Marc Prempain of ViiBE on how to optimize first contact resolution rates, and improve customer satisfaction through an amazing remote augmented video-assistance experience.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Marc Prempain: I’m thankful to say that I’m doing well, as are my family and the ViiBE team.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded ViiBE.
Marc Prempain: Originally, my co-founder, Charles Demée, and I developed ViiBE to solve emergency medical call centers. The project’s genesis was based on the idea to guarantee that the French public had access to proper medical treatment in a single click. This vision led to creating a web application: in an emergency, requiring an app to be downloaded a significant obstacle in the consumer journey.
ViiBE then pivoted towards providing industrial technical support and after-sales services with a platform accessible in a single click, without download, and equipped with dedicated functions to optimize remote diagnoses. It is being used in over 70 countries and across several industries to reshape the small operations value chain.
How does ViiBE innovate?
Marc Prempain: At ViiBE, we innovate by actively listening to our customers because their feedback is invaluable. We work closely with them throughout their journeys using ViiBE to discover new features and elements that would benefit their specific use cases. Many of these ideas are then implemented into our product roadmap. Some of these critical features designed with our customers’ needs in mind include the following:
· Accessibility without download: ViiBE is web-based to better connect their guests (partners, subcontractors, customers, suppliers) in ViiBE sessions, without any IT restrictions; it’s become mandatory; who requires their customers to download an app for single-use nowadays?
· Routing system: ViiBE provides a call routing system. ViiBE can be compared to a next-generation Interactive Voice Server, hosted in the cloud and configurable in a few clicks. Thus, ViiBE
reshapes how salespeople, operators, and mobility engineers get in touch with the right experts in real-time. No more call redirection, no more operational pauses.
· Archiving system: ViiBE helps create folders/tickets to organize interventions. Our ticketing/archiving system helps categorize inspection sessions, remote audits, and more globally, all the use cases that require several calls.
Since the global health crisis, we have been working extra hard to push new features and tech updates. We just released a Tech Update Review for Autumn 2020 on our blog.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?
Marc Prempain: CIOs have been working to find quick-wins in response to the crisis, and our technology has generated a lot of interest. We have gained three years of evangelization in 2 months. We expanded to 14 new countries and launched new projects with numerous partners to support them in this transition. We also created ViiBE domains dedicated to Station F residents and HEC employees to facilitate work between employees strongly impacted by the crisis. Otherwise, we are continuing to onboard and support our customers as we usually do. When integrating new customers, we create a dedicated sub-domain for the customer in the first set-up phase: “enterprise.viibe.pro”. In parallel, we provide new users with access to ViiBE Academy, our tutorial site, and accompany them while learning to navigate our platform. We offer individual and group training both in their offices and remotely. ViiBE is a Web App that can be deployed in a customer’s IT environment in one day and worldwide. Its compatibility extends to all devices (smartphones, tablets, PCs) and RealWear connected glasses.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Marc Prempain: We didn’t have to make difficult choices so much as we had to refocus our approach to address new challenges brought on by COVID-19. We are present in several sectors, including energy, retail, transport, mobility, aviation, and insurance. Among these sectors, we have seen a sharp increase in the use of remote inspections and leadership visits, which used to be conducted face-to-face. Still, due to travel restrictions and limited access because of COVID-19, these tasks now have to be performed remotely. There have been sporadic and reduced activity in some sectors. Aviation has significantly impacted, but eventually, this was balanced by increasing other sectors such as the petroleum industry. We are thus observing two opposite reactions depending on the sector of activity. For us, the most significant lessons have been, stick to your ideas, look for ways to help, and don’t be afraid to pivot directions. For us, during the COVID-19 crisis, that meant continuing to lean into our relationships with our customers. To listen even more closely to their needs and then help provide the solution to the challenges they face.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Marc Prempain: I don’t think anyone wasn’t feeling stressed or anxious during the global health crisis. Most industries turned upside-down overnight. We looked at the situation as an opportunity to support our customers to continue their operations from a distance. Once the travel restrictions and lockdowns began, we worked closely with our customers to quickly add new features that they would need to continue working from a distance. Companies were forced to transform the way they operate because travel and on-site work are now minimal. They also have to pay more attention to HSE regulations to protect their employees, partners, and customers from COVID-19. That’s why they were actively searching for digital solutions that would allow them to collaborate remotely without disrupting their workflows. ViiBE met this need and improved their remote collaboration, operational efficiency, and knowledge management. Our solution is positioned to help companies navigate and thrive during this transition to remote collaboration. Our customers found that it was entirely possible to perform many of their normal activities remotely and then ensure data traceability using ViiBE’s ticketing and archiving system.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Marc Prempain: With the rapid acceleration of video communication tools during the global health crisis, Zoom and Skype quickly became competitors. However, we have distinguished ourselves as a video assistance tool for technical support and after-sales services. In these areas, we believe that our various collaborative tools and ticketing and knowledge management systems position us ahead of our competitors.
Your final thoughts?
Marc Prempain: We’re looking forward to 2021 and to continuing to find new ways to support our customers and their remote collaboration needs. We have many exciting projects coming soon, including a Retail ebook exploring remote assistance in retail operations. It will be published at the beginning of the year, so keep an eye out for it!