Mobile transformations invade contact center industry


    The mobile revolution has a monumental reach, impacting companies of all sizes and industries. As smartphones and tablets continue to proliferate in the consumer landscape, the same trends will occur in the private sector. Generally, there are two reasons this happens. First, individuals who use mobile gadgets outside of the office for their everyday lives want to bring those platforms into the workplace.

    Companies may also adopt mobility because neglecting the mobile transformation will make it more difficult for firms to cater to the needs of their tech-savvy customers. This is one of the main reasons the contact center is quickly embracing the use of smartphones and tablets, as meeting clients on a mobile platform is becoming crucial to survival.

    A recent study of more than 420 contact center decision-makers by the International Customer Management Institute highlighted the growing mobile presence in help desks around the world. The survey found that executives understand the importance of embracing mobility into their business phone system, but are often unsure where to begin in the vast and sophisticated landscape. In fact, more than 40 percent of respondents know mobile customer service will be a priority in 2013.

    "Customers are already clamoring for mobile customer service, and now the contact center can build a solid strategy to provide it," said Sarah Stealey, editor-at-large at ICMI.

    Why should contact centers adopt a mobile strategy?

    The survey highlighted many reasons organizations are embracing a mobile-enabled contact center phone system, including the fact that more than two-thirds of respondents said doing so improves user experience. This will ultimately contribute to creating customers who are more likely to return and are not aggravated by the traditional problems associated with speaking to company representatives.

    Roughly 62 percent of contact centers also believe embracing mobility will give them a competitive advantage over businesses with help desks that have not yet adopted a mobile strategy, ICMI reported. As a result, approximately 44 percent of respondents have a mobile initiative in place that should go into effect in 2013.

    A separate report by Interactive Intelligence noted that mobile and hosted phone systems are gaining momentum in the contact center industry because of their ability to improve performance without impairing the company's ability to meet customer demand.

    "Contact center technology and the dynamics of delivering a great customer experience are changing at a rapid pace," said Joe Staples, chief marketing officer at Interactive Intelligence.

    In the coming years, smartphones, tablets and other advanced mobile gadgets will eventually replace the old phone system with innovative solutions that can support connectivity between two parties, regardless of location. By adapting to these changes, contact centers will be able to remain on par with the rest of the private sector and improve the odds of long-term survival through innovation. Although neglecting mobility will not necessarily spell disaster for an organization, it will likely increase the challenges associated with remaining competitive.