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Social Routing Places Service in Customers' Hands
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Social Routing Places Service in Customers' Hands

June 30, 2014
By Casey Houser
Contributing Writer

The ability of modern technology to usher in change is unparalleled. This is especially true when it comes to the ability of consumers who can now choose both where and how they want to purchase goods. The where part of the equation has been present for many years, but the advent of the Internet and the influx of mobile technology through smartphones and tablets has only recently made the how a prominent factor.

Customers can now choose whether or not they want to physically enter stores, order goods through catalogues by way of phone, or find products through businesses' websites, and they can use their smartphones and tablets to initiate voice chats, video chats, emails, texts, and other methods of communication to assist them with any of the choices listed above.

Consumers are becoming used to the idea of choice. In every part of their lives, they are demanding choices that affect how they interact, and this demand is equally as true when it comes to the customer service that call centers make possible. People are beginning to seek choices in their call center representatives, says a recent blog post at Fourth Source (News - Alert); they do not want to speak to or text or email just anyone. They want to converse with the representatives they choose.

This specific demand for choices has led to some customer service centers employing the tactic of “social routing.” Social routing allows customers to choose representatives from a list. In some cases, they can see each representative's name, skills, and biography. Customers may even see representatives' photos and the average wait time other customers have experienced when engaging with each employee. Furthermore, some businesses even provide customer-written reviews and agent ratings such reviews create.

An operation such as that can place the element of service back into each customer's hands. Callers will be able to decide how, when, and where they best want to receive service – the complete opposite of the traditional model where call centers initiated much of that process. This can empower consumers, and it can also provide important feedback for businesses that use, for instance, customers' ratings of agents to help inform future training sessions.

Although there are some security risks associated with this manner of conducting business – largely with respect to agent and customer privacy or confidentiality – many call centers can find benefits in the system. Customers will begin to make choices rather than have businesses dictate to them; businesses, in turn, will gather valuable information about customer preferences; and both customers and businesses should experience increased satisfaction alongside shorter overall wait times.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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