Fix This: Gladly Bets on End to Customer Communication Silos With Omni-Channel Tool


Image: Marcelo Cáceres

Sometimes it takes an outsider to pinpoint a pain point in an industry that’s set in its ways. In this segment of “Fix This,” we look at Gladly’s solution to a perennial industry problem: the siloing of customer communication channels.

People will never forget how you made them feel.” This statement, first spoken by American politician and religious leader Carl W. Buehner and later popularized by Maya Angelou, inspired Gladly founders Joseph Ansanelli and Michael Wolfe to reimagine how companies interact with their customers.

A survey of more than 900 adults in the United States, conducted by Gladly in 2018, found that 76 percent of respondents want companies they’ve been customers of to remember them, and 92 percent would switch to another company after three or fewer negative customer service experiences.

Gladly aims to minimize these missed opportunities and negative experiences by tracking requests by individual, rather than case number – something that enticed JetBlue to begin using the platform in November 2017. Mike McCarron, Gladly’s vice-president of Customer Success, explains that regardless of what channel a JetBlue customer uses, all communication is gathered by Gladly and “finds its way into that customer’s profile, allowing him or her to change channels on the fly while still allowing the JetBlue team to maintain a single view of all communications in a single place.”

Prior to that, “There were separate tools for e-mails and for phone calls – even within the phone team there were several different sources of information,” Laurie Meacham, manager of Customer Success at JetBlue, says. “It created unintentional siloing.”

“JTV loved Gladly from an investment perspective and JetBlue loved it from a technology perspective.” €” Amy Burr,  JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV)

Startup incubator JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV) had discovered Gladly and was confident it would help weave JetBlue’s various communication threads together. “JTV loved Gladly from an investment perspective and JetBlue loved it from a technology perspective – it’s an omni-channel tool, and that’s the direction the contact center was thinking it wanted to go,” Amy Burr, managing director of Strategic Partnerships at JTV, says.

The software allows JetBlue’s contact center agents to view e-mails and chat messages, and listen to recordings of phone calls all within a single view. The left sidebar includes the customer’s contact information, loyalty status, and upcoming€¯and recent trip details. And the airline is looking to integrate additional channels, including social media and text messaging, to its Gladly-powered platform in the future, Meacham says.

Feedback has been positive since JetBlue began using the technology, particularly from those who use the chat service, Meacham says. “This is just the beginning of really large-scale change.”

“Fix This” was originally published in the 9.1 February/March issue of APEX Experience magazine.