Interview with Gabriele Moretti: Covisian: 25 years of customer care, from the traditional contact center to the metaverse
“For us, who have been forerunners, it is time to think about how to continue improving and diversifyng our services between now and the next few years, experimenting new but also very exciting“.
Covisian is an Italian multinational company that built and reinvented, over the years, the call center model starting from people and technologies. Leading specialist in the BPO sector, thanks to an innovative entrepreneurial vision of the customers’ management, this is how a Turin company of 2 thousand people has been able to make a difference, becoming an international reality with over 23 thousand employees in Italy, Spain and Latin America, with an annual revenue of more than 400 million euros. Its founder, Gabriele Moretti, told us about this successful story, and today he’s back to being the executive president. It all started in the 90s, when several companies began to approach new one-to-one models of customer care considering emerging technologies, integrating traditional telephone switchboards with computer networks.
“After getting a degree in engineering sciences, I worked as a consultant” Moretti explained. “This is how I found myself having to manage a project for a client, with the creation of a contact center. Merging procedures and more effective working methods in customer care, I have capitalized the experience and, in 1996, I founded Contacta. The proposal? To offer the market a core of technologically advanced services, with a process management model based on transparent and functional measurements for operators, their managers and their customers”.
From Contacta to Covisian, the same business philosophy
From time to time, the management model has evolved even more and Contacta has become a leading company in the sector, leading companies towards a new technological dimension, made of advanced and computerized switchboards. Strengthened by the results achieved over the years, in 2015 Moretti decided to internationalize the company, opening his own capital thanks to the help of Aksìa Group Sgr and acquiring Visiant. From here the new brand was founded, Covisian.
“My philosophy has always been to guarantee high quality services in a stable context, capable of growing and always remaining competitive on the market”, Moretti continued. “When I was looking for a fund that wanted to follow me in myproject, I met Aksìa Group. This is how a fantastic relationship began, where industry and finance managed to build a serious, credible and non-speculative collaboration. What I have always appreciated about Aksìa (and Marco Rayneri who is still a partner but also a friend today), are their philosophy and their approach. The project started with a strategic acquisition followed by a phase of important build-up, with truly exceptional results. With Rayneri and his team, we followed the analysis and evaluation phases to identify the companies in which to invest, in order to strengthen our presence on the market. The results have been extraordinary: in just 6 years we have gone from 30 million in revenues, in 2015, to 400 million in 2021”.
The goals of the acquisition policies
The goals that have been pursued are three: to bring into the Group the best technologies and softwares on the market, to enhance assets and resources and to expand and consolidate the customer portfolio diversifying the markets. The acquisition of Vivocha, a platform that favors the best digital communication with the customer, was used to reinvent the digital interaction, allowing companies to interact without any interruption with prospects and customers, directly on the website or mobile app, using different combinations of video channels, voice calls, chats and collaborative tools. Thanks to the integration with Vivocha, Covisian has implemented its own reference platform in a multi-channel perspective. Another example is the acquisition of GSS, a historic Spanish company, characterized by a solid experience in the entire range of customer management services, present in Spain and Latin America, which has generated new synergies on a global scale.
Covisian: the success of an international organizational model
“It was a great satisfaction to see how Covisian’s organizational model has had such a positive impact on the companies we have acquired”, Moretti commented. “The fact is that very often our industry lacks a culture related to process engineering. For example, it is not possible to think of solving problems and improving management by starting from the problems of productivity only. The omnichannel evolution, centered on digital technologies, has lead the road to new ways of connection: people have raised the bar of their expectations and want to be understood, but also recognized by brands”.
Because of this, the management of contact centers has become an important control room. As the entrepreneur reiterates, today the interaction with the final user takes place in different ways through a variety of different channels: via chats, via apps, via text messages, via social networks and so on. What makes Covisian different is a model focused on planning, training, analysis and quality support through sophisticated systems and the aid of Artificial Intelligence as an added and integrated value.
Artificial Intelligence: also, not instead
“We believe that companies are not made up of machines and programs but of people who do not have to undergo technologies but use them to live and work better”, Moretti explained. “It is very important to understand which technologies to introduce considering a humanistic and strategic point of view. The Artificial Intelligence does not replace human work. It is supportive, helping people to give their best and constantly improve, leading them to understand where they can improve. It is no coincidence that we coined the motto “Smarter together”.
Machine learning and deep learning are enablers of new levels of service because able to intercept, process and evaluate a whole series of information that serves to make the management of connections between brands and their customers more functional.
“This way of working in Spain has brought extraordinary results: 60 million more revenues in just 2 years, with increasingly satisfied customers, who have increased the demand for our services. In the past six years we have doubled our volumes but also the complexity, acquiring tools, skills and resources that have enhanced our vision and action skills. Now it’s time to consolidate and continue to guarantee the best services for the next few years”.
The role of call centers in the past three years Definitely the pandemic has enhanced the role and value of the call center, rediscovered in its ability to be there in a moment when physical relationships are absent: always and in any case.
“It was a difficult period but also an important opportunity to reinvent the concept of work, making a virtue of necessity”, Moretti said. “Internally,we developed a new software, Covisian smart, and we would like to make it become a communication and engagement tool for the remote working, even after the end of this state of emergency. By bringing the workplace home through dedicated support tools, our colleagues can work from home in a new dimension where the office becomes a social dimension and not a physical dimension only. By promoting a smart community, through direct communication channels between colleagues, work teams and managers, according to organizational needs, the system allows you to configure virtual rooms such as, for example, break rooms, where, upon entering, it is possible to meet colleagues in chats or videochats. Let’s not forget about internal growth paths, available through diversified training programs that enable new skills”.
The future? Customer care services in the metaverse
For Moretti, going back to being the chairman of Covisian is really challenging but also very interesting, with many new goals to achieve. It is not just a matter of systematizing the entire history of interactions with customers, even those enabled by digital channels, allowing operators to immediately have all the information necessary to guarantee a highly personalized, contextual and relevant customer experience. Digital, in fact, continues to diversify the relationship channels and to be disruptive you have to imagine what was not there yesterday.
“For us, who were forerunners, it is time to think about how to continue to improve and diversify services between now and the next few years”, Moretti concluded, “experimenting new but also very exciting things in our laboratories. There are many new technological changes on the horizon such as, for example, the whole theme of the metaverse. Today the big brands are investing. And we are doing the same. In the next few months we will be ready to launch the first customer care in the metaverse with tools designed for all our customers who want to seize this new opportunity”.
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