Max Ball

Principal Analyst

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Blog

Customer Service Unplugged — Or Why Empathy Matters

Max Ball July 29, 2022
When you strip a song down to its base, you end up with a simple acoustic version, free of overproduction or electronic distractions. The most striking example of this for me is Eric Clapton’s version of “Layla” from MTV Unplugged. When you strip a contact center down to its base, you end up with one-on-one […]
Blog

If You Can Say It, You Can See It: Dall-E And You

William McKeon-White June 22, 2022
Or, “How a natural language image generation AI used as a meme generator by social media may impact your business.” Welcome To The Future — It’s Got AI-Generated Art Let’s play a quick game. Which of the below images were made by an AI system generating images based on word prompts? Let’s pretend you guessed […]
Blog

A Tale Of Two Behemoths

Max Ball April 7, 2022
Some years, Enterprise Connect is the place where the world’s biggest vendors make significant announcements in the unified communications or contact center space. 2022 was one of those years, with both Amazon and Google making significant noise in the contact center space. Amazon Let’s talk Amazon first: It announced its new forecasting, capacity planning, and […]
Blog

CCaaS Hits An Inflection Point

Max Ball February 28, 2022
Rapid Uptick In Customer Adoption  With particularly good reasons and with great intentions, contact centers have been one of the last domains within companies to move their core technology to the cloud. As a critical customer-facing function, contact centers have so much at stake that it makes sense for them not to take chances with […]
Blog

Seven Steps To Help Your Customer Service Heroes Through The “Container-Challenged Christmas”

Max Ball November 16, 2021
Retail contact center agents (aka customer service heroes) typically deal with stressed-out shoppers during the holidays and the return period that extends through March. The shipping and supply chain crisis, however, will make the interactions of the past a walk in the park compared to what’s to come this season. As the season progresses, expect […]
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Zendesk’s Momentive Acquisition Paves The Road For A Customer Service-CX Data Highway

Colleen Fazio November 3, 2021
Customer service is a key driver of customer experience (CX), but technology silos often stand in the way of effective collaboration across CX and customer-facing teams. The recent announcement by Zendesk that it intends to acquire Momentive, parent of the well-known SurveyMonkey brand, has the potential to help users of both platforms break through this […]
Blog

Genesys Starts The Long Journey To Target More Of The Customer Lifecycle With Two Acquisitions

Max Ball October 25, 2021
Genesys is the latest vendor to branch out beyond the traditional contact center and customer service space, moving to add value across much more of the customer journey (like marketing and sales) and, in many ways, pushing into territory more traditionally owned by CRM players. Last week, Genesys announced its acquisitions of Pointillist and Exceed.ai and […]
Blog

Cancel The “Cost Center” Culture In Customer Service

Max Ball September 3, 2021
In my past 30 years in the contact center industry at organizations such as 8×8, Genesys, IBM, and RingCentral, I’ve watched the same movie over and over and over again … too many contact centers are laboring under the tyranny of being a cost center with schizophrenic goals of making customers happy while “doing more […]