Contact Centers Becoming Truly Connected to Customers with Unified Communications
Contact centers mean more than just call centers. A contact center should be able to focus on all areas of customer contact, including e-mail, social media, and all forms of unified communication. By doing so, it becomes a true contact center, allowing customers to contact them no matter what means they may use.
With the rise of mobile devices, social media, and peer-to-peer connectivity, there have been many new ways of customers interacting, both with each other and the companies they buy from. If a customer wants to reach a business, it’s no longer the same arduous process of dialing through menu after menu before reaching an actual person; there are ways of communicating through chat menus on the website, e-mail, or even just a post on a Facebook (News - Alert) page.
Of course, the Internet is not the only way that customer contact has changed. Screen-based commands on smartphones have made it easier for customers to reach the person they need, providing instantly visible options rather than a monotonous voice menu. Of course, for the companies that do use voice menus, voice recognition technology has made it easier for customers to reach the agents they need.
Perhaps most importantly, though, is the impact that social media has had on the customer experience. Many customers have begun posting on the social networking pages for certain companies, or tweeting at them for their concerns. Be warned, however, for as this is on the Internet, any slip-ups can be saved for eternity and shared across the Net. Still, when it comes to interacting with customers, social media is the way to go.
Fortunately, unified communications can certainly help with the contact center experience. Presence tools can help bring in experts from outside the center, while instant messaging can help connect agents and specialists or supervisors. Even the VoIP and phone tools are still vitally important, as contact centers have not given up on those yet.Most contact centers have embraced the power of mobility, social media and unified communications. Yet there are still those struggling to move past the call center, and need to evolve into a truly unified customer contact center. That’s not the future calling – the future is tweeting now.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson