The way forward for call centres is to embrace internet protocol (IP)-based communications technologies, in order to serve their customers more effectively: this is the conclusion reached by the highly influential independent call centre operations consultant, Jessica Scarpati.
Scarpati arrived at her recommendation following her analysis of the latest developments within some of the industry’s leading call centre operation centres; coupled with her examination of the results of some of the new consumer research undertaken by these top call centre operators.
The underlying issue for modern call centre operators, according to Scarpati, is that customers increasingly prefer to make contact with the former via means other than conventional telephony; and that call centres need to be equipped to respond to such communications quickly and effectively.
A typical scenario posited by one of Scarpati’s industry contacts is that of the busy consumer who may not have the time to make a phone call, but who might initially wish instead to send a brief communication via email or through a social networking site, before finally deciding to continue discussion of the case via the traditional means of a traditional telephone call.
The most successful call centres, argues Scarpati, will possess the flexibility to handle all such communications in an equally prompt and straightforward way. The key, she argues, that will help companies ‘glide between voice, video, text and social networking’ is the adoption of session initiation protocol (SIP); a sophisticated method of switching between different signals carries over the internet.
The trend towards SIP adoption is already strong among many customer-focussed businesses with some, for example, modifying their traditional business phone systems to receive IP telephony services such as text, data and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) by way of SIP trunking facilities.
Scarpati says that almost 30% of call centre-led companies are looking to introduce SIP over the next year.