Not so very long ago, call centers were expected to handle only telephone calls. Today’s contact centers—as the name implies—do a lot more. The ubiquitous presence of the personal computer, the growth of the internet, smartphones, and advances in networking technology now allow customers and agents to communicate over multiple channels, using both circuit-switched voice transmission, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and broadband. Cross-media contact centers are concentrated areas of communication, where agents receive and process thousands of calls and emails and engage in web-based communications daily, from all over the world. It is critical that all of these contacts be handled efficiently.
Here are some examples of the type of media interaction within a cross-media contact center application:
IVR/IVVR — Customers can use their phones to receive fast, accurate, automated information. Smartphones can be used to receive video communications. If a customer requests agent assistance, that request is put into the queue and handled according to priorities established by the system manager.
- Voice messaging — Callers leave voice messages for agent attention
- Email and fax — Customer email or fax requests are distributed for delivery to agents’ attention applications. Customers receive automated replies, acknowledging the inquiry or answering the specific question. If necessary, the email or fax is placed into the queue for a personalized response.
- Web chat — Web-based, real-time application for online customers, which is used to receive live, text-based assistance from agents
- Call back — Creates a call back request for agent assistance instead of an immediate connection, often at a specific date and time
Dialogic® PowerMedia™ Host Media Processing Software can enable network interface functions along with talking and listening functions such as speech recognition and text-to-speech using third-party software. PowerMedia HMP is very flexible and can be configured in many different ways to provide all the services a cross-media contact center requires, including the self-service applications that save so much time and money. PowerMedia HMP enables the following: