Disruptions have always been part of the reality in the customer care industry. Most reputable call centers have done a good job of using contingency and business continuity planning to prepare for challenges like natural disasters, new competitors, new technologies, or abrupt leadership changes. But frankly, very few contact centers recognized a whole new wave of emerging factors coming their way, from the ubiquity of social media, to the advances in cloud-based virtual platforms and artificial intelligence, to the rise of mega players like Amazon.
Skybridge Americas was founded in 1953 in Minnesota, as Maple Plains Fulfillment and acquired by Carlson Marketing Group in 1973. In the mid-2000’s, during a long-term collaboration with the company, entrepreneur Mark Morris was impressed by the commitment of the company’s team members to delivering superior customer experiences. He also recognized the value and potential of the company’s decades- long relationships with many of the world’s most loved and iconic brands. By 2011, Morris had acquired the company, renaming it Skybridge Americas.
The company’s new conversational Artificial Intelligence solution, called SkyAI is able to map ideal call paths and employ breakthrough speech recognition technology to route customer calls between IVR, chatbot, and live agent. By teaming up live agents with this virtual agent technology, Skybridge is able to deliver seamless, superior service. Unlike traditional platforms, they are able to transfer customers – even mid-call – between virtual and live agent, depending on the customer’s need and the data collected during the interaction. At Skybridge Americas, they have always believed that their success comes from their total commitment to partnership with the customers they serve. “We don’t tell our customers how they’ll need to retrofit their needs to meet our capabilities. We enter into a collaboration with them in which literally everything we do is geared toward helping each client build up their brand equity,” adds Andrew Bosko, CEO of Skybridge Americas.
Skybridge Americas team of live agents with SkyAI virtual agent technology has the ability to rapidly route customers by call type and deliver flawless call components such as compliance scripting. In addition, Agents Anywhere allows them to attract and retain top talent from across North America, instead of within a few miles of a contact center. With Agents Anywhere, Skybridge Americasis able to source and retain top talent who are not only eager to build rewarding careers with Skybridge Americas – but whose affinity for the brand drives elevated customer experience. Agents Anywhere also gives every agent more control over their work-life balance, greater flexibility during the workday, and more opportunities to earn more money. “When we have an unforeseen surge in calls, we have agents eager to hop online with just a few minutes’ notice – from the comfort of their own home,” adds Andrew. “No commute, no “dressing up” for a day at the contact center. Just a willingness to pick up an extra shift, make some extra money, then proceed with the rest of their day.”
In an instance, in 2019 Skybridge Americas participated in an RFP with a successful company that was looking to improve their customer care operation. However, Skybridge Americas was not selected as they felt unready to commit to such a big change in staffing models. Then COVID-19 hit and like every other brick and mortar call center, this company’s new provider was struggling to keep up with call surges, while scrambling to get their agents moved out of the call center and set up to work from their own homes. They didn’t have the processes, the virtual training and management methodologies, the technology infrastructure, or any experience with managing this approach. The company’s leadership on- boarded Skybridge Americas, who within weeks, had recruited, hired and trained 100+ agents owing to their Agents Anywhere platform isn’t limited to a talent pool who lives within commuting distance from the brick and mortar facility. “It gave us the flexibility to hire and on board the right agents for this client’s needs. We ramped up quickly, hit our goals right out of the gate, and have continued to deliver superior customer experience and meet all of the client’s key performance indicators as well,” adds Andrew.
Skybridge Americas’ 5-year plan is to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% - 15% through organic growth, new client acquisition, and strategic partnerships. They are absolutely committed to expanding their at-home Agents Anywhere approach throughout North America. “Because we have so much experience in customizing all of our programs to best meet each customer’s unique set of needs, we have developed a unique expertise in monitoring and assessing advances in technology, investing in those that advance our mission of delivering maximum customer experience, productivity, revenue growth, and cost savings,” adds Andrew.