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The Importance of Integrating Voice and Social in the Contact Center

June 19, 2012

By Rich Steeves,
TMCnet Managing Editor

When I was at Call Center Week in Las Vegas, I heard companies speak, over and over again, about the importance of social networks in relation to the modern contact center. Many companies had software and solutions that were targeted at leveraging social networks as points of customer contact, and just about everyone there had an opinion or prognostication about the future of social media in relation to the contact center. But, as David van Everen of Five9 explains in a recent blog post, companies should not lose sight of voice as a medium for building and maintaining their customer social networks.

As van Everen points out, voice channels still carry the vast majority of interactions between a business and its customers. The trick is to use the right cloud-based call center software to integrate these voice interactions in the customer history along with all of the tweets and blog posts and Facebook (News - Alert) updates. A comprehensive integrated customer contact history like this will help companies get a better handle on the evolving world of customer relations, as interactions on these new channels continue to increase.

Studies have shown that while many people are willing to use social media for their customer service needs, a vast majority of people still prefer to rely on the voice channel. In many cases, customers are finding that they cannot get their concerns resolved through other channels and thus end up calling a contact center anyway. The key here is for companies to connect the social interactions with the incoming calls so that the agent has history and context in order to best handle the forthcoming interaction.

Clearly, voice and social media need to work together. The voice channel can enhance social media interactions by providing a richer customer experience, and linking the two together gives a fuller picture of customer wants and needs. The key is to integrate cloud-based contact center software to extend existing CRM solutions and unify communication channels to market, service and sell more effectively. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

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. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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Edited by Carrie Schmelkin