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Experts say call centers headed toward social

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DestinationCRM.com recently reported that many industry experts believe social media and other trends are signifcantly impacting the modern call center. According to the news source, Yves Dupuis, chairperson of the International Quality and Performance Center, told those in attendance at this year's Call Center Week that an office is anywhere with an internet connection, headset and laptop.

Dupuis also said that the internet, along with social technology, unified communications, home-based agents, mobility and cloud computing data are all influencing the call center landscape, the news source reported.

Although social media is having a profound impact on call centers, Dave Kellogg, senior vice president of a cloud computing vendor, asserted that it is the least used technology found in the contact center, accounting for 18.6 percent. However, Kellogg predicted this will increase to nearly 23 percent in the next year, DestinationCRM reported.

Michael Biondo, customer operations vice president of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, said organizations looking to integrate social media into their call centers should offer customers a clear call to action. This can include filling out a survey or promoting an offer to other friends or family members, the news provider reported.

"Just to post something without a call to action negates your engagement," Biondo explained, according to the DestinationCRM report. "If you do a basic fill-in-the-blank question, it yields nine times the level of engagement."

Social, other trends reshaping VoIP call centers

A new report by Heavy Reading IP Services Insider suggested that social technology and the proliferation of tablets and smartphones is modernizing VoIP call centers. Current models enable businesses to interact with their audience through a number of different channels, including instant messaging, voice or social networking.

Denise Culver, Heavy Reading's research analyst, asserted that many organizations are integrating communications to meet consumer demands to address these trends.

"Until recently, enterprises and service providers generally created separate applications for voice and other customer service applications, but consumers increasingly are adopting a 'bring your own device' [BYOD] mentality, in which they expect to interact with anyone they choose," Culver explained. "Over the past several years, VoIP call center growth largely has been attributed to the benefits it enables."

Culver added that VoIP call center growth has been fueled by the evolution of mobile technology, as well as BYOD policies. Another trend impacting this field has been the rise in remote and teleworkers, which has forced many businesses to implement call centers.