11 December 2017

IoT: Smart Homes and the Contact Center

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Technology, Contact Center, Unified Communications

It’s no secret that the world’s biggest companies want their smart devices in every household, worldwide. With the release of the Amazon Echo, Google Home and the upcoming Apple HomePod, it will soon be as normal to have a smart speaker in your home as it is to have a smartphone in your pocket. Consumers and businesses alike can benefit from the use of these devices, but how does a business effectively integrate smart speakers into their business processes?

IoT in the Contact Center

We have known for some time that IoT is shaking up the role of the contact center.

Contact centers are adapting their operations to accommodate smart homes, smart cities and smart buildings. IoT nodes offer powerful data sources, and the interconnected nature of these devices provides a large-scale, holistic view of IoT networks. Feeding these data sources into contact centers gives businesses a unique opportunity to optimize their operations and report on key systems. Now, as consumer IoT devices become ubiquitous, a new opportunity arises for businesses.

06 November 2017

ice Mobile SDK: The Mobile Customer Journey

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Technology, Contact Center, ComputerTalk

The power of mobile communications comes from the ability to interact anytime, anywhere. In a mobile-first world, your customers expect help when and where it is needed. The most effective way to meet this need is by integrating the contact center into your mobile app.

The contact center is the most powerful customer experience engine. Using intelligent routing and integrations, the contact center enables contextual interactions with your customers, saving time and frustration for contact center agents and customers. What if you could use your mobile application to enhance your interactions with customers? What if your customers could connect with you anytime, anywhere? How would that experience benefit your customer and your business? Watch this video to find out:


In this video, we see the insurance company leveraging a number of features made available through mobile contact center integration.

Mobile device functionality: Leveraging the capabilities of the mobile device can be extremely powerful. The insurance company can learn the exact location of the accident, view photos of the collision and move the conversation across media channels, using the power of the mobile device.

Cost and time efficiency: The insurer saves money and time in a number of ways here. The claim is processed more quickly because everything is filed electronically and instantly. The company doesn’t have to send a representative to audit the accident or the files. Furthermore, the company creates a happy, mobile-first customer that will be more likely to interact with them in the future.

Mobile context: The insurance company already has context about the user’s profile and history via their customer account. Further, the company can track the user’s progress within the app and prompt a conversation when necessary. The agent will know what pages the user viewed before beginning the conversation, allowing them to resolve issues more efficiently. You can even use context to proactively start a conversation using push notifications or popups within the app.

Here is an example of proactive engagement: Jack is in a car accident, and in his panicked state, he can’t find the “File a Claim” button in his mobile app. He is searching through several pages in the app, and the app detects that he has scrolled through several pages without clicking any buttons. The app then prompts him with a “Contact Us” pop up.

These are only a handful of benefits delivered via mobile and the contact center. Each business can gain unique advantages using this type of integration.

Getting Started

If you are interested in delivering a mobile experience to your customers via the contact center, we can help. The ice Mobile SDK is available to organizations that are prepared to take a mobile-first approach to customer experience. Whether or not you already have a mobile app for your customers, the SDK is able to integrate the contact center directly into any Android or iOS app. To learn more, you can contact us here: http://www.computer-talk.com/en/request-demo

If you would like to learn more about mobile communications and get a sneak peek of the ice Mobile SDK, sign up for our upcoming webinar here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4103189764553141762

 

25 May 2017

Outsmarting cyberattackers: are you protected from ransomware?

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Technology, ComputerTalk

The WannaCry ransomware attack began on May 12, 2017, quickly infecting more than 230 000 computers in 150 countries. This attack was considered unprecedented in scale, targeting a vulnerability in Microsoft's SMB protocol. The WannaCry virus demanded a $300 bitcoin ransom to unlock infected computers and allow access to personal data. In the wake of this (still ongoing) ransomware attack, what can we do to protect ourselves?

How do we do it?

