5 Questions with John Finch, VP Product Marketing, RingCX (AI Customer Engagement)

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Today we announced the return of John Finch to head up the product marketing of the RingCentral contact center portfolio, which includes RingCX, our recently introduced AI native cloud contact center application.

So to welcome him back, we asked John a few questions about the market, the importance of AI within the contact center, and to share what he’s excited about in his return to RingCentral.

Q: First off John, great to see you back. Can you tell us a little bit about your new responsibilities?

A: Thanks, It’s great to be back.

In addition to RingCentral Contact Center, I’ll oversee the go-to-market strategy and execution for RingCX. My deep familiarity with RingCentral’s AI contact center technology stems from my involvement in previously launching key components integral to the RingCX platform. My objective will be to amplify the impact of the impressive innovation in both AI and contact center features and functionality has made in the market to-date. 

Q: What excites you most about returning to RingCentral?

A: The RingCentral people and culture for starters. 

I have been in the contact center space for a long time. With the acceleration of AI and the opportunity that AI has to positively impact all facets of the customer and sales engagement of businesses today — RingCentral innovation is second to none.  I have rejoined with the ambition of making RingCentral the leader in the AI contact center and sales space.  

Q: Why now?

A: Every year industry experts tell us customer experience is at an inflection point. And to a degree, they are right. Customer experience and sales are in a constant state of change. However, and you have heard this before, AI is now a driving force behind innovation, transforming service and sales for customers, employees, supervisors, agents, managers, and executives.  For example, AI intelligent virtual assistants provide more accurate and personalized interactions that weren’t possible with traditional IVRs and frustrating chatbot encounters of the past — quickly across any mode of interaction (digital or voice).  AI agent assistance enables agents to be far more effective with real-time prompts and sentiment analysis during calls, giving them the ability to resolve issues more efficiently, the first time.  We’ll continue integrating AI (RingSense) across core customer interactive products like MVP and RingCX, incorporating meetings transcription and AI for a seamless blend of employee engagement and customer experience.

Q: If you had a crystal ball, give us a couple of predictions on where you think the CX industry is headed.

A: The CX industry is rapidly accelerating because of AI. However, the key lies not just in deploying AI but in production within strategic and tested implementations. AI, for its own sake, can be counterproductive, derailing CX initiatives and diverting investments that could be better utilized for projects delivering tangible ROI. Predicting the future, the first trend we anticipate is a heightened scrutiny of AI investments this year. Vendors with AI capabilities that genuinely address and solve business challenges in customer service and sales will be better positioned to secure investments in the annual operating budgets.  Positive ROI will also be a requirement after deployment, thus increasing the potential for further investment in AI for organizations of all sizes.

My second prediction is we’ll see an increase in AI-fueled sales intelligence. Success in this context means achieving better sales outcomes by integrating real-time coaching and interaction analytics. Sales leaders want their teams to close deals faster and make  informed decisions throughout the sales process. AI sales intelligence will extract more accurate and usable information, resulting in more efficient and productive sales processes.

Q: Can you give us your favorite communication tip or productivity hack?

A: That’s an easy one. From a communications perspective, I have become addicted to automated meeting transcription and summarization. It is such a great capability to have if you are in transit and on a call but need to collect key moments and follow-ups. It has become a huge productivity asset for me now.  From a hack perspective, leveraging AI to help build upon ideas and flush out details has been a game changer.   I use several of the available platforms from ChatGPT to Google Bard to help me in the ideation process.

John Finch returns to RingCentral after three years away leading Zendesk’s enterprise product marketing and Dialpad’s product marketing and solutions. Prior to his first stint at RingCentral (2017-2021), Finch served in product marketing leadership roles at Serenova (LiveOps) and Genesys — launching leading enterprise SaaS contact center solutions into the market. In his returning role, Finch will lead product marketing customer engagement, which includes RingCX and RingSense, as RingCentral scales and expands its global customer engagement reach.

Originally published Jan 17, 2024

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