The Tools of the Trade
Traditional call centers rely on a plethora of technologies and management
tools including routing systems, automatic call distribution, interactive
voice response systems and customer relationship management software. A
fully integrated contact center would include those technologies, plus the
following Web capabilities.
E-mail. Largely ubiquitous, this capability allows customers not in a hurry
to ask a question of an agent at any time and go about their business. Ideal
for receiving lengthy instructions on technical and financial questions,
as well as anything that requires a written record.
Text chat. Also known as instant messaging or Web text collaboration, this
technology offers customers surfing a Web page to have a private real-time
one-on-one typed chat with an agent about specifics on a Web page. Ideal
for citizens who have only one phone line.
Callback. By clicking on a button on a Web page, a customer can have an
agent call when they're available. The advantages are that the customer
doesn't have to wait in queue and the agent knows exactly where the customer
has been on the Web site. The disadvantage is a customer has to have two
phone lines to view the Web site and talk.
Co-browsing. In a co-browsing or collaborative Web session, an agent walks
a customer through the Web site, pushing out Web sites, files or documents
Voice over IP. Also known as Internet telephony or call through, this bleeding-edge
technology will enable customers with one phone line (as well as a multimedia
PC with speakers and microphone) to see visual information displayed while
speaking with an agent.