Knowing customers better through their smartphones


  • Technology
  • Thursday, 20 Sep 2012

Blough: “They expect mobile services and this requires contact centres to be prepared to handle these types of interactions.”

By JO TIMBUONG bytz@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: Mobile technology has had a positive impact on many industries so communications software provider Interactive Intelligence believes that the contact centre sector will not be the exception.

Gary Blough, Interactive Intelligence executive vice-president for worldwide sales, said customers are increasingly becoming accustomed to service “on the go” and it is natural for them to turn to their smartphones as the “go to” channel.

“They expect mobile services and this requires contact centres to be prepared to handle these types of interactions,” he told StarBytz.

Blough explained that mobile support goes beyond self-services such as conducting fund transfers or alerting customers to their balance thresholds over a mobile phone.

Today’s customers are also prone to frequent postings on social media. “Social networking may play a bigger role in customer contact,” he said.

Responding to the mobile and social media trends hitting the contact centre sector, Interactive Intelligence has developed Interaction Mobilizer that enables businesses to provide self-service applications for smartphone-equipped customers.

Blough said Intraction Mobilizer allows organisations to brand their own mobile applications and then publish them in the appropriate stores, such as Google Play and AppStore.

“So instead of dialling a long helpline number, customers who need to get in touch with an organisation simply selects the company’s app on their smartphones,” he said.

When customers download such an app, they can log in using their social media details or the credentials provided by an organisation.

When integrated with social media, the solution lets contact centres obtain information about their customers which can then be used to tailor deals and promotions for them.

Blough said the solution complies with industry standard certificate encryption as outlined in the PCI (Payment Card Industry) Data Security Standard, as well as HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and other compliance requirements, ensuring customers that their data is always protected.

Also, the solution provides a unified customer experience and bridges the gap between mobile self-service and live-agent assistance, according to him.

“Customers of businesses using Interaction Mobilizer can switch from mobile self-service interaction to a web-call or text-chat should they require any assistance from the agents.

“The agent will be provided with contextual information like the customer’s name, the device in use, the product their enquiring about and even the customer’s location,” Blough said. Such information pops up on a contact centre agent’s screen when a call is connected.

Interaction Mobilizer is expected to be available in English-speaking countries by the end of the year. Localisation for markets in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Europe and Latin America is being planned.

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