Like anything else in technology, buzzwords and buzz-phrases come and go with surprising regularity.
The current one is IoT, or Internet of Things, and its addresses what is surely going to be ubiquitous in coming years: Everything will eventually be connected to everything else. The idea is to remove a lot of human contact so that people can basically do all their tech troubleshooting on their own. But one area where human contact might actually increase is in the contact center.
That’s the notion put forth by John Cray, VP of Product Management at Enghouse Interactive, in a recent opinion piece on TelecomReseller.com.
“From Skype (News - Alert) to Google Talk to federated UC mobile apps to browser-based voice or IM communications, the number of communications-enabled devices and application endpoints on the Internet is increasing dramatically,” Cray notes. “And, not surprisingly, contact centers are paying attention, because any one of those endpoints is a viable gateway to customer service.
Cray adds that while the IoT will simultaneously increase productivity while reducing human interaction, ironically one area that will see increased interaction is in the call center.
“Think about the implications for customer service when devices, systems, and appliances can report their own faults — the pump or piping system that reports a drop in pressure, the security system that alerts on a difference between two captured images, the HVAC system that communicates a rise in temperature, the home appliance that fails one of its periodic system checks — the list is endless,” Cray observes. “The power of this interconnectedness is indisputable.” But he adds that such “connectedness” means that eventually, a human being will more than likely have to intervene at some point.
“A reported fault may begin with an automated alert, and then escalate to a live contact with a person who is physically next to the system that requires diagnosis and reconfiguration,” he says.
Most contact centers are focused on providing service to customers who own a product or have purchased a subscription from your company. “How will you respond when your contact center traffic includes support requests for ‘things’ that are connected to your products and services,” he wonders. “Will your company find a way to extend its helpfulness to this new wave of requests?”
Cray raises some excellent questions. The time to start thinking about an answer is now, before the IoT gets so big it’s unmanageable.
To see John Cray’s complete post and share his thoughts, click HERE.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino