BPA Featured Article

Technologies that are Changing Customer Service and the Call Center

By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer
May 16, 2012

While call centers have not been a favorite for many businesses, they are nevertheless considered a necessity, especially as customers continue to influence major business decisions. Despite being on the receiving end, call centers are innovating and inspiring businesses to think differently.

One way is by voice biometrics. Nuance (News - Alert) Voice Biometrics has designed products that offer VocalPassword systems to financial institutions, law enforcement and government agencies, as well as telecom and healthcare services providers. These systems use voice to authenticate a person’s identity which can also be used as a signature according to the E-SIGN Act.

With the rising use and dependency on smartphones, it is only natural that we should expect them to become a mainstream customer service device. Some call center providers like Genesys (News - Alert) have smartphone applications that let certain entities provide a better customer experience through contextual information passing to an agent.

The use of video in business has also accelerated in the last few years. Interactive video, however, gets interactive video responses. These enhancements allow businesses to use video for advertisements, promotions, or as part of entertainment while keeping on hold waiting customers. Avaya (News - Alert), the leader in interactive video and voice responses (IVVR), has successfully implemented these technologies.

IBM (News - Alert) and Genesys have been in the forefront of yet another call center technology called universal queuing. By combining voice, chat, email and social media, a customer support experience that is more consistent and streamlined can be implemented. But the technology has its implementation challenges.

The Intelligent Call-back is another one that offers similar advantages to what a Web callback does. By placing widgets on a Website, customers give out their phone numbers in exchange for a call-back from an agent. The Intelligent Call-back however comes with the convenience of mobility and the addition of contextual information such as location. By mapping out a phone’s entire menu and automatically navigating on behalf of the customer, Intelligent Call-back goes beyond the click-to-call solutions. Fonolo (News - Alert) visual dialing solution is an example of a well implemented Intelligent Call-back offering.

Edited by Braden Becker