5 Ways to Incorporate Mobile Technology into the Call Center
Mobile technology has changed the way we do everything. No one needs maps much anymore when you’ve got a GPS and Google Maps in your pocket. Newspapers and magazines can instantly be delivered directly to your phone or tablet — not only daily, but at the moment news breaks. It has also changed the way that consumers interact with businesses on all levels, even in the humble call center. Here are five ways that call centers have been able to leverage mobile technology to better their business.
Forget about huge call centers that look like a sea of cubicles. Instead, imagine all of your call center employees working from home. Thanks to mobile technology and unlimited calling plans, an agent can log on through a virtual workstation and take calls from wherever he or she happens to be. Not only do you save on renting or buying space, but you can scale up much faster. No more worrying about running out of cubicles!
Due to so many contact centers moving into the cloud, businesses have found that allowing people to work from home has become easier than ever. Thanks to advanced call center software solutions, more than half of the contact centers in the United States today have some of their agents working from home, according to the National Association of Call Centers. A company no longer has to hire agents who can get to the physical call center every day. They can hire them from anywhere which significantly expands the talent pool.
Mobile technology means mobile apps and just about every company has one. For a call center, an app can be a quick and easy way for the customer to get in touch with customer service. These applications often have a button that can directly connect the customer through voice, chat, SMS, instant messenger, or whatever means the customer prefers.
More than 75% of smartphone users are already using apps to get in contact with customer service. It’s a convenient way for them to look at their account balances, have a text (or voice) chat with a representative, or take a detailed look at their bill, all in one place. Often, a good mobile app can solve minor problems a customer may have, freeing up agents to deal with more challenging situations. This also cuts down on wait times to get an agent.
Customization by Location
Currently more than half of all adults in the United States have a smartphone, and all of these smartphones can access geographic information. Thanks to GPS, a call center agent can know where a caller is and use that information to customize their service. For example, if there’s a problem in a supply chain or a weather delay, the agent can see if the caller’s location would be impacted by that and report it.
Apps can track more than geographic information though. Some apps integrate with a mobile website. An agent can find out which page a user was at before access the app for clues to why the person is contacting customer service.
Billions of texts are transmitted every day. People enjoy texting, because it’s fast, cheap, and doesn’t require the same attentive focus as a phone call. It’s easy to set up an automated reply system so customers can receive billing information, delivery updates, and other information via text. Of course, if you want your agents to send texts personally to callers, that’s also easily done.
The internet has become the marketplace of the 21st century. People buy and sell everything on the Internet: cars, furniture, books, electronics, even food for delivery. Call centers can take advantage of the boom in non-verbal communications (say, through a social media platform) by providing another information channel to their customers to answer questions before they pick up the phone. In fact, picking up the phone to have a voice chat with an agent will likely become the final option.
More than 40 percent of marketers say Facebook is a big part of their business operations — and that’s just one avenue of social media. As more and more people use social media to communicate, it becomes necessary for call centers to incorporate Twitter, Facebook, and other social media into their business practices.
Social media works best when the entire company is able to participate in using social media for customer care, but most companies have yet to reach that level of sophistication. It’s not enough to just have a presence on a given social media network. When a customer feels that your company cares about him or her as an individual, that’s when you know the social media component of your call center is doing its job.
The increasing use of mobile technology is a great opportunity for call centers to expand in whole new directions, if you’re willing to take advantage of it. For next quarter’s goals, consider investigating how one of these five areas could improve your current call center operations.
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