When VoIP Meets Social Networking
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a natural partner for social networking. Both concepts are all about interaction and both are being used extensively by businesses. Today's business phone systems, for example, utilize VoIP technology more than ever before. Many start-up companies that want to streamline phone expenses are starting to implement a "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) policy where employees are able to use their own smart phones as part of their employer's phone system, allowing them to be connected even when they're not in the office. It only makes sense that VoIP call centers would start integrating social networking into their operations, too, and they're starting to do so on a more widespread basis.
How Do Call Centers Integrate VoIP with Social Networking?
A recent report by HeavyReading.com on VoIP call centers and social networking titled "VoIP Call Centers Adapt to a BYOD World," analyzed eight companies and how they're adapting social networking, mobile VoIP, and cloud technology into their service platforms. The study participants' main goal was to draw on the benefits and popularity of social networking and the increasing use of smart mobile devices.
Until the past couple of years, service providers had separate applications for voice and for other customer interactions. However, as people carry their mobile devices with them everywhere, it makes sense for customers located anywhere to be able to interact with VoIP call centers in ways other than voice-to-voice calls. Today's VoIP call centers are enabling customer communications with customer service using any number of devices.
What Call Centers are Trying to Do
The goal with many of today's VoIP call centers is allowing interaction with customers and clients through the customer's preferred communication channel, which could be a voice call, instant messaging, live online chat, or social networking pages. With communications becoming more unified every day, VoIP call centers have the opportunity to serve customers better and to do it without major capital outlays.
VoIP call centers in financial services, according to the report, are natural allies with social networking. Communications consolidation onto a single platform is a great way for this industry to streamline their business practices. In fact, some are looking toward using VoIP communications systems as revenue generators as well as customer support platforms. Cloud-based call centers are finding it easier to integrate social networking and VoIP in stages over time rather than starting over from scratch to integrate VoIP and social media.
How Customers Will be Affected
The hope among companies with VoIP call centers is to improve communication with customers and clients. If customers have numerous ways of interacting with a call center, they can use the method that is most suitable to them and still get the answers they need. For example, a hearing impaired customer could choose to interact with a call center via live chat rather than a voice phone call. Providing customers with multiple ways of interacting with customer service representatives should keep call center costs under control while still giving customers options that should improve their customer service experience.
VoIP and Social Networking: A Natural Technology Pairing
VoIP and social networking were bound to converge. Both make use of data sharing, but in different ways. With companies looking to adopt integrated communications platforms that make use of VoIP and cloud-based services, it's only natural that they extend their communications to encompass social networking into the mix by adding the options of live chat and other forms of interaction with customers.
Look for new options for interacting in real time with customer service centers in coming years. The merging of VoIP with social media and social networking should make it easier to get the answers you need.
Originally posted by Dave Thomas on business.com