More consistency, increasing integration with social media and faster and more direct access to resources will be among the key trends in voice and data communications in 2010, according to telecommunications provider Avaya.?
In making its predictions, the company said that a “sea change” has taken place in the way voice and data communications are structured, delivered and used by businesses around the world.
This in turn, has – and will continue to have – a significant effect on the strategies, tools, processes and tactics used in marketing.
The top 10 communications areas in which Avaya expects to see “action” in 2010:
1. The next-generation user experience: The communications industry will provide more consistency across multimodal interfaces, whether through iPhones, standard telephones or the web. Businesses, while still respecting privacy standards, will track phone calls, instant messages and emails of their employees in a way that allows prediction of work needs and behaviors.
2. Analytics and contact center process reengineering: Contact centers will have the ability to track customer interactions across a range of media, both to analyze what has happened and then make real-time decisions about adapting solutions to those trends. They’ll even be able to react to customer and call center interactions in real-time with both dialogue in the self-service applications and instantaneous coaching of call center agents.
3. The rise of communication-enabled business processes (CEBP): Until now, delivering CEBP sounded good, but execution lacked. In 2010 CEBP will come into its own as a workflow tool that’s simple and easy to deploy. For example, an insurance company responding to hundreds of agents in the field who are working with insured victims of a hurricane can use the latest communications workflow tools to help coordinate the efforts between the field and claims agents in the home office, automating key processes associated with collecting data, filing the claims and confirming acceptance of the settlement. Similar examples of CEBP will emerge in financial services, healthcare and retail.
4. Social media and contact centers: Customers will initiate more interactions with companies via social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. Basically any consumer with a laptop, desktop or web-enabled phone will have richer multimedia experiences with contact-center representatives. On the other side of the coin, more businesses will embrace mining of? social networks to capture new opportunities to provide service, address issues and promote sales.
5. Unified Communications (UC) and the 3-click experience: UC has labored under a variety of models, which has made for slower-than-expected adoption. In 2010, with session initiated protocol (SIP) and session management, companies will build, deploy and support applications much more easily. Workers will be enabled under a three-click paradigm – in three seconds or less and three clicks, they’ll have access to many more resources and applications regardless of the device they’re using.
6. Regulatory compliance though proactive communications: In an era of increasing regulatory mandates – for example, the Homeowner Modification Program in 2009, through which Congress mandated that mortgage companies have to proactively communicate with borrowers – proactive communications applications will automatically initiate contact with customers and guide interactions in compliance with regulatory requirements.
7. The rise of true multivendor networks: With increased consolidation of key industries, more and more businesses will have increasingly complex communications infrastructures and applications from a wide variety of vendors. SIP-enabled environments will help companies blend these disparate products so they work together and truly become brand-agnostic.
8. Overcoming communications overload: At a time when many businesses are struggling with the volume and breadth of communications systems that need to be managed, new technologies will help reign-in the complexities to bring greater levels of operational and cost control.
9. Taming mobile-phone spend: SIP-enabled environments will enjoy major advances in the control of mobile phone expenses by consolidating trunk lines and using the corporate IP network to route long-distance and international calls from mobile phones at the cost of local calls.
10. Making every on-hold second count: Businesses will aggressively find ways to make every aspect of their clients’ interaction more productive in the call center environment. Richer on-hold experiences will become the norm, where customers have multiple options for how they use on-hold time, including ways to move forward with a transaction even before the call center rep arrives on the call. The result will be greater call center productivity and improved customer satisfaction.