Getting help is often fraught with friction. It shouldn’t be – Interview with Tom Martin of Glance Networks


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Today’s interview is with Tom Martin, CEO of Glance Networks, an enterprise software company that provides a “visual engagement platform” for their clients that combines co-browse, agent video and screen share into a tool for contact centre and customer support agents that helps them interact with their customers. Tom joins me today to talk about the challenge of providing tech support to your parents over the phone, how their technology works, use cases and why they chose to ask Forrester to evaluate the impact of the application of their technology.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Digital transformation and the pursuit of customer centricity: Lessons from the frontline – Interview with Martijn Gribnau of Genworth Financial – and is number 269 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my interview with Tom:

  • Glance’s mission is to help companies make doing business easier and more personal online by allowing customers and agents to see, show and share anything instantly wherever they are and on any device.
  • They call it visual engagement.
  • They work with clients like Intuit Turbo Tax, Quickbooks, Constant Contact along with a number of financial and insurance companies.
  • If you have ever had to be ‘tech support’ for your parents over the phone then Glance has the tool you would have wished for, where you’d have been able to see the screen of your parents’ computer from wherever you are on whatever device.
  • Their visual engagement platform, incorporates a variety of technologies that people are probably familiar with from screen sharing and co-browsing to agent video.
  • Self-service is increasingly becoming the way that most people interact with companies.
  • And, the contact centre (voice, chat, social media, email etc) has really become, more often than not, an escalation path.
  • However, the challenge is matching and connecting the experience across those two domains.
  • When customers have to switch channels, in order to get help, they are often frustrated and not too pleased when they feel like they need to ‘start over’ explaining their problem.
  • There is a lot of ‘friction’ in that current ‘switching’ scenario.
  • They are focusing on enabling and stitching together that ‘in the moment’ experience.
  • However, a co-browsing session can be initiated without having to download an new app or other piece of software. It’s instantly executable via clicking on a specific URL link that can be provided by the agent or located on your website.
  • Gartner and Forrester say that over 90 percent of companies today expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience.
  • Glance has taken every effort to ensure that they comply with the requirements of GDPR to ensure the protection of all customer data, including the ability to mask and protect sensitive user information during sessions. They also don’t report the contents of any screen share, browser or video session and the session data itself is encrypted while in motion, which means it’s never at rest i.e. it is never saved.
  • Whilst the visual engagement category is relatively new, some of the technology that is being leveraged has been around for some time.
  • They asked Forrester to evaluate the Total Economic Impact of their software.
  • Forrester identified a long list of benefits but the one that surprised even the Glance team was the finding that those firms that had implemented Glance’s solution could expect to see an almost 400% RoI on their investment. Headline findings include:
    • 396% ROI payback in under 6 months
    • Average Handle Time (AHT) reduced by 10%
    • Improved first time call resolution
    • Increased NPS and CSAT scores
  • Moreover, the use of the technology has also helped clients both improve revenue, through exposing clients to other products and services and features, and drives long term value through the establishment of an emotional connection with customers.
  • They are inspired by the work of Matt Dixon and his team at CEB (now Gartner), who have done a lot of work around the effortless experience.
  • Tom provides a couple of examples of their technology in action:
    • Constant Contact utilise the technology because they want to provide a great experience to their customers. Using Glance’s technology they can not only help their customers faster they can also learn more about their customers’ problems and build a more human to human connection with them. This has allowed them to expose their customers to other functionality and services that has helped them drive additional revenue and customer lifetime value.
    • Intuit Turbo Tax utilise Glance’s technology because they know that not everyone loves doing their taxes, they’re not easy to understand and they can cause lots of frustration and anger. Moreover, given there are a lot of other low-cost (and free) options out there in the market they decided they wanted to compete on service and not on price. That has helped them improve their service as well as develop new service and revenue lines, like ‘connect with an expert’, which has become a new source of revenue that was unimaginable two years earlier.
  • They have also found that when customers connect with someone via video (even if it is only one-way i.e. the customer sees the agent) it can help quickly help de-escalate a call.
  • Companies have to decide whether they are competing on product features, price or service. If it is service, then have to actually start to change and make sure they have a mandate for that.
  • By understanding our customers journey and utilising the right technology in the right places, we can customer relationships to the next level.
  • Glance have recently announced that they have transformed their Visual Engagement Platform by adding new mobile app sharing capabilities.

About Tom

Tom MartinTom Martin is CEO of Glance Networks, an enterprise software company that provides a “visual engagement platform” for their clients that combines cobrowse, agent video, and screen share into a tool for contact centre and customer support agents to help them interact with customers.

In his youth Tom could ride a bicycle so fast that a professional cycling career was a viable option. We’re just glad he chose a 10 + year career building a multi-billion dollar online business at Verizon where he managed programs geared toward revenue and service. We can report however that he hasn’t lost the zeal for speed, something we plan to ride to the front of the customer experience world.

Based outside of Boston, Glance’s team includes industry leaders in online collaboration, video technology, contact center operations, sales applications and customer service.

Check out Glance Networks, grab a copy of the Forrester report, check out their new mobile app sharing capabilities, say Hi to them on Twitter @glancenetworks and connect with Tom on LinkedIn here.



Thanks to Pixabay for the image.



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