Multi-media in the Contact Center – Can’t We All Just Get Along?
This post was authored by guest blogger, Arnab Mishra. Arnab is VP of Products and Solutions at Transera.
In the late 1990’s, customer interactions delivered via non-voice media were all the rage. Reports touted the death of voice and the rise of email and chat as the preferred methods for customers to interact with businesses. A decade and a half later, it has become clear that for the foreseeable future media such as email, chat and increasingly SMS and social media are not replacements to the traditional voice call, but instead complements to it. As a result, the true business challenge is to think about interaction management holistically and not in media-specific silos.
In speaking with customers, I have observed that the vast majority of enterprises that have deployed multiple media types are operating in a world where these interaction channels are not synchronized. In most of today’s contact centers, interactions operate in separate silos that require separate interaction routing strategies, separate administration, and in most cases separate agents.
This inefficient environment is further complicated by the fact that routing and desktop CRM vendors alike have aggressively entered this market. As a result call centers are being offered certain solutions that are either strong in terms of routing and interaction management strategies but weak when it comes to agent interaction workflows and tools, or vice versa.
Truly solving the business need in the marketplace requires the fusion of best-in-class routing platforms with best-in-class agent tools. From a routing perspective, this can only be done by building a routing platform that is open to all media types and easily integrates with agent workflow and desktop tools for both interaction routing as well as administration.
Based on discussions with customers, I believe that vendors in the multi-media space need to stop focusing on grabbing a larger share of customer wallets and invest their time in addressing the true needs of enterprise contact centers. Towards that end, routing and CRM vendors should no longer view each other as competitors in this market, but rather as partners that contribute valuable and required functionality necessary to provide a robust end-to-end solution. Transera has delivered such a platform and is deploying it for a large multi-national enterprise in conjunction with leading CRM vendor, RightNow Technologies.