, goals, and how you intend to reach those goals...
What do you make of this phrase: If we want to improve our CSAT then we need to increase FCR! If you're new to customer service then this is probably complete gibberish to you...