Magazine article Marketing

Review of the Year: Embracing Social Communication

Magazine article Marketing

Review of the Year: Embracing Social Communication

Article excerpt

Brands are exploring cloud technology to better connect with consumers, but that doesn't spell the end for traditional contact centres or preclude the adoption of new platforms, writes Kim Benjamin.

Social media is fast becoming a recognised communsication channel for brands, and a way for contact centres to directly engage with consumers.

An increasing number of brands are using the platform as a 'self-service' knowledge base, engaging with consumers in real-time Social media is also helping to create an online community of ambassadors that can help and support the brand.

The adoption of cloud computing technology, where software is provided as a service from a remote location, is also on the rise. Looking forward to 2013, the use of virtual assistants is likely to increase, to help support customer-service operations. Virtual assistants can help customers navigate their way through a range of interactions and share important information. Such services will be boosted by improvements in technology, such as advanced text recognition and speech generation.

With a continued demand for personalised services, the single customer view will become more important, with companies wanting to gain access to the full history of a customer's transactions and interactions - be they via voice, electronic channels such as email and chat or social-media platforms.

There is also likely to be an increased interest in emotion-detection and emotion-recognition technology, an automated way to measure how a caller feels, based on factors including their tone, how loud and how fast they are speaking. The adoption of such technology can have a positive impact on the caller experience.

Using apps as a service channel appears to be one area that is yet to be fully exploited by contact centres, perhaps because customers are still inclined to turn to traditional customer-service routes when trying to resolve a complaint or query.

As mobile interactions can be routed to relevant departments or prioritised, those agencies that invest in the app channel and its development - including integrating data from apps - are likely to see greater rewards.

CLOUD TECHNOLOGY

The benefits

- Increased levels of flexibility and responsiveness.

- Enables brands to run social communities hosted on a website, which can then replace the 'help' functions normally carried out by the contact centre. …

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