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Building a Mobile Strategy for the Contact Center

May 01, 2013

Many top-notch contact centers today are in the process of building mobile elements into their customer service. Just as m-commerce – shopping and purchasing on mobile devices – are revolutionizing the services and retail industries, mobile customer service naturally follows.

But mobile customer service is about more than simply taking phone calls from customers who use smartphones or other devices with which to communicate. It’s about combining and utilizing all the technologies that come with smartphones and taking advantage of them to improve the customer experience, according to unified communications company Interactive Intelligence.

 "If a system detects that a customer device is video-enabled, the consultant can then send, in the middle of a call, video instructions on how to solve a given problem. If contact with a call center has been made directly through an automatic mobile application, the consultant receives information about the customer problem area and can, therefore, easily identify it. Does the customer seek technical help? Instead of a time-consuming question-and-answer method to establish the cause of the problem, a consultant can ask the customer to take and send a photo in real-time," said Shaheen Haque, territory manager for the Middle East and Turkey at Interactive Intelligence.

What this means is that mobile customer service isn’t actually a media channel itself, it’s a strategy that combines many different media: Web, voice, video, text and location-based services. Given that, building a mobile customer service program is not going to be easy and will require companies to pull data from many difference places where data may still be siloed today. This will include the customer relationship management (CRM) solution, the multichannel contact center, social media management, customer histories and from the customer’s mobile device (location, for example).

Interactive Intelligence’s Haque said many enterprises are only beginning to realize the benefits of mobile technologies in the area of customer service, particularly in contact center growth areas, such as the Middle East.

“Still missing is a complex approach towards data and interaction management,” he said. “Nevertheless, intelligent management of mobile interactions is profitable, both from the customer's and business' point of view. I believe that, over the next two years, we will be watching a steady expansion of this market, and first cases of successful implementation will stimulate a wider adaptation of mobile strategies towards customer service.”

In other words, now is the time to begin building mobile strategies, since it will affect nearly all elements of a company’s communications and enterprise resources. As such, implementation is likely to affect a variety of new technologies going forward. Failing to build a foundation now will leave a company scrambling to attempt to fit the pieces together.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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