Contact centers turn to unified communications and mobile applications

    As companies look to streamline communications internally and externally, they are improving their call and contact centers by adding mobile applications. Companies hope to use new technology to better address customer support issues.

    Unified Communications Strategies recently reported that traditional call centers are being usurped by new technologies. Self-service applications that can be developed with mobile technology are quickly replacing systems that used live agents to handle customer service phone calls.

    According to the news source, the use of mobile apps will not only reduce costs and add flexibility in customer support, but it will also increase personalization, which will lead to improvements in customer satisfaction. Because so many people are using mobile devices and tablets in place of desktop computers and traditional phones, unified communications (UC) solutions are in demand. The news source reported that mobile users need the flexibility of UC.

    John Hernandez, vice president and general manage of collaborative business applications at Cisco Systems, a company that provides technology for customer support, told CMSWire that organizations have to be more proactive about how they deal with customer care. In the world of mobile technology, customers are now "on-the-go." Hernandez also told the news source that communications are more fluid than in the past on account of mobile technology providing new levels of flexibility.

    Hernandez used the example of a customer with lost luggage to describe how innovations in customer care are affecting services. He explained how a customer who had lost some luggage could not only contact the airline through a social media app on his or her mobile device, but could also "bad mouth" the airline for poor service. This, explained Hernandez, is why companies need to be proactive in their communications. Companies should turn to customer relationship management (CRM) to respond to clients in order to ensure the best possible relations.

    According to Unified Communications Strategies, text messaging, online self-help apps, mobile apps, "cloud"-based apps and mobile devices are just some of the technologies that are now taking a stronghold in the contact center industry.

    Although companies may be intimidated by the prospect of switching over to UC and mobile apps, they must attempt to do so with elegance, according to Unified Communications Strategies. In order to ensure customer support at all times, transitions should be seamless.

    As communication technologies turn to UC strategies such as mobile and cloud-based applications, companies should consider the benefits of changing their contact centers to include CRM, cloud services and mobile computing.

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