The contact center industry has fundamentally changed as communications have gone digital: the number of voice interactions is on track to be supplanted by the total number of other interactions – such as email, web chat and social – by the end of 2016. 
Be ready, because more channels are coming! Many people may not think of Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp as primary communication channels, but combined these two platforms have nearly 2 billion users. In the future these platforms may very well be how people prefer to communicate.
This creates a challenge for the contact center industry to adapt. Unfortunately, this has meant that some have had separate software or devices for each modality. “Think of how little sense it makes to force (and train) users to use one software for calls, another for web chats, another for internal IMs, a separate desk phone for internal calling, and then something else for email or social media or video routing,” said Jeremy Puent, product manager for Clarity Connect. “This pulls agents in many directions – which makes them less effective at customer service. It also can lead to agents being overwhelmed, which can lead to high turnover.”
“All of which makes a great case for Skype for Business as a platform for your contact center,” said Jeremy. Skype for Business was built from the ground up to support voice, IM, video, and screen sharing, all presence based. Native contact center platforms for Skype for Business can enable all of the key contact center functionality you need without duplicating the core call connectivity, media processing, and security infrastructure that SfB already provides. In addition, agents using these contact center systems only have to use one interface, simplifying their experience and ramping up their learning curve when they come on board.
The people at Clarity Connect are very aware of these industry issues, and recently integrated Facebook Messenger into their contact center product, which is native to Skype for Business. As a result, businesses can now add Messenger as a new channel to connect with their customers and have confidence those messages are being intelligently routed, queued, recorded and managed with one integrated agent experience for better customer care.
“For Clarity Connect to be able to record these interactions, whether they are on the phone, web chat, Twitter or Facebook Messenger is incredibly powerful. Based on our deep integration with Clarity Connect, customers can access these recordings from within the Virtual Observer Workforce Optimization solution and evaluate the performance of the agents – how they handled the chat, was resolution achieved on first try or did they have to switch to a different channel? From there, Virtual Observer can deliver E-learning materials to the agent based on where they may have scored poorly. Agents can then log in to the Agent Portal and play back the event and see why they were scored the way they were,” added Dan McGrail, VP of Product Management, Coordinated Systems, Inc.
Contributions to this article made possible by Jeremy Puent, Product Manager & Ian Eccleston, Marketing Manager of Clarity Connect as well as Dan McGrail. VP of Product Development of Coordinated Systems, Inc.
1 Dimension Data 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report http://www.dimensiondata.com/Global/Global-Microsites/CCBenchmarking/Pages/Home.aspx