COVER STORY

Brian Shore: Striving to turn every interaction into high-value lifetime relationships

BizBoard

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After spending eight years as a regional sales manager with Cisco, Brian was ready for a new challenge. He joined ZOOM International, a market leader in delivering workforce engagement management and customer experience solutions for contact centers, in 2008 as President to head US operations and expansion.

“What I have found most important in almost any career decision is to view the opportunity as an experience. If we look at our choices based on the people we work with and the enjoyment of the daily work, then we can genuinely enjoy our day and improve personally as well as professionally. “Will I enjoy this experience?” was the question I asked myself repeatedly and still use for the basis of most major decisions in my life. Now, being on the other side, it is safe to say the experience has been the greatest professional reward of my life,” says Shore.

Under his stewardship, ZOOM International has experienced a 30%+ compound annual growth rate and substantially expanded its partner and customer base from 86 to 2000; ranging from sub-100 agent contact centers to brands like Amerigas, IBM, Homecredit, Finansbank, Tata Sky, Generali, Allianz, and Vodafone spanning 90 countries across the globe. ZOOM has been recognized with several prestigious Stevie awards for excellence in customer service and company leadership, beating out thousands of companies worldwide. More importantly, ZOOM has been recognized by the leading analyst firm, Gartner, on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Workforce Engagement Management for six out of seven years beginning in 2012. DMG, CRM Magazine, TMC, and others have all recognized ZOOM for its superior customer satisfaction and leading innovation in the WFO space. The company maintains its US headquarters in Franklin, TN and globally in Prague, Czech Republic with additional remote offices in London & Moscow.

“Accomplishment or success has been measured in much smaller increments over time when no one is looking.”

Elevating every encounter

ZOOM International exists to deliver outstanding customer experiences and serve the needs of others. The idea: ZOOM believes, ‘customers may not remember what you say, and they may not remember what you do, but they will always remember how you made them feel’. Hence, their products guide contact centers toward elevating every customer experience, maintaining compliance and improving agent engagement across every omnichannel interaction. Their platform captures the true sentiment of the customer experience at the point of contact, providing a true north to guide contact centers in the analysis of people, improving processes, technologies, and assets. As a result, ZOOM helps customers align contact center operations and KPI’s with their key organizational goals of driving revenue growth and decreasing customer attrition.

“In today’s contact centers the most common measure of success is average handle time, which is a purely operational (cost) metric. Being efficient is important, but not as important as having positive interactions with customers. A customer can be managed “efficiently” during a call or chat, but leave the interaction feeling empty and alone. Without tools to capture, measure and react to those situations, contact centers have a giant blind spot,” explains Shore.

It is why ZOOM boasts an 89 NPS for a trailing 365 days, derived from nearly 900 survey responses submitted by their customers and partners. “Serving the needs of others is part of our DNA, it affects how we build, sell, implement and support our products,” says Shore. “Our innovative software solutions are easy to understand, implement and use, and are a direct extension of our corporate commitment to service.”

When implemented and utilized properly, ZOOM’s products vastly reduce customer attrition, drive employee engagement, and create positive customer experiences across the contact center. “How?” asks Shore. “We help businesses calibrate and measure the true sentiment of their customers and provide tools which drive actionable insights to highlight unconscious competence as well as improve people, processes and assets.”

He continues, “For instance, it is possible that some agents who are operationally efficient might be poor at empathy and that fact might only be noticed during a more in-depth analysis of customer sentiment. The deeper analysis is necessary as today’s market demands contact center agent skills transition from efficiency to care.” ZOOM fills this gap by helping with agent engagement, process improvements, coaching and training modules within the product suite, allowing the feedback loop to be rapid and concise. Their tools are meant to engage agents with more accurate and timely feedback to help create positive customer encounters.

