TMCnews Featured Article
Call Center Operations Will Need to Get More Flexible
By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Call center operations are going to have to accede to increasing demands by consumers who wish to communicate via alternative channels including SMS and Facebook (News - Alert) and who knows what else?
"Some of the biggest challenges [we face] have really just been around supporting our customers' desire to have alternate media channels," Mike Taylor, CTO of strategic products and services, recently told call center operations industry observer Jessica Scarpati.
Taylor also noted that customers want more fluidity in how they resolve an issue, meaning the ability to slide from one form of communication to another. As he told Scarpati, "They might be in an environment where they have two or three things going on and they can't pick up a phone to talk, but they can chat or email ... but if all of a sudden the issue gets a little bit more complex, they may want to then escalate that to a voice session."
And what’s going to help call center operations pros, according to Scarpati, is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). She quotes Hyoun Park, research analyst at Aberdeen (News - Alert) Group, saying SIP is the "key enabler" to move call centers from today’s more rigid transactional, telephony-centric environments to what Scarpati describes as “session-based ones that glide between voice, video, text and social networking.”
Not that this is all futuristic, but “maybe someday.” Currently, about 44 percent of IT workers have SIP in their call centers, according to an Aberdeen survey, "The business value of a cloud-based call center," and close to thirty percent are looking to implement SIP in their contact centers within the next year, as Scarpati says.
In fact, SIP has been the promise of revolution in call centers for a while now. Back in those pre-Facebook days of 2003, TMCnet reported that “the call center business has been around for a few decades now, but you can still teach an old dog some new tricks. Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert) (SIP) and Voice over IP (VoIP) technology are revolutionizing the way that premises-based call centers are built and operated, and also creating new business models for service providers to deliver call center on demand as a network-based service.”
Jorge Blanco, vice president of product and solutions management for UC at Avaya (News - Alert), told Scarpati "It's not good enough that you're going to chat. It's not good enough that you're going to speak. It's not good enough that you're going to deliver social media. You're going to have to connect the dots between all of these since they might all be in one session.”
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Jamie Epstein