At the outset of the pandemic, customer contact centers around the world were struggling because they were unable to quickly switch to a virtual work-from-home model. Standard customer wait times went from a few minutes to a few hours, or worse, with reports of some entities that had become just completely unreachable.
Bad customer service is bad business. A 2019 study by Northridge Group found that 72% of customers will leave a brand after just one negative experience.
Two customer service companies, however, have thrived during the pandemic: Arise and Officium Labs. Arise—a technology platform that enables a work-from-home Gig-CX model for nearly 25 years—experienced exponential growth. Officium Labs—a customer experience (CX) strategy and design company that helps companies turn contact centers into profit centers—has also flourished. Now the two will be working together to help other companies improve their customer service operations and maximize ROI. In November 2021, Arise acquired Officium Labs to help change the way people work.
Jonathan Shroyer, CEO of Officium Labs and Chief CX Officer at Arise told California Business Journal that “Ninety to 95 percent of centers around the world, they’re all in physical locations, and when the pandemic hit, companies were calling and saying, ‘Hey, my other BPO, they can’t scale. Can you help me?. Whereas, companies like Arise and ourselves, we had built our entire business model on work-from-home decentralization. Because we’re built this way—we can scale up and down on demand—Arise experienced quite a bit of growth, just like Officium Labs did.”
Arise, a Florida-based company founded in 1997, is known for its comprehensive service offerings in Gig-CX consulting, learning and development, and a disruptive scheduling technology that connects Brands to the largest network of gig-economy Service Partners in the industry. These capabilities allow for scalability to meet “extreme call patterns”—something that became very important during the pandemic. Clients using the Arise Platform can flex their contact center capabilities up to 200 percent in hours and 250 percent in days.
Officium Labs, founded in 2019 by Shroyer and Scott McCabe, is best known for its trademark service stack, the CX Maturity Model, that helps companies analyze their customer care and figure out where they can create profit through their customer experience. In addition to the CX Maturity Model, Officium Labs also provides a broad number of services including workforce management, quality assurance, fraud, social engagement, content moderation and customer support service partner work.
“The CX Maturity Model is the first opportunity for brands to get a comprehensive view of their CX landscape. This holistic approach allows customers to prioritize initiatives to drive maximum ROI,” says Arise CEO Scott Etheridge. “With our scheduling technology and network of service partners, Arise gives brands the ability to think very differently about capacity planning and both seasonal and intraday flex. When you combine this with Officium Labs’ CX design services, brands will be able to identify gaps in their CX model faster, and use innovative automation—and power of the service partner network—to deploy new CX strategies quicker and at scale.”
When Shroyer thinks about a company, he sees it as being analogous to the inner-workings of a human body, with customers being the heart.
“In the human body, the heart is what keeps everything going. If you don’t have the heart working properly, then it’s going to depreciate the rest of the body in some format. And the same is true with a company. If you don’t have a solid set of customers that consistently love your product—that are paying for your product, that are adopting your product and being your ambassadors—then your company is not going to last a long time. If you don’t have your heart, then you don’t have a company.”
When Officium Labs was founded a little over two years ago, its primary aspiration was to turn customer service centers into profit centers.
“According to Sarv.com and Statista, in the customer experience and customer service industry, you’re spending $2 to lose $3, and that’s a failed business model,” Shroyer says. “And so when my co-founder and I saw this, we were like, ‘Hey, we really have to disrupt this model. We have to take a visionary approach to that. Let’s go and try to build something new, interesting, and disruptive.’”
They started with a $150,000 loan, had five customers within a few months, and within two years, were making $12+ million in revenue with 30+ clients.
Officium’s CX Maturity Model was created by studying and interviewing 140 companies and analyzing the success of their CX design and customer service. They then identified the “best in class” service providers for every industry— a baseline by which to measure other companies. (For those interested, USAA and Amazon consistently rank at the top for their customer service.) They synthesized this data, and then built a framework with over 100 measuring points to use with their own clients.
When they used the ServiceStack CX Maturity Model on their own clients, they found it protected millions of dollars and created 5-10% of new revenue.
“This model actually works each and every time, so we know that it’s a solid model. And then we refresh it every year to make sure that it’s relevant, taking into account the latest industry information. It’s a very data focused model that has features relevant to our clients,” Shroyer says, “and if the plan is implemented, they’re going to become a profit center. Full stop.”
When he invented and trademarked the ServiceStack CX Maturity Model, at that time, the industry didn’t have a framework that would help leaders transition their customer care centers into profit centers. This past year, Exeleon Magazine included Shroyer in their 2021 Best Transformational Leaders edition. And most recently he was on Fortune India’s cover for the Top 40 Unstoppable Business Minds.
“When I think about transformation, I think about, what is the vision of the future, and what are the tools, the capabilities, the frameworks, the inventions that we need to do now to prepare for that?” he says. “I think anybody that’s a transformational leader is somebody who’s looking towards the future, identifying the trends, has a sense of vision capability to kind of paint a picture, and then identify value propositions for clients that can help them be more successful in whatever is important for them.”
With his eyes always on the future, Shroyer is looking forward to what the two companies can create together. In April, they’ll be opening a CX service and design lab in San Francisco where they can bring in customers and do workshops and strategy sessions. It will be a think tank for companies to design future experiences that will help drive customer happiness and stickiness.
Copyright © 2022 California Business Journal. All Rights Reserved. This article was edited and published by Rick Weinberg, California Business Journal’s Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. Click here for Rick Weinberg’s biography. For testimonials on the impact of California Business Journal articles, click here. Contact us if you’d like an article written on your business: Rick@CalBizJournal.com / 949-648-3815
Copyright © 2022 California Business Journal. All Rights Reserved.
This article was edited and published by Rick Weinberg, California Business Journal’s Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. Click here for Rick Weinberg’s biography.
For testimonials on the impact of California Business Journal articles, click here.
Contact us if you’d like an article written on your business: Rick@CalBizJournal.com / 949-648-3815