Intelligent CIO North America Issue 27 - Page 79

Hunter Croft , President and CEO , ACT ( Advanced Call Center Technologies )
On the lighter side of things , we ask the industry experts what makes them tick . . . .

. . . GET TO KNOW . . .

Hunter Croft , President and CEO , ACT ( Advanced Call Center Technologies )

wWhat would you describe as your most memorable achievement ?

That would be closing my first big deal . When I was 24-years-old , I worked for a large , East-coast-based financial services company . I had not been with the company long and it had just rolled out a new product that had not been sold yet . I took the bold move of reaching out to one of New York ’ s largest utility companies .
To my amazement , the head of customer care agreed to meet with me . I drove from Scranton to New York to meet him , and when I showed up , he wanted to go out for lunch . I had literally US $ 8.00 in my bank account , but obviously , I couldn ’ t say no . So , we went , and I ordered a cup of soup and water , trying to appear nonchalant . We had a great meeting and I ended up closing a multi-million-dollar deal . In the end , he paid for lunch , thankfully – and I had just landed the first large account for the new product .
What first made you think of a career in technology ?
I began my career in customer experience management , where at that time , the focus had always been on the agent interaction , but it became clear that the technology underpinning service delivery was clearly a business differentiator .
Technology has always been the best enabler for outstanding customer experience .
distribution ( ACD ), workforce optimization and management ( WFO , WFM ), we ’ ve progressed to building AI-enabled self-service capabilities augmented by agents delivering great service . To take it back to the question of how I became involved in technology , it ’ s because , for me , technology has always been the best enabler for outstanding customer experience .
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position ?
I am a true believer in ‘ servant leadership ’. I believe that everyone wants to do a good job , everyone wants to be successful and it ’ s my job as a leader to help them get there . Give people the tools they need and the trust they deserve to do their jobs . Empower them whenever and wherever possible and support them when needed .
What do you think is the current hot technology talking point ?
Since those days of data entry platforms , interactive voice response ( IVR ) functionality , automated call
The use of AI to enable efficient and exceptional customer experiences . The velocity of advancement
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