The first annual Novagile Day paints a bold vision for the future direction of Sitel Group’s software venture, however it’s a vision that is being actively co-created by the company’s growing client base.
“Over the past two years we have expanded into a number of major European countries including the UK, Germany and Spain, where Sitel Group has a strong base,” explains Anna Athayde, Novagile’s head of sales and marketing. “Different companies in different countries have very different needs and they have different mechanics – ways of working. They challenge and test the capabilities of our solutions. As a result we grow in every sense as a company – understanding, abilities as well as footprint.”
The highlight of the September 20 event may seem at first glance to be the unveiling of the company’s ambitious roadmap for the future. After four years of strong growth, the customer experience software venture built by those in operations for operations is driving into exciting territory.
“The roadmap is built on four pillars of functionality that will be rolling out in stages, starting at the end of 2018: conversation, knowledge, automation and smart data,” explains Novagile founder Nicolas Raffin. “”First of all, we invest a lot conversational. Our ambition is to offer a unified conversation model between customers and the brand regardless of the channels used (SMS, Messenger, Chat, WhatsApp). The idea is to be able to give customers maximum freedom without the customer service losing track. In addition, our platform makes it possible to implement multimodal solutions that make it possible to combine conversation with action. We can thus easily and modularly equip a complex customer journey by associating a conversation with a worflow of actions or, on the contrary, starting from an action, notify the customer through a conversation.We believe that customers want to be able to quickly and simply enter into a conversation with the brand and is waiting for the right people to solve their problem.”
Novagile also offers an integrated knowledge base, which can be fed in collaborative mode by advisors and clients to ensure easy updating of information. This knowledge base will be available to agents and end customers and will be accessible via a selfcare portal. “With the smart data module, our customers will have the opportunity to go even further in the customization of Novagile dashboards and will be able to use our KPI libraries from operations,” explains Nicolas Raffin.
Finally, thanks to automation, managers and agents will have an assistant to create their own bots that can be used and controlled on the platform, to handle specific customer relationship tasks. And with Novagile’s innovative Bot Trainer solution, they can train and calibrate any AI engine to improve understanding of intentions, detect the tone of customer requests and, of course, ensure the relevance of responses.
And while each of these areas is one of genuine innovation and excitement in the world of customer relationship management, according to Raffin, while officially presenting the roadmap is exciting, the most important aspect of the event is engaging with clients. “This is a chance to meet with our customers. To inform them of our plans and to let them see the entirety of the Novagile platform and all of its capabilities,” he says. “But more than that, it’s an opportunity to listen to what they have to say, the good and the bad.”
Putting the customer first
Delivering tools and solutions that clients really need is the reason why the company’s growth has been so swift and why Raffin is busy expanding the team at Novagile’s Paris HQ as well as hiring for its first offices in the U.S. But, as he explains, for this success to continue, it’s imperative that neither he, nor his team ever forget the approach that has brought the company to where it is today.
“When you listen to a person you soon discover that with a little bit of development and a lot of support you can do so much more for them than if you put all of your efforts just into development. Our approach is not purely technical; we offer the best answers to “pain points” and understand the detailed strategic challenges of the Operational Departments. Unless you know how to best meet a client’s needs, you’ll never deliver a genuine solution.”
Plotting a route together
Sticking resolutely to this principle, Novagile’s roadmap plots out a route that is going to be taken together, clients will also be on the journey so they need to be treated as co-navigators and co-drivers. “For some of our clients that only use, say, email management or quality management, might not know that we also deliver automation and knowledge management unless they see the platform in full. What’s more, seeing where that platform is going next will give them ideas that could inform their own innovation strategy,” Raffin begins, “But this event is also giving them the opportunity to influence the route we take.”
These clients want to be sure that they can trust who is plotting the route, partly because Novagile has matured so much, so quickly. “On this journey we intend to deliver on our DNA – solutions developed by operations for operations. As you grow it can be easy to become what I would call a traditional software vendor. You look inwards and think about where to go next,” Raffin explains, “We look outwards and know where to go. Each module of our platform was developed by working alongside a client – an agent, a coach, a manager – to deliver something tangible. And the only way to continue being Novagile is to continue working like this.”
Putting the client in the driving seat
It’s why alongside decision-makers and operations professionals, Novagile teams are present at the event so that they get a 360° view of their customers. It also ensures that the growing team at Novagile remains focused, excited and motivated and enables even greater engagement and cooperation between the company and clients that Raffin hopes can be leveraged for co-development and co-construction.
“After the roundtables and workshops are over we could already be redrawing elements of the roadmap,” he says hopefully. “We want this event to end with clients coming into our offices to help test, develop and prototype new ideas. And these will in turn feed back into the route we’re taking.”
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