Two of the hot topics discussed in the contact center space are — anything to do with social media and of course mobility. In some cases they are part of the same discussion, but if I were keeping score, the interest in how contact centers can better handle interactions with their mobile customers is way ahead of the social media issues. The focus is around providing a better customer experience for users who need to interact with a contact center during a mobile transaction. Companies are seeking a ways to improve how consumers in all demographics deal with various mobile situations –booking travel, purchasing an item, checking status on orders or trouble tickets, etc.
In the past several weeks I’ve talked to insurance companies, utilities, manufacturers, retail groups and even some government agencies about how mobile apps can be designed to better fit in their contact center operations. All of the discussions start with the usual overview of products and services, how they might be seamlessly integrated to their contact center, and what benefits their customers will realize. Better integration means shorter call times and happier customers. And what about the benefits that management will see? They’ll receive more data on mobile transactions and be better equipped for future planning.
But in every case, the conversation has turned away from the consumer/customer and ended up focusing on needs inside the enterprise. We start talking about other departments inside the enterprise, field employees, business partners, and suppliers that all have some sort of interaction with the contact center and the mobile applications they would find useful.
What starts out as a whiteboard discussion with one app drawn to address customer needs, ends with another 3-4 apps drawn to address all sorts of mobile needs inside the enterprise. The contact center is still the bullseye in the middle of the drawing, but now has many arrows pointing to it from many other mobile apps. What’s on the board?
- Insurance companies talk about apps for independent agents or other field personnel that deal with the contact center.
- Manufacturers discuss outfitting the mobile workers that manage inventories in retail spaces and the warehouse staff that all have interactions with the contact center.
- Government agencies look at the interactions they have between departments and how many of those are already mobile, but have no easy access to their call centers.
Contact center agents don’t just talk to an organizations’ customer base. They are a hive of activity that can touch many other departments or business partners. As the use of mobile apps continues to grow, enterprises need to make sure they look around at all the areas within their business that can benefit from a better mobile experience. Not just the customer side.
My recommendation? Start with a bigger whiteboard, you’re going to need it. To be sure you fill up that whiteboard, join our web event, "The New Mobile World: Changing the Way You’ll Service Your Customers" on Tuesday, July 31st to gain even more insight into this burgeoning world of mobile customer service.