Q&A: LiveOps CEO Gets Human About Great Customer Service

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Cloud contact center and customer service solutions firm LiveOps knows customer service. In its 14 years in business, the company has processed more than 1 billion minutes of customer interactions, thanks to its network of more than 20,000 independent at-home agents—which the company says is the largest U.S.-based virtual contact center workforce. With an increased focus on providing multichannel, contextual, and, more recently, WebRTC solutions, LiveOps serves more than 400 global clients, including Salesforce.com, Symantec, Coca-Cola, and eBay.

In November, Vasili Triant was tapped as CEO, after serving in the interim position following then-CEO Marty Beard's resignation. Prior to his appointment, Triant was senior vice president of cloud application sales for the company. Triant recently spoke with Smart Customer Service in a refreshingly candid interview.

Smart Customer Service: What's your business background?

Vasili Triant: I came into LiveOps after being vice president of enterprise sales and mobility applications at ShoreTel, where I was for roughly eight years. I held a variety of positions there, and I also ran the contact center practice on and off three separate times.

SCS: Prior to this position, you were credited with driving more than a 50 percent average annual growth of the cloud platform business at LiveOps. Has the company made any adjustments in strategy since you became interim CEO in June?

Triant: We've been changing directions in the company—there's been a lot of refocusing. [We've] been getting more basic around [the company] direction, strategy, culture, things to that effect. I came here, got into the software, and realized that there was a lot of capability about it [but] there was a little bit of disconnect. As time went on, I started realizing that customers liked the story but they weren't maximizing what the story was. While you can preach a lot of things, the action behind it is lagging dramatically from companies. Everybody wants [to offer] great customer service, respond in real time to problems, have real-time communications from devices or [have] social discussions, but no one's really doing it.

SCS: Given your experience, what's your personal view about customer service?  

Triant: My experience with contact centers and customer service is not only pretty extensive.... I enjoy it. Not a lot of people are big fans of contact centers, and [many] think of them as a kind of necessary evil. But not only am I a huge fan of [the business], but I actually believe that it's the tail that wags the dog. Customer service is important to business and it's changing. I work on the Internet of Things, but you can circle back in time and say, "Customer service should have been as important as it's becoming." It's just...now that it could be so detrimental because of social media, the Internet, and the speed of information. It's 

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