Ringside: Insider Interview with Shaun Spivak

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Ringside Insider Interview with Shaun Spivak

The reason we’re able to provide insightful thought leadership content is the fantastic staff resources we have under our roof. The leaders of our business who develop strategy, share industry insights and solve problems on a daily basis are the driving force of RingCentral’s success, and are major contributors to the expansion of unified communications in general. In this series of posts, we’re talking to our own leaders to get insights into the challenges and solutions of the telecommunications industry.

Shaun Spivak
Shaun Spivak

Today we’re knocking on the door of Shaun Spivak, Director of Customer Care for RingCentral in EMEA. Shaun’s responsibilities include hiring and managing the Support, Customer Success, Provisioning and Service Management representatives who assist in looking after the RingCentral operation in EMEA.

Originally from the US, Shaun relocated to the UK to assist in opening and growing our operational capabilities in EMEA to support our evolving global business. He has seen the company’s success in EMEA continue to grow over the last 6+ years.

Shaun, what does your daily activity look like?

My average day involves assisting in training, supporting and enabling activities throughout the team, driving process enhancement and refinement for longer term scalability and success, and liaising with key RingCentral clients and partners to ensure they’re getting the most out of our solution. One of the most significant challenges I face as a leader at RingCentral relates to the rapid growth the company continues to undergo. Due to our swift and significant rate of expansion, the amount of hiring, project servicing and ongoing engagements continues to challenge us to raise the bar and deliver consistent world-class results while extensively expanding the team and the resources, processes and practices that fundamentally sit at their foundation. These challenges present some fantastic opportunities as well, as we continue to expand our product portfolio and go-to-market reach globally, such as increased demand for multilingual support and product documentation, enhanced service and support offerings for greater complexity and client demands, and opportunities to use automation and AI to streamline the customer experience through enhanced self-service optimisation.

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In what ways has business communications changed over your career?

Over my career, business communications has become much more flexible in regard to the method that individuals use to communicate with one another. While only a number of years ago the phone was the primary method of communication, now people can choose to call, meet, email or chat with their colleagues depending on what the scenario calls for. Part of the challenge is, due to the recency of the technology, a fog of ambiguity often still clouds our judgement of which communication method is the most appropriate to use. There exists a plethora of scenarios where individuals call when it would be more productive to meet over video, email when it would be better to spin up a chat team, and chat when it would be more beneficial to just pick up the phone (old school!). It will take both time and consultative expertise to help guide us into the “new world of work” fully with an optimal result, and by this point new technology may be emerging to further change the dynamics of communication. A clear benefit still sits at the heart of these changing tides, however, which is that it is ultimately easier to obtain business objections in a much faster and more flexible way.

How do the tools RingCentral provides help in your job?

RingCentral is a company that very much “eats our own dog food”, which is great for ensuring that we experience our product just like our customers do and also allows us to gain a greater depth of understanding into RingCentral from a user’s perspective. As an operations leader, I use both our unified communications (UC) and contact centre (CC) products on a daily basis. I use our UC solution as an end-user and our CC solution as an operations administrator, using the workforce management, quality assurance and the robust skill and queue capabilities to ensure we’re serving our customers in an efficient way. Our contact centre wallboards allow me to see how we’re performing against our KPIs at any given moment; our SLA against the percentage of calls answered within a certain amount of time, abandon rate, amount of calls/chats/web cases received etc. The RingCentral application’s messaging functionality allows me to message my colleagues, create teams and oversee task and calendar management to ensure that our teams can do their daily tasks with minimum fuss. We also use the RingCentral app to message directly with clients and partners, negating the need for email “ping-pong”.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to a business wishing to improve its communication?

My advice would be for businesses to embrace new technology and to not be afraid of disruption, but to be mindful that such transitions can often come with quite a bit of (unforeseen) end-user resistance. Don’t underestimate habit and how deeply individuals get settled into their ways of communicating, especially those who have been with the business for a substantial amount of time.

IT management who are looking to “lift and shift” their old communications services to more nimble, flexible and all-encompassing business communications solutions by attempting to mirror functionality and setup, thereby “minimising disruption”, often run into more problems than if they were to just “rip the plaster off”, so to speak, and address a more drastic communication shift head-on. Business and IT leaders must accept the reality that new business communication is not only about which tools are provided, but how those tools are used, and making the most of that often needs to come with a paradigm shift. Leaders also need to be mindful that this approach also requires some handholding and focussing on adoption and rules of engagement, which makes the consultative benefits of professional services more important than ever.

Business and IT leaders must accept the reality that new business communication is not only about which tools are provided, but how those tools are used, and making the most of that often needs to come with a paradigm shift Click To Tweet

As we thank Shaun and let him get back to his work, we’d like to open the opportunity for you to send us comments or questions about the topics discussed. If you’re a contact centre manager, what are your greatest challenges and most promising opportunities? What is your advice for the future of business communications? If there are topics you’d like to hear more about, feel free to send in your questions or points for discussion.

Look out for more episodes in this series of Ringside. If you’d like more information about RingCentral Office as a unified communications platform, or RingCentral Contact Centre as a customer service platform, simply visit the pages we linked to or contact us to schedule a demo.

Originally published Jan 14, 2020, updated Jan 16, 2023

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