It feels as if we are on an express train that is just getting faster and faster. Is there no end to the improvements in technology or the speed at which it gets to market? Only yesterday we were ecstatic because we could access the internet using a noisy dial-up method with a PC that occupied half the dining room table and tied up the phone line for hours. Today, we have far more powerful technology adorning our bodies, while silently downloading data wirelessly. However, it does appear that the personal technology of choice, at least for the moment(!), is the smartphone.

Nearly everyone reaches for their smartphone when they need to find something out and organisations know they need to make that quest for information as easy as possible. The challenge is to provide the functionality in apps, in an intuitive way, so customers can smoothly service their needs.

So how is this relevant to contact centers? What the smartphone is doing is enabling and encouraging huge growth in traffic with contact centers, using both text and voice media.

And this matters hugely when it comes to applications. In days of old, the challenge for vendors like ourselves was to provide great application environments for agents to work with. This meant ensuring that the agent desktop provided access to a whole range of data and services, usually in response to an inbound call.

Today the same access to data and services has shifted to the smartphone. Of course the agent hasn't gone away, but the customer is much more in the driving seat. And he expects everything. Self-service when it is straight forward, otherwise a live agent on demand, so that he can do his business quickly and move on.

Underlying all this is non-stop innovation in software – no more so than in the scripting applications that are deployed to manage not just agent desktops, but now the demand by users to have all voice and text functions available on their smartphone as well.

Most users hate piecemeal solutions so the task for the contact center industry is to provide scripting solutions which not only do their traditional job of supporting agents, but now also rise to the challenge of the smartphone. Users are looking for joined up solutions, which enable them not just to make a call, but send a text, check their account details, engage in a chat, reply to an email.. all by a single touch on a company logo on their screen.

It is a great challenge to have. If it is challenge you are facing and you are looking for new ideas on how to proceed, feel free to talk to us.


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