Q&A with Jeff Epstein, VP Marketing at Comm100

MEDIA 7 | September 11, 2020

Jeff Epstein, VP Marketing at Comm100 is a B2B marketer with 20+ years’ experience creating compelling messaging and content for sales enablement and demand generation. Having held roles with companies including IBM, General Motors, and Comm100, Jeff knows how to connect solutions to buyers.

MEDIA7: You have a long track record of successfully working in and managing diverse product marketing teams. What are your top three reasons for joining Comm100?
Jeff Epstein:
 Firstly, I saw a software company with a mature product that had an awareness challenge, not a software capability challenge. It’s fun to market a deep solution! Secondly, digital customer service software is an established domain with a big TAM. And finally, I knew several people on the team already and knew it would be a good cultural fit.

M7: What’s the most valuable lesson you have included in your leadership strategy throughout your career so far? How do you bring out the best in your team’s talent?
JE:
Listening is more important than talking, whether you’re managing down or up. My job is to set goals and then help remove obstacles for my team. I can’t do the latter if I don’t listen.

I bring out the best in my team with a simple formula: communicate clear goals, get out of the way until asked for help, provide unsolicited feedback (both positive and constructive) often, and publicly acknowledge achievements.


"Listening is more important than talking, whether you’re managing down or up."

M7: How does Comm100 contribute to a successful digital transformation? Which industries and geographies are adopting Comm100 products and solutions to maximize customer experience and engagement?
JE:
When it comes to customer service, the phone is dead or dying. Brands NEED to move into digital and self-service channels to deliver better customer satisfaction. The good news it also comes at a lower delivery cost.

Our platform helps companies adopt and manage digital channels quickly and easily so they can keep pace with their increasingly digital-first customers.

Our largest verticals are banking, healthcare, higher education, technology, and government. Geographically our most important territories are North America and APAC.

M7: Recently, Comm100 launched a second-generation digital omnichannel customer engagement solution. What are the key factors for marketers to keep in mind when creating a strategy around this idea?
JE:
How you stack up against the competition; what your users and buyers need; and stitching the two together as a clear value proposition with clear and compelling messaging.

M7: In addition to your years of marketing experience, you have a background in content direction. How important are non-text content marketing assets to your marketing? For example: audio, video, and interactive.
JE:
Video is by far the dominant emerging form factor. Not quite where text is but getting there quickly. The good side is you can be intensely creative with video; the downside is it’s noisy and even harder to adapt to a broad audience, both in terms of reach (it skews younger) and style (it’s harder to appeal to everyone compared to text).


"CX leaders need to ensure their contact center agents have all the info they need to answer customer questions."

M7: What are some of the best steps that CX leaders should take to make their contact centers an asset in digital transformation? What would you say are the challenges of using and implementing AI and machine learning in your work?
JE:
CX leaders need to ensure their contact center agents have all the info they need to answer customer questions. That includes customer history as much as it also includes product/service knowledge. No one wants to repeat themselves to a new agent or have to wait for the third or fourth conversation before finding resolution. Agents therefore need tools and resources to see all and know all. That’s where AI can help tremendously – profiling customers, sourcing background info and responses, and covering all the easy (and ideally moderate) questions so agents can focus on the harder stuff.

The challenges brought by AI and machine learning mostly have to do with training these tools in the first place. AI doesn’t figure things out on its own, it needs to be told what to do and how to do it. The biggest failures in chatbot deployment have more to do with how they were trained by their human overlords than on their native capabilities. It comes down to scope: know what your customers will accept from a chatbot, train well in that domain, and ensure easy escalation whenever the customer wants.



"The biggest failures in chatbot deployment have more to do with how they were trained by their human overlords than on their native capabilities."

M7: What does the future hold for Comm100? Are there any new product offerings you’re brewing up?
JE:
Lots! Mostly in automation, channel expansion, and overall user experience. But I’m not giving any more away here!

M7: What quote has changed your perspective?
JE:
Mark Twain said ‘I wrote a long letter because I didn’t have the time to write a short one.’ Being concise in communications is an art, it takes discipline. It’s much easier to ramble on than it is to learn how to get right to the point quickly and clearly.

ABOUT COMM100

Comm100 is a global provider of digital omnichannel customer engagement solutions that helps brands orchestrate their unique blend of human agent, bot, and self-serve interactions. They empower genuine and personalized engagement on live chat, email, social media, and SMS through a single, unified console, enhanced with AI-powered chatbots and fully integrated knowledge bases.

From front-line marketing and sales to service and support, Comm100 helps brands to exceed customer expectation through efficient and personalized engagements that close the gap between question and answer. Over 6,500 organizations worldwide use Comm100 including Rackspace, Stanford University and Canadian Blood Services. Learn more at www.comm100.com.

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Comm100 is a provider of enterprise-level customer service and communication solutions, including email marketing software. The software, which is fully hosted and managed by Comm100, features professional templates, an HTML editor, email personalization, contact management tools, comprehensive repo...

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