Let’s face it, mobile consumers expect direct access to information and timely notifications, without having to talk to someone first, unless really necessary. And when it comes to notifications, they don’t want it to be a phone call, when there are simpler, less intrusive modes of delivery and confirmation through the web. Finally, when live assistance is needed, there are new, more efficient ways to click for assistance that are more flexible and cost efficient than initiating a PSTN phone call. WebRTC is coming with its browser-based, contextual information that can simplify access to live assistance in a variety of ways.
As I have frequently suggested, migrating to UC capabilities doesn’t mean dumping your old telephone systems and call center setups, when they still are functional. However, implementing new, complementary capabilities for your growing mobile customers is a hole that you can start to fill with new technologies. The challenge, of course, is that the technology is still evolving and your IT staff has little or no experience with the new stuff.
VARs, SIs, and consultants will bring the UC pieces together. It has become very apparent that the technology vendors cannot support the ongoing and evolving customized needs of organizations that must now support different needs of mobile customers. As a result, they are all looking for channel partners to take care of client support needs in implementation planning and ongoing management of communication and self-service applications that are cloud based. This is particularly necessary for the huge SMB market that already has little or no IT staff to do the job.
Not only are cloud-based applications less costly to implement and maintain, but they provide an ideal venue to integrate with any existing, premises-based contact center technologies that are still functional. The old telephony call/contact center is transitioning to the multi-modal interaction center that will need cloud services rather than premises-based systems, to support the new generation of mobile consumers.
One of the big changes we are already seeing is the shift from old and very limited IVR applications, based on the telephone user interface, to multimedia and visual self-service application interfaces for mobile devices. Innovative technology developers like Voxeo and Jacada are already doing well with their offerings to wireless service providers that facilitate visual self-service interfaces, that also accommodate simple click-for-assistance options (chat, calls). A long-time service provider for cloud-based contact center applications is Echopass, which has a practical approach to providing the tools for implementing self-service mobile apps. (Read my white paper.)
But they will all need channel partners to do the heavy lifting of implementation and integrations.
By the time you read this post, I will have given my contact center presentation at the 2013 UC Summit, which is an invited audience of VARs, SIs, and Consultants. I will then be able to report back on their views on supporting contact center functionality for mobile customer services.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi