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Interview with Ori Faran, Chief Executive Officer at CallVU

November 13, 2018

“What makes CallVU different from other self-service players is that we offer a very broad solution. While others focus on a single aspect of the customer journey… CallVU covers the entire journey. “

Originally posted in MarTechSeries

Tell us about your role and journey into technology. What galvanized you to join CallVU?

I spent the first years of my career designing and building advanced software solutions for the contact center. But I always felt that something was missing and that the interface between customers and organizations cannot be restricted to a phone call, a web page or even an app. I founded CallVU with the goal of creating a digital engagement automation solution to digitize the way contact center agents interact with callers, while on the other hand, give customers a rich set of self-service tools that would allow them to resolve most of their daily issues without spending long periods of time waiting for “the next available agent.”

What differentiates CallVU from the rest in the self-service MarTech landscape?

What makes CallVU different from other self-service players is that we offer a very broad solution. While others focus on a single aspect of the customer journey — for example, creating an app or optimizing the IVR (interactive voice response) system — CallVU covers the entire journey. We can initiate a self-service session while a customer is on the organization’s website or social media page or when the customer makes a call to the organization’s hotline. And, using our collaboration and digital forms’ modules, we follow the journey all the way through the interaction between customers and agents in the contact center and even during face-to-face interactions in a branch or point of sale.

Also on MarTech Series: How Digital Technology can Make a Sales Manager Ridiculously Successful

How do you prepare for the highly disruptive Digital Engagement ecosystem?

I believe the best way to succeed in any business environment is to provide real value to your customers. At CallVU, we follow the saying: “We’re small enough to care, big enough to deliver.” Our success with some of the leading global brands is proof that we’re doing a good job.

What is the true context of Conversation Intelligence at CallVU? How do you help your customers to achieve the state of relevance with Visual IVR?

CallVU is a pioneer in Visual IVR technology. Essentially, this technology gives customers an app-like experience during a live telephone call (without the need to download any piece of software). Now, we’re adding conversational capabilities to the system — so instead of following a rigid set of menus, callers can interact with “virtual assistants” using free speech, much like they do with their Alexa, Google pod or Siri. This new technology that combines Natural Language Processing (NLP) with Artificial Intelligence is the perfect match for our visualization capabilities, and we see a lot of potential for it in the next 3-5 years.

How much have business operations changed since the arrival of Automation and BI/Analytics tools? How do you leverage these tools in your work?

Business operations have changed significantly in recent years. Managers enjoy a very clear and very accurate visibility into almost every aspect of the business in real time. This is crucial when monitoring customer experiences and customer interactions. One of the first tools that we developed at CallVU was an analytics dashboard that allows our customers to review every aspect of their customers’ journey — from self-service to digitally assisted sessions. Using this information, they are able to adjust their marketing and sales strategies or train and focus their agents to ensure higher rates of conversion.

Could you tell us more about your existing technology integrations with CRM, Marketing and Sales Automation and Email Marketing platforms?

CallVU is basically the digital engagement automation layer of the organization, so being able to seamlessly integrate with core business systems is a key feature of our platform. We are integrated with the world’s leading CRM vendors including Salesforce and Oracle, and are working alongside other solutions using open APIs.

What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in the way businesses leverage personal data? How do you cope with GDPR-related disruptions?

I believe that predictive analytics will become more and more important. Already today, companies gather huge amounts of data regarding their customers’ buying patterns. With high processing power becoming more available, and AI-driven technologies providing analysis in real-time, we will see companies leveraging this to offer us, the consumers, a host of up-sell and cross-sell offers in the form of pop-up call-to-actions (on mobile devices), personalized promotions and more. As for GDPR, I don’t think it would have any long-term effect on the market. People, especially the younger ones, are finding it easy to give up some of their privacy if it gets them some kind of financial benefit (for example, a discount or the opportunity to be among the first to get a certain product or service). And, sadly, most of us check the “I agree” box automatically when it pops up.

One word that best describes how you work.

I believe in setting a goal for my team but letting each of my managers chart his or her own course on the way to achieving this goal. Great people don’t need a boss to constantly tell them what to do and how to do it. That’s why at CallVU we focus on hiring talents — and it’s paying off daily.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

It’s funny how some apps have become so frequently used, I don’t even have to think about using them. I think there are over 40 apps on my iPhone. For example, I use Waze to find my way on the road and WhatsApp to exchange messages with pretty much everyone, and I get my music from Spotify.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Mr. Mani, a wonderful novel by A. B. Yehoshua

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Listening is more powerful than speaking

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

The secret to my success is teaming up with wonderful people. I started CallVU with two of my friends, who also happen to be super smart individuals. Five years down the road, I am happy to say that we’re still good friends, and we still work together.

Thank you, Ori! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.