Brian Shore, President, ZOOM International

What makes ZOOM products stand out from the competition? No other WEM software solution provides a full 360-degree view of omni-channel interactions, survey results, customer sentiment and quality reviews in a single place the way ZOOM does. ZOOM’s search-based conversations screen is easier to use, returns results faster and provides an ability to find the right records to review better than all others.

Pushing into new territory

Building upon its successes, the company recently launched a new native cloud platform and a workforce management product under the brand Elevēo. “This is the first workforce management product built internally by ZOOM and the first of our products on our new fully portable native cloud platform,” shares Shore. “and represents a significant milestone on our journey to native cloud.” Building a native cloud platform, cements future growth for ZOOM by offering customers flexible deployment options.  By offering customers a single platform that can be consumed via subscription or perpetual pricing, ZOOM gives its customers a choice to host it themselves or consume it from ZOOM’s cloud. Another ongoing trend,as Shore points out, are more restrictive security & compliance regulations like GDPR and MiFID II. 

He states that regulations are driving many industry changes, impacting software development and deployment. “That trend will likely continue, aided by new technologies like machine learning, AI and speech analytics which enable companies to maintain regulatory compliance,” says Shore. “We at ZOOM International are committed to staying ahead of the technology curve, while simplifying complex business problems for our customers.”

Serving the needs of others first

Shore credits ZOOM’s innovations to their highly dedicated team and the culture he has fostered around the company. “At this point, I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m always so proud and humbled when a team member goes beyond just fixing something or minimally accomplishing a task. We have an incredible group of people who want to exceed the expectations of their audience and we see this across the organization in every department day after day. Our people are incredibly skilled at their respective roles, and culturally, we have an endless supply of empathy when it comes to problem-solving and helping others,” shares Shore. “Life can be really tough at times and it’s always gratifying to watch people work together and help one another.”

As an investment into his people Shore devised a benefits package which he sees as a significant accomplishment: The company matches up to $18,500.00 in 401K, pays 100% medical insurance, allocates 4 weeks of PTO to all employees and provides life insurance/SDL/LDL at zero cost to their employees. “Accomplishment or success has been measured in much smaller increments over time when no one is looking,” asserts Shore. “There are some wonderful companies that provide admirable benefits packages and I’m certain we can always improve. However, our benefits package demonstrates our sincere passion for our employees and that translates very clearly to how they take care of our customers & partners. It’s one thing to say, “We care about our employees and it’s all about the people.” Hopefully, our people appreciate our sincerity as we have gone to great lengths to demonstrate it. After-all, talk is cheap, benefits most certainly are not.”

When Shore is not helping others, he often finds inspiration in reading books. His favorite? “That’s like asking me which of my four children is my favorite!” laughs Shore. “I love them all and appreciate their differences but most importantly the way they challenge me and accept me with all of my faults!” He shares that ‘Good to Great’ by Collins is a great read if someone wants a data-driven approach to team building and a successful blueprint to model for business. He has also been spending more time lately learning about the human mind, meditation, and a more world-centric spiritual viewpoint. ‘10% Happier’ by Dan Harris, ‘The Happiness Trap’ by Russ Harris and ‘The Spirituality of Imperfection’ by Ernest Kurtz are his current top three. “In essence, they all look at the human condition from different perspectives: biochemistry, psychology, and spirituality,” says Shore. “Western cultures tend to buy into the “if-then…” model. If I accomplish ‘X’ then I will be happy. So many of us follow this model unconsciously and do so without ever asking, “Does accomplishing ‘X’ really make me sustainably happy?” All three books help their readers understand themselves just a little bit more to ultimately live a more fulfilled life.”

Building a legacy

Ultimately Shore sees his life’s purpose in a very simple and clear way. As a company that is obsessed with employee and customer success, ZOOM has impacted hundreds of lives in a positive way, and that, Shore highlight is the primary measure of success. He adds, “I would like to think a bunch of people will show up to my funeral and tell really funny stories to my kids about how their dad touched their lives.”

“The endgame is very simple,” Shore says with a smile. “Leave the world a little better through participation.”

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