Contact Center Skyping

October 30, 2003

in Accelerating Innovation, Skype Journal

Have you been wondering what the impact of Skype might be on Content Center Practice Management. Skype provide both potential opportunities and may also make short term marketing perspectives more difficult to manage.

When I bought my new IBM recently I wish I could have just Skyped with the operator. Instead I had to hold a phone, dial a number and wait. I couldn’t send the URL of the page… With Skype you can reduce the cost of the calls and begin to integrate screen, IM and voice connections when received. I know I can connect immediately. Simply illustrated by the “SkypeMe” button on my website. Similarly if I miss the call then it’s logged. They can call me back.

Clearly, there is no Skype “call center” capability yet, although TDavid illustrated how Various reps might be online / engaged etc with a simple system. I’d imagine a “next available” agent could work from a list that is periodically checked or notified when the agent is again free.

However a Skype strategy may lose the capability to do things like reverse address look-up, telephone number searches and providing quick demographic profiling data dependent on the callers location. Then in certain situations, a smart operator may find ways to run Google searches, Ryze checks etc. The real determinant will be… what degree of anonymity is the contact using. We’ll use less if we learn we get better service. Similarly if the contact center has some “privacy” and reputation criteria, I may allow a more detailed “inquiry profile” through.

Then there is the contact center opportunity to press better profiles into the customers hand. When I get the rep on the phone “they aren’t personalized” when I get one in Skype I may demand a more detailed profile in return. It helps to know who I am talking to. Humanize the connection. Enable me to rate the calls on completion etc. Now both parties are empowered to better connections.

No matter how you look at it… this can’t be done with the phone. The potential for a richer contact environment is here. What’s your strategy for success?

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