Contact Center Being Redefined Through Mobile Connections
Just like the physical office, the concept of the contact center is being heavily impacted by mobile devices. Cell phones used to be leveraged in limited capacity - first just to make calls, then eventually for text-based messaging. With the advent of touchscreen smartphones, however, people soon found that it was possible to interact with each other over a whole slew of mediums without switching between machines in order to do so. People were suddenly able to, in many instances, conduct all of their personal and professional business not only on a singular endpoint, but from wherever in the world they happened to have Wi-Fi service.
"Mobile devices have become a permanent fixture in workplaces today, whether for good or for ill," wrote Workforce Management contributor Tracey Schelmetic. "Companies wary that employees are wasting time on mobile devices or are using company property for personal reasons can take comfort in the fact that a more mobile workforce is generally a more efficient and productive workforce. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a strong component of today's workforce. Employees are using their own smartphones and tablets to engage in work activities, and this has had a lot of benefits for companies. Employees are easier to keep track of, easier to reach and better able to multitask (answer an e-mail during a break from a day-long meeting, for example)."
This has made waves in many enterprise departments, but it has had particular effect on the contact center. No longer bound to desks and 9-to-5 working hours, the power of the cloud has made it possible for help representatives to set their own hours and choose their own offices - be it their bed at home or the local coffee shop. This is a major sign of the modern day, where people are expecting more cloud-enabled freedom from their employers. The ability to work remotely is becoming a requirement as a younger generation starts to be hired in greater numbers.
Addressing Recurring Contact Center Problems In The Cloud
According to Credit Union Insight contributor Steven Holmes, a long-standing issue for customer service has been effective engagement of employees. He indicated that research shows that 75 percent of contact center managers acknowledge and have an interest in resolving this issue. While some people might think dispersing the contact center could only make this issue worse than it already is, there are ways to make the department even more cohesive through cloud communications.
This is accomplished in part by supplying workers with the tools and options that they feel are essential to improving their productivity. In many cases, this comes from the cloud. There are plenty of enterprise employees that wish they could "clock in" from home, and feel as though they could get more done there. Opening up those kinds of avenues can increase employee satisfaction in unmatched ways.
Cloud Unified Communications Open New Doors For Data Integration
Telecom is obviously not the only thing that is ending up in the cloud these days. Data centers are migrating there, too. This is an interesting opportunity for contact centers, which are dealing with data more every day. From product manuals to a customer's previous call history, there is an increasing amount of information that is being considered necessary for help desk workers to have in order to meet client expectations.
"Extending data analytics to the agent desktop is another powerful tool," wrote Agilex contributor Susan Miller. "The value of analytics is maximized when the integration of multi-channel information is coupled with an agent's ability to leverage the information while on the call with the customer. Providing agents relevant information regarding what the customer said about the brand pre- and post-interaction will enable the Agent to proactively provide the right response at the right time."
But in order for these assets to have effective, modern benefits, the cloud has to be in place. The level of access and flexibility that customer service representatives need at their disposal, in fact, demands it. With a greater number of employees demanding more autonomy and customers requiring a greater level of personalized care, the cloud is quickly being realized as the only true choice for consumer help outlets.
Modern Requirements Demand Proper Solutions
With so many resources that need to be available in the event of customer queries, cloud UC is an important tool to have available. According to Schelmetic, multiple departments have to be connected to the UC networks leveraged by service departments, as they have valuable information and skills that can be used to assist those clients.
"For customer support personnel who are on the road – think home service or repair personnel – mobile workforce management can even offer companies the ability to make sure employees are where they are supposed to be at all times, and to make sure they're taking the best possible routes to arrive at customers' homes or other locations," Schelmetic wrote.