ContentUncategorizedAvaya Engage 2024: Business update and CX insights from Disney and Southwest Airlines

Avaya Engage 2024: Business update and CX insights from Disney and Southwest Airlines

Hosted in the mile high city of Denver, Colorado, May 2024 marked the month where Avaya held their annual engage event. The first general session gave a broad outlook of Avaya’s current business performance as well as informative CX insights from brands such as Disney and Southwest Airlines.

Avaya continued its focused messaging to reaffirm its position as an industry leader in enterprise CX. Although it already has significant influence in this space, the company wishes to build on top of its existing capabilities to ensure it realises value for its customers more quickly. CEO, Alan Masarek, gave an insightful update on the progress Avaya has made to reach this goal.

The company has simplified its offerings to its customers, a move Masarek called “re-tooling” the product portfolio. The Avaya Experience Platform (AXP) now combines its on-prem, public, and private cloud services in one package. Engage also gave Avaya the opportunity to introduce enhancements to AXP such as “bring your own bots” and its gen-AI tool, Avaya Ada.

Financially, Avaya’s capital is now “enduringly recapitalised” as Masarek referred to it. Despite offering no detail on the nature of these new capital gains, it does mean Avaya can begin to invest further to improve its existing CX capabilities. An example of recent investment is Avaya’s acquisition of Edify, where it can now include additional enhancements to its AXP it was not capable of having before.

Masarek also stressed how Avaya is working on creating a hybrid approach by utilizing new technologies which do not cause unnecessary strains on the customer, therefore creating “innovation without disruption”. Avaya certainly recognises that its customer-base varies by industry and geography, but this does not matter due to AXP’s versatility. As Masarek stated “It’s your journey to choose, we’re simply here to support it.”

Customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) were heavily discussed during the second half of the session. Chief Revenue and CX Officer, ML Maco, suggested brands should think of these concepts through the following formula: CX + EX = BG, meaning “business growth”. Brands which Maco said have adopted this approach already are Disney and Southwest Airlines.

Disney’s Director of Infrastructure and Support Ben Yon stated although it experiences large volumes of calls, the theme park operator’s priority is to ensure a good level of customer service, replacing the “handle time with the trust index”. Yon explained how agents are an essential part of the business as they are usually the first point of contact for the customer.

From a Southwest Airlines perspective, agents are also an essential part of its business, largely due to the company’s decision to transition its customer service to a fully remote workforce. As such, the airline’s Director of Business Strategy and Initiatives Sherri Milliken explained how the company is prioritising efforts to support agent wellness through various initiatives such as biannual employee surveys, mental health workshops, and financial planning services.

Finally, according to both Masarek and Maco, the tip of the CX spear is the contact centre (CC) and you would be wrong to fault them. Research from Cavell shows that despite only a small proportion of businesses utilizing a dedicated contact centre platform or software, nearly all businesses place value on their customer service.