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Hosted Call Centers Are Choosing UC Mobility for Improved Customer Experience

September 19, 2012
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor

Rather than continue promoting traditional call handling with live agents, technology providers are beginning to jump on the self-service application bandwagon that can be expanded with mobile smartphones and tablets in the call center.

With more consumers using mobile devices, the role of self-service and mobile apps have grown from traditional customer support. This change has allowed the implementation of automated applications to move to  cloud-based and managed on-demand service usage. This mobile trend increases customer satisfaction with faster, more flexible, and personalized access to information, as well as reduces operational costs and facilitate efficient use of agents.    

In a recent Unified Communication Strategies article, Telecom Industry Expert Art Rosenberg (News - Alert), discussed the mobile move for contact centers. He touched on a National Association of Call Centers webinar that described two key factors that are changing the direction of traditional customer contact centers. Paul Stockford, research director for the association, highlighted that Big Data analytics for contact centers involves all customer interactions. And David Butler (News - Alert), executive director of the association, pointed to the need to automate simple customer service tasks with self-service applications to minimize the demand for live assistance. Both of these directions, according to Rosenberg, are required by consumer use of mobile devices and mobile app capabilities.

The reason UC never took off in the past, according to Rosenberg, is because end users did not have multimodal endpoint devices that let them benefit from UC flexibility. Sitting at a desktop with wired PCs, phones and fax machines made it easy to be inefficiently multimodal without integrations. But, once a user is mobile, the need for UC flexibility increases drastically.

“When Steve Jobs (News - Alert) showed off Apples first new iPhone back in 2007, I welcomed the device as a UC smartphone to highlight the role UC enablement will play maximizing flexible interoperability across different forms of communication contact,” wrote Rosenberg. “However, it hasn’t been until recent developments like Apple’s (News - Alert) Siri, that the iPhone 4S could fully exploit voice and text user interfaces.”

Now that mobile devices are taking the place of desktop devices for communication tasks, there is a ripple effect of new technology disappearing legacy approaches.

“Increasing mobility means that the software applications and the information they use shouldn’t be location dependent. Whether using private or public clouds, access by anyone involved in a business process can do so with the device of their choice,” he added.

Additionally, developers of UC applications can easily integrate them with other online resources, and business can gain real-time access to analytical activity data about their internal users, business partners, customers and customer-facing staff.

Today, mobility is driving application software into the cloud, creating the need for cloud service providers to provide the support to accommodate additional organizational needs. The cloud environment supports mobile end users and allows consumers to have mobile access as internal users to and from self-service applications.

Still, according to Rosenberg, the challenge for every organization is how to migrate seamlessly from current operations to the UC-enabled mobile environment of the future. Fortunately, providers are starting to offer functionality in that direction and the solution supporting mobile customers will involve operational management as well as all customer-facing staff in any location.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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