Inspired by Sheila McGee-Smith’s blog post here on NoJitter, I’ll summarise my views on UC in the contact centre. 

I remember when softphones were initially introduced, and predicted to be widely adopted within contact centres because of their ability to save on (physical) desktop space, and provide great integration with other packages.  They never really fulfilled this potential though, with companies focusing on the ‘stone axe’ reliability of TDM and then IP deskphones for their critical voice traffic.

I see this pattern repeating to a lesser extent for UC clients.  Companies will not immediately switch to a softclient for critical voice conversations with customers, but they will find increasing uses for accurate enterprise wide presence.

There are less calls coming into contact centres, but with increasingly empowered customers, each of those calls is now more complex, takes more time to resolve and is increasingly likely to leave the contact centre for resolution.  My view is that the best use for UC/presence systems is for contact centre teams to be able to find the right person within the back office/enterprise to help them resolve customer issues in real time – driving first call resolution.

With social media giving customers a big voice when they don’t get the service they feel they deserve, getting first call resolution right is increasingly important.  Hence, taking advantage of enterprise expertise quickly (know who to reach, know who is available, enable real time conversations between expert, customer and agent) is the killer app for UC/presence systems in the contact centre for me.