You have to hand it to the phone.
No matter what today’s modern omni-channel world gives us, it seems that (in one form or another) it will always have a role to play in how we all communicate.
The great analogue/PSTN switch-off looked like it might deliver a knockout blow.
Then, more recently, Direct Routing via Microsoft Teams and the other CPaaS giants piled on yet more pressure.
And yet – even when offered clever messaging apps, chat functionality, email, and social media – customers still continue to call.
From a contact center perspective, offering every means via which to reach out is vital, of course.
However, with voice still such a big player, providing a new digital variant that complements the new enterprise communication stack is rightly part of smart organizations’ technological roadmaps.
For those organizations and their Managed Service Providers, dialling-up a relationship with a provider for whom voice innovation is a focus is sure to help steer them in the right direction.
Global enterprise-class contact center provider ComputerTalk is soon to launch icePhone – a Microsoft Azure-powered softphone that is integrated seamlessly within its ice contact center solution.
“Direct dial has always been a competency of ours and then we added voice via Microsoft Teams,” says Chief Software Architect, Chris Bardon.
“Now we have noticed more demand for a tailored phone system, so we have built softphone functionality directly into our platform to provide that full-stack contact center experience.
“It enables full calling functionality within the ice client, either via desktop or the web, and integrates with chat, video and screen sharing functionality. It can also be customised to provide agents with the best possible user interface experience.
“It integrates fully with WhatsApp, Facebook and any other messaging applications, and is fully interoperable with Teams. It means our customers don’t need another phone system – there’s just one place to do everything, and it’s all streamlined.”
In addition, icePhone provides an ability to switch seamlessly between chat, messaging, voice, and video with just a few clicks.
“Imagine a situation in which an agent is involved in a web chat or voice call with a customer and one or the other needs to share a link, a photograph, or a pdf, for example,” says Bardon.
“There is no need to e-mail or message separately; there is just a simple elevation which saves time, drives efficiency and delivers a satisfying user experience for both parties.”
Crucially, ComputerTalk’s solution need not be an ‘all in’ decision either.
Organizations may derive value from deploying a mix of digital voice and chat functionality spread across Teams Direct Routing and icePhone.
“You can have multiple participants in a chat conversation that are on different channels,” says Bardon.
“An agent could be using ice to interact with a caller using a web chat client and the whole thing could be monitored by a supervisor on Teams. It’s all about offering customers flexibility as to which channels they want to use.
“Also, organizations may see value in having some icePhone agents and some Direct Routing agents as they can be on the same call with each other. That approach provides an extra layer of resiliency that would not exist if they were tied to one platform. In the event of an outage, for example, the organization can fall back on the unaffected channel.”
There’s no doubt that voice is here to stay; the trick is deploying a contact center with the right kind of interoperable functionality, accessible by organizations and their customers wherever and whenever.
It seems the phone line as we once knew it may be about to die…but the call itself is very much alive and well.
To learn more about how ComputerTalk can help your and your customers’ businesses digitize and thrive, visit ComputerTalk.