Independent Contact Center Consultants: Bridging Strategy, Technology and Operations Since 2004

Are you Ready for These Technology Enhancements?

Are you the type of person who can’t wait to see what’s in the next smart phone release? All the bells and whistles, bigger, faster, better. You may have similar feelings about new contact center technologies. Here are 5 cutting edge technologies that are poised to move beyond early adopters.

Cutting Edge Contact Center TechnologiesTEXT: With this channel, customers can “text” the center through an IVR menu choice, a button on a mobile application, or simply entering a target number on their phones. The more you communicate with Millennials, the more you should consider this option. Financial services, travel, and leaders in other industries have already jumped on the mobile bandwagon. Moreover, research from Forrester, ContactBabel, and OneReach shows that text interactions are cheaper than voice calls − $2-$5 vs. $6-$26.

VISUAL IVR: Smart phone apps can provide visual menus that replicate the spoken menu choices offered in traditional IVRs. Customers use their touch screens to navigate through the visual menus and are transferred to the appropriate agent groups. Visual IVRs leverage your existing IVR investment, maintain the voice interface for those who do use it, and add another option to increase your self-service and call deflection.

BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE: Employees use their own equipment (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, and/or notebook) as their primary voice and data endpoints, tapping into the enterprise phone system, email, data sources, etc. This arrangement streamlines device management (especially for mobile workers), increases productivity, and lowers IT spending. This concept could adapt to the contact center with the proper policies (e.g., device ownership, IT support, passcode requirements, antivirus protection, encryption, mobile app monitoring and approval), logistics, and security considerations.

VOICE BIOMETRICS: This technology uses the unique characteristics of a voice (tone, pitch, frequency, and resonance) to confirm identity. It augments the process of asking customers for a PIN in IVR self-service applications and works with either touch-tone or speech-enabled IVRs. While adding cost to the center’s budget, benefits include reduced identification and verification time, improved security, and more satisfied customers as there’s no PIN to remember or risk losing to others.

VIDEO: With increased bandwidth and widely adopted video compression standards, the contact center can establish one-way or two-way video channels for real-time chats or pre-recorded self-help. Amazon, for example, has the “Mayday” button on its Kindle Fire HDX that connects a customer with a live agent for video-enhanced assistance. Retail businesses, financial services, interior design/home improvement companies, and healthcare may follow suit. There are significant investments to make to transition to video including technology upgrades, training, and staffing (you need camera-comfortable and -ready agents), and even possibly facilities changes. Many companies may opt to use YouTube videos on the web site or pushed by agents as an alternative for self-help.

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