According to Interactive Intelligence, expansion of the mobile devices market in the Middle East can turn the business-to-customer communications on its head. Availability of multiple channels of communication on one device, simultaneous access to web and voice services, and contextual information about a customer via mobile applications, will eliminate the shortcomings afflicting call centres these days.
In the report on “The Future of Customer Service in a Mobile World: Smart, Connected Interactions”, published in July 2012, an independent analysis company Ovum defined the potential of mobile technologies as a chance to start a “smart, connected interaction” – a new type of communications with the customer. In the process of smart interaction, a business is aware of the customer context, and knowledge about such business contact elements as type of user device, its location, as well as products and charts viewed prior to communicating with a call centre consultant, all increase contact centre efficiency.
“If a system detects that a customer device is video-enabled, the consultant can then send, in the middle of a call, video instructions on how to solve a given problem. If contact with a call centre has been made directly through an automatic mobile application, the consultant receives information about the customer problem area and can, therefore, easily identify it. Does the customer seek technical help? Instead of a time-consuming question-and-answer method to establish the cause of the problem, a consultant can ask the customer to take and send a photo in real-time,” said Shaheen Haque, Territory Manager, Middle East & Turkey at Interactive Intelligence. “Possibilities of improvements to customer service, offered by mobile applications, are truly endless.”
According to Keith Dawson, Ovum Principal Analyst, in order to take advantage of the mobile technologies’ potential, business enterprises must implement a system to integrate all elements which today, in most enterprises, live in separate silos:
- Data stored in business databases and CRM systems must be linked to both the information sent by the client while they are operating a mobile device and to the context data coming from the mobile applications.
- Channels of communication: Smartphones allow simultaneous access to voice and web service, therefore, to manage smart connected interaction, full integration of all communications channels is required.
- The device: The customer can connect to the internet via their smartphone, while talking to the consultant on the landline. To manage smart connected interactions, enterprise communications systems should integrate customer data flowing from any device, be it a landline telephone, mobile, tablet or desktop computer.
“At the moment, the majority of enterprises in the Middle East only begin to realize the benefits of mobile technologies in the area of customer service. Still missing is a complex approach towards data and interaction management. Nevertheless, intelligent management of mobile interactions is profitable, both from the customer’s and business’ point of view. I believe that, over the next two years, we will be watching a steady expansion of this market, and first cases of successful implementation will stimulate a wider adaptation of mobile strategies towards customer service”, said Mr Haque.
The full report “The Future of Customer Service in a Mobile World: Smart, Connected Interactions” by Ovum is available to download from Interactive Intelligence website: