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Why I Joined Five9

Steve Blood
Steve Blood Vice President, Marketing

I’ve spent 30 years working with customers, tech providers, and clients in the customer service space. Here are five compelling reasons why I joined Five9. 

Compelling reason #1: A well-run business in an industry I know and love, within a market transition that still has so much growth opportunity 

First and foremost, customer service technology has been fundamental to my career. From the early days of ACD and call centers to advising clients on cloud software, I’ve been engaged in helping organizations use technology to benefit service operations and processes. Five9 is a market leader in customer service technology. It’s grown rapidly and organically over the last 20 years, disrupting the premises-based contact center market with compelling service offers. Impressively, it is also the only market leader that’s not had a “leg-up” from a legacy business. 

Compelling reason #2: The opportunity for Five9’s Intelligent CX platform to become a conduit for seamless customer experience across all touchpoints - enabled by leading self and assisted service capabilities, fueled by data and insights to optimize the customer relationship 

Five years ago, Gartner's customer service technology team was merged with the customer experience practice. This allowed me to look at the bigger picture, to collaborate with colleagues on the role of customer service as part of the broader customer experience. What we discovered was the importance of a seamless customer experience challenged by fragmented customer touchpoints and hampered by siloed legacy technology across sales, marketing, digital commerce as well as customer service. 

Compelling reason #3: Five9’s practical AI approach supporting both self and assisted service use cases is thought-leading and exactly in line with the aspirations of customer service leaders 

In my engagement with customer service leaders, especially over the last year the role of AI has become clearer. While rationalizing costs with self-service automation is always a priority, leaders say they don’t want it at the expense of degraded service to customers. Five9’s practical AI approach with pre-built use cases to deliver speed to value, as well as its thought-leading approach to GenAI in support of assisting the customer service operation is a refreshing realism to counter the excessive and unproven hysteria of automated everything. It was November 2022 when CTO Jonathan Rosenberg first briefed me on OpenAI GPT3 with analytics and reporting use cases under development. All this just months before the silly hype of mid 2023. 

Compelling reason #4: Five9’s customer-first culture, evident in how peers consistently rate it stronger than its competitors in customer service and support leads to stronger retention and growth 

In their transition to cloud-based software organizations encounter a continual flow of new and innovative software to aid their operational objectives. But what became abundantly clear to me from many conversations was the importance of support. Nowhere is this more important than customer-facing, front office applications and platforms. I’ve witnessed firsthand how positive experiences of Five9 in the early stages of the sales cycle and proof of concept build confidence in the mind of the decision-makers in favor of Five9.  

Compelling reason #5: Mutual respect and trust of CMO Niki Hall and the executive team, combined with an inclusive culture that fosters collaboration 

I’ll be honest. Transitioning back into the vendor community after such a long tenure as an industry analyst is a daunting experience. The support I received from CMO Niki Hall made it a comfortable decision. I’ve been fortunate to work with Niki for 20 years in a client/advisor relationship. She is a talented CMO who brings to Five9 experiences across the CX spectrum. In my mind, a collaborative culture is critical to the success of a growing company. As I researched Five9 as a future destination to work, I noticed that a culture of collaboration was the most common positive attribute noted by reviewers. 

Steve Blood
Steve Blood Vice President, Marketing

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