Here at ComputerTalk, we follow a very stringent set of cyberprotection guidelines. As the provider of a PCI-DSS compliant private cloud, our organization must adhere to strict policies inside and outside of our cloud environment. One such measure is a software update policy. We ensure that all computers on our network are running the most recent software updates, to protect from any and all vulnerabilities. A Windows patch was released by Microsoft on March 14, 2017, to address the same vulnerability targeted by the WannaCry virus. Had an update policy not been in place, it would be possible that some machines on the network would be vulnerable, opening up the entire network to the threat. Some organizations suffered thousands of dollars in losses from the attack; this can often be attributed to a lackadaisical attitude toward software updates on the company network. There are many other ways to protect your network from cyberattacks, but implementing a software update policy is an excellent first step.

04 May 2016

To Cloud or Not To Cloud - On Premises vs Cloud

Written by Vivian Pow, Posted in Technology, Contact Center, ComputerTalk

Organizations have many technology choices when it comes to contact centers. Both on-premises and cloud solutions deliver potential benefits, as illustrated in the comparison table below. 

Regardless of your decision, choose your providers carefully, as contact centers have complex requirements. If you need an expert to help walk you through your requirements, leave us a message here

22 May 2015

Increase Customer Satisfaction with WebRTC

Posted in Technology, Contact Center

 

WebRTC is all about convenience and creating a seamless transition from your website to your organization. webrtc.org defines WebRTC as a “free, open project that provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs.” It allows your customers to make browser-based voice and video calls without the need for a third party plugin.

WebRTC will have a huge impact on the future of the contact center and universal communications industry. Customers will be able to open a browser or mobile app to start a voice or video call and add screen sharing to receive real-time support. WebRTC allows for seamless escalations between channels to communicate with customers in the most effective medium.

Agents answering the calls will receive the contextual information surrounding the customer and be able to provide faster and better customer service. Previously the customer would need to go through layers of IVR menus or re-provide contextual and personal information to a contact center agent, slowing down the service and creating frustration.

WebRTC brings benefits to your contact center:

Seamless communication – A company’s website is the first point of contact for many customers. If they are unable to find the information they require, some customers will try to find it through your organization’s contact center, while others will stop the search at your website. WebRTC removes the barriers by creating a seamless user experience from your website to a voice or video call, so that no one stops the search at your website.

Preserved context – When a customer calls a contact center using a webpage or mobile app the context from the page or log in information can be preserved. For example, initiating a call from within a product support page can pass in information about the logged in user, which page they are looking at, or where they have been before the current page on your site.  If you’ve already authenticated the user on the web, this information can also be passed into the Audio/Video contact, which means bypassing time consuming customer identification questions in IVR or with an agent. 

05 November 2014

November must reads

Written by Vivian Pow, Posted in Technology, Contact Center, ComputerTalk, Unified Communications

This month's must-reads are focused on Microsoft UC and updates to the product.

  1. Unified Communications was just the first step. Microsoft is bringing Universal Communications in the coming years - a dramatic transformation that "enable people everywhere to take advantage of rich communications for all the important relationships in their work and personal lives. Microsoft is planning to deliver Universal Communications using these strategies:
    • Consistent experience for work and life
    • Context and Application Intelligence
    • Across All devices
    • Video Everywhere
    • Global Reach through the cloud

    Read more here: http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/02/18/from-unified-to-universal-the-next-stage-for-communications/

  2. Regardless of whether you are planning on incorporating Unified Communications or Universal Communications in your contact center, it is important to think about the questions brought up in this blog: http://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/tip/How-to-add-UC-to-your-call-center-design?utm_medium (scroll down to read)

  3. New to Microsoft Lync? Here are 10 things that you might not know you can do with Lync 2013!
  4. http://www.networkcomputing.com/unified-communications/microsoft-lync-10-ways-to-do-more/d/d-id/1204531

  5. Thinking about Office 365? Microsoft has released their roadmap for the product:
  6. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2365294/microsoft-reveals-office-365-roadmap-heres-whats-coming.html.

  7. Dynamics - Cortana (Window's version of Siri) integration is getting shipped with Dynamics 2015. read about the implications of this tie-in here: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2842778/cortana-to-give-voice-and-ears-to-dynamics-crm.html

If you have questions, type them in the comment section below! For information on how ComputerTalk's ice adds value to Lync, O365, and Dynamics, visit http://www.computer-talk.com/en/solutions/lync-with-ice, http://www.computer-talk.com/en/solutions/office-365-with-ice, and http://www.computer-talk.com/en/solutions/dynamics-crm-with-ice