Simon Burke (Australia) - Customer Contact Queued in the Cloud

When Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland grumbled into life in early 2010, filling European skies with volcanic ash and grounding air travel for consecutive days, the contact cloud saved some businesses from serious downtime and business continuity issues. Similarly, the unprecedented snowfalls in the UK last winter made no impact to those businesses using the contact cloud.

The contact cloud is exactly as it sounds. It provides the connection tools to communicate with customers via voice, email and SMS using a true cloud-based or virtualisation technology and it benefits more than just homeworkers.

In fact what we call the ‘intelligent contact cloud' injects new levels of flexibility, scalability and productivity to a customer contact operation such as a contact centre. Using modern technology smarts, the intelligent contact cloud provides a holistic view of customer interactions and your operations across multiple channels. As an example, Australia-based Tony Ferguson Weightloss see the customer contact centre as a vital element in its philosophy to provide 24 by 7 telephone support and encouragement to customers anywhere in the world.

Using cloud-based technology, Tony Ferguson successfully managed its launch into the UK by routing UK customer calls to their contact centre in Sydney Australia. The cloud-based customer contact system was installed just a week before the company's UK launch on April 21 with call volumes increasing by up to 50%. The cloud technology enabled Tony Ferguson to simply add extra agents while there was an overflow without over-capitalising on system for a peak period that can happen when you launch something that is new and exciting.

Additionally, as Twitter emerges as another channel for customer service, adding tweets to the single communications queue makes the introduction and management of this new channel easy. Tweets are queued just like emails or SMS messages and directed to the handpicked ‘approved to tweet' agents. These same ‘approved to tweet' agents can also respond to voice calls, email and SMS messages aiding contact centre productivity. Proactive tweets can also be instigated from these agents to notify followers of emergencies or other general service messages.

These kinds of advantages bring new opportunities for customer contact in future, and make it far easier for businesses to meet their clients' needs.

Simon Burke is CEO at IPscape



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