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Poll Finds Call Centers Willing to Adopt Skype for Some Uses

July 24, 2014

A poll conducted by Call Centre Helper in the U.K. has found that contact centers might be willing to use the popular VoIP service Skype for some customer service tasks.

The site, which bills itself as “The UK’s most popular contact centre magazine,” conducted the poll as part of a webinar titled “Skype and the Contact Centre” in March.

Of the 192 respondents, nearly 60 percent of them said they were willing to use Skype for general customer service. A further 35 percent said they would use it for specialized business purposes, 39 percent as a general voice line, 34 percent for sales and show and tell, and finally, 29 percent said they would use Skype for gaining a competitive advantage.

Although Microsoft might prefer that call centers sign up for more comprehensive (and expensive) products like Lync rather than Skype, the latter’s ubiquity makes it irresistible to contact centers, especially businesses that deal with consumers. Microsoft has integrated Skype with Lync to make it possible for contact centers to include an option for customers to reach them by Skype and connect to their agents.

Many people are moving to Skype in addition to, and even largely replacing, traditional phone service, lured by the prospect of free and cheap international calls. Having a worldwide reach for next to nothing is just as attractive to businesses as it is to consumers. The addition of a translation function makes having a worldwide presence even more possible.

As their customers continue to abandon landlines and conventional voice services for over-the-top service like Skype, it’s obvious that contact centers would want to adapt to meet the needs of their customers.

A stateside report by the Federal Communications Commission has found that many people are adopting VoIP, with half of Americans using it, but 38 percent not from traditional phone companies. A good chunk of that is no doubt from Skype, given how popular it is.

Edited by Adam Brandt