Sparkcentral: Boosting Customer Services through Digital Messaging

Joe Gagnon, CEO, SparkcentralJoe Gagnon, CEO
"All our agents are currently busy. Your call is important to us. Please hold while we connect your call…I would like to transfer you to our accounting department. I believe that the department will be able to get the information you need.”

These two lines sum up the frustrating experience customers have to go through when put on hold for long or their calls get transferred multiple times. While advancing technology has altered the expectations of customers, most contact centers continue to foster anachronistic techniques along with outdated processes and technologies that reflect poorly on their business. This is precisely what Sparkcentral intends to change. Challenging the status quo in the customer service industry, Sparkcentral is leading the charge to change how customer service is delivered around the world. The company is on a mission to eliminate legacy approaches and, at the same time, enable innovative ways to create extraordinary customer service experiences with the power of digital messaging.

In this digital era where consumers message with each other every waking hour of every day, it is about time that some of these messages go to and come from businesses. With its novel digital messaging platform for “asynchronous” customer engagement, Sparkcentral reinvigorates its clients’ customer service approach while aligning it with multiple trends on social media and messaging. With a consultative approach, Sparkcentral shows the way on how to embrace digital channels without disrupting the existing contact center processes, people, or technologies.

Sparkcentral’s customer service platform leverages asynchronous messaging channels—those that do not require a real-time conversation like a phone call would, such as Facebook Messenger, SMS, and WhatsApp—as well as web chat and mobile apps to allow efficient digital communication between customers and businesses.
“Our platform initiates a digital dialogue between a customer and an agent or expert in such a way that when customers ask questions, they always get answers, even if an agent isn’t available at that exact moment,” explains Joe Gagnon, CEO at Sparkcentral. At the core, the solution implements the concept of an Automatic Messaging Distributor (AMD), the equivalent of the Automated Call Distribution (ACD) of a traditional contact center—but for the modern messaging world. A routing engine examines the message inbound, prioritizes it, and routes the message to the right place for the best answers. These messaging-based interactions promise to increase overall engagement and transform the contact center into a competitive differentiator.

From an agent’s perspective, the platform allows to resolve customer issues fast and with context using a unique interface that enables the agent to see all digital channels at the same time for each customer. An integrated view into the history of the customer conversation assists agents in personalizing the services and exceeding the expectations of each customer. Sparkcentral’s AMD Platform integrates and interacts with other key customer service applications via APIs to pull in customer data and help them with answers.

Agent productivity is a key focus area for the solution. It therefore provides an innovative new virtual agent framework that treats AI and chatbots as members of the workforce capable of taking over the basic and mundane tasks such as collecting data or prequalifying a customer. The particular architecture chosen by Sparkcentral offers more flexibility than traditional approaches. An AI-powered virtual agent can be pulled in at three different entry points of a dialog: at the inception point, as an act of delegating to it in the middle of a conversation with a live agent, or at the conclusion point. This results in maximum agent efficiency and the best possible experience for both agents and the customer. The company partners with leading chatbot vendors to build the best messaging experiences in the industry.

“The Sparkcentral platform offers an opportunity to harness benefits for both parties; companies achieve significant retention rates, and the customers have amazing experiences,” adds Gagnon. The best-of-breed customer service solutions of Sparkcentral have attracted a vast clientele including many blue-chip companies like Nordstrom, Netflix, KBC Bank, and more. One of its clients, ENGIE, part of the ENGIE Group and the largest energy provider in Belgium, deployed a solution that integrated all their digital channels in a single agent desktop, leading to effortless management of all inbound messages. After only a few days of launching WhatsApp, the customer service channel jumped to the top and is now the most favored channel for ENGIE’s customers. Backed by Sparkcentral, the client was able to achieve robust customer services, lowered costs, and a seamless experience for agents, thereby boosting their business and lowering cost in the contact center.

Moving ahead, Sparkcentral aims to set up a humanized customer service experience around the globe so that people look forward to getting services and not run from it.

Sparkcentral News

Sparkcentral Named as Finalist in 2019 Stevie® Awards for Sales and Customer Service

San Francisco - Sparkcentral, the leading enterprise messaging customer service platform company, today announced that it was named a Finalist in the contact center solution category in the 13th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, and will ultimately be a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie Award winner in the program.

The awards are presented by the Stevie Awards, which organizes several of the world's leading business awards shows including the prestigious International Business Awards® and the Stevie Awards for Great Employers.

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie placements from among the Finalists will be revealed during a gala banquet on Friday, February 22 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. More than 600 professionals from across the globe are expected to attend.

More than 2,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry, in 45 nations, were evaluated in this year's competition. Finalists were determined by the average scores of more than 150 professionals worldwide, working in seven specialized judging committees. Entries were considered in 93 categories for customer service and contact center achievements, including Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service, and Customer Service Department of the Year.

Founded in 2012, Sparkcentral was one of the first vendors to offer an enterprise-grade tool for managing customer care conversations on social media as well as live chat and messaging channels. Sparkcentral helps customer support teams manage large volumes of digital messaging inquiries in a streamlined and efficient manner. Sparkcentral's premier blend of traditional social channels with more modern messaging apps, in-web/in-app live messaging as well as SMS not only increases customer satisfaction (CSAT) but also cuts contact center costs by 30 percent.

"The 2019 judges were very impressed by the caliber of this year's nominations, which set another record for this competition. The quality of the accomplishments outlined in every Finalist nomination was remarkable," said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards. "We look forward to announcing the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award placements in Las Vegas next month."

"We are honored to be recognized as one of the top contact center solutions by the Stevie® Awards," says Joe Gagnon, CEO of Sparkcentral. "Sparkcentral exists to open a digital channel of communication between customers and businesses through whatever messaging approach they prefer. Our goal is to help empower businesses with the tools they need to communicate with their audience in a technology-driven world, on the consumer's terms."

Companies like JetBlue, Nordstrom, Zappos, Netflix and Western Union are already reaping the rewards of being able to address consumers' concerns in a fast, secure, scalable manner. Sparkcentral has also won the 2016 and 2017 CODiE awards for social care as well as the "High Performer" badge by software review portal G2 Crowd four times in a row in 2018.