By Edwin Margulies & Sarah Rolfing The holy grail of customer service: "A comprehensive and preferred-channel engagement experience for customers." And now we're much closer owing to the acquisition of SoCoCare by cloud contact center software leader Five9. SoCoCare's mission deals with treating mobile and social just like any other customer channel. And by "like any other" we mean complete with agent routing, NLP-based intelligent filtering, engagement tools, role-based analytics, and real-time customer feedback mechanisms.Customer engagement practitioners have been chasing this idea for over a decade. But now with the advent of Social Engagement for Customer Care, and the mobility aspects we present here - it's all starting to come together nicely. The next step in fulfilling our mission is coupling social and mobile customer care to the cloud contact center. If you think we're going out of our way to please customers, we are guilty as charged. Today's customer deserves choice in the way they engage with their community and with their vendors. It's all about customer-preferred channels – not pushing customers down a pre-determined cattle chute. Here we address aspects of cloud contact center, social, and mobile and how they are coming together with this combined team. Cloud Contact Center With the acquisition of SoCoCare, Five9 will have the ability to traverse communications more seamlessly between mediums (voice, social, mobile, chat, etc.) giving customers the ability to hop channels with the original context of the communication being persistent. This will eliminate the loss of information so customers don't have to repeat themselves. It also allows the ability to switch channels based on the desire of the customer – not necessarily the enterprise. This enables a more customer-centric type of engagement – all made possible by the merger of these technologies. Social Social media as a customer service channel is more popular than ever as customers flock to their social networks to rant, rave, and ask questions about products and services. Just like the voice channel, having the right tools to engage with customers on social media is essential. From a customer service perspective, social is now a true customer channel and it should be treated like one – with solutions and processes in place that give agents, supervisors and managers a full end-to-end picture of channel efficiency, performance, and metrics. Due to the rise in mobile internet usage, more and more customer interactions are generated from smartphones and social media. Today's consumer is much more reliant on social channels for help, support, advice than ever before. Now, more than ever, bringing social into the cloud contact center has never made more sense. Mobile Now, the worlds of virtual contact center, mobility and social engagement are bound together. The result will be solutions that ultimately make for a better customer experience – with mobile transactions seamlessly melding with the contact center and even social interactions. Imagine the idea of instant customer feedback loops being enabled from smartphones. Imagine further that customers can use a slider to indicate sentiment and even add a verbatim quote with a feedback widget after transactions are complete. Imagine further that instead of this data languishing in some "survey database" it is instead routed real time to an agent for assistance. Imagine an NLP engine sorting the sentiment, priority and business issues automatically for the agent. Call it a "social early warning system" that allows the enterprise to address issues immediately before they go viral. Five9 + SoCoCare There is great synergy with the Five9 team and the SoCoCare team since both parties have significant expertise in the contact center and customer service space. Both teams worked separately over the past decade in establishing thought leadership in cutting edge contact center tools, best practices and implementations. The leadership team at SoCoCare hails from Telephony@Work, one of the first companies to commercially deploy multi-channel ACD at the turn of the century. That company was acquired by Oracle seven years ago. Five9 continued to blaze the trail of virtual contact centers with the VCC offering, facilitating more than three billion customer interactions annually. To have these two teams merge now is a significant event… We are thrilled to be joining the Five9 team and are excited for what's to come.
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