Over the last few decades, the society has witnessed significant changes especially with the application of technology to enhance various different aspects of life. Many of these aspects of life include communication, education, research, provision of medical services, shopping, finance, information sharing, transportation, and many more others (Harley, 2003). The use of technology enhancement has aided in moving into the digital world where almost everything requires the application of technology to accomplish a task. Technology enhancements have helped in automating many processes that were previously carried out in a manual manner or employed the use of technology which is now considered to be obsolete or outdated. The various forms of technology enhancement have helped in making communication and information sharing faster, speeding up delivery of information, improved accuracy, and enhanced the experience of communication especially in various learning institutions where technology enhancement is deployed widely. Technology enhancements simply offer a cutting edge with cost-effective solutions by providing next-generation capabilities to the already existing products while at the same time extending their life cycle.
The first example of technology enhancement is the Visual IVR. The modern smartphone applications can offer visual menus that replicate the spoken menu options provided in legacy IVRs. Users are able to navigate through the visual menus by use of the touch screens and eventually transfer any information to the intended agent group (Vielhauer, 2005). Visual IVRs can also be dynamic for the purpose of optimizing the customer experience and based on the value or segmentation of the customer. In case the customer requests to switch channels and speak to an agent, navigation through the IVR menu options is not necessary but the call can be transferred directly to the intended queue based on where the caller exited the application. Visual IVRs offer a way of leveraging the existing IVR investment, maintaining the voice interface on the IVR for individual using it, and addition of another choice to raise the user’s service success.
The second example of technology enhancement is texting the contact center. Email and voice have been used for long as a channel to establish communication between a customer and an agent. The use of web chat is also gaining popularity across businesses across the globe. With wide scale proliferation of mobile phones as well as increase in text messaging, the use of SMS is gaining ground in customer service (Vielhauer, 2005). By using the channel, customers are able to text the center by using an IVR menu choice, a mobile app button, or entering the target number on their phones. Several business organizations are proactively sending text messages which include order confirmations, appointment reminders, ticket/case numbers as well as customer specific and relevant information. Leading organizations in financial services and travel are leveraging the use of mobile apps to enhance customer self-service.
The third example of technology enhancement is the concept of Bring Your Own Device to the Contact Center (BYOD-Contact Center). Several companies run their operations based on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept for mobile devices such as smartphones, personal computers, and tablets (Cisco, 2014). Employees are allowed to make use of the personal devices as their main endpoints for data and voice, tapping into the company’s email, data sources, phone system, etc. This technology enhancement streamlines the management of devices with more concentration for mobile workers for the purpose of increasing productivity and lowering information technology spending. However, the adoption of BYOD technological enhancement brings significant security challenges that need to be addressed before or when implementing BYOD (Cisco, 2014). Confidentiality, integrity, and Autonomy of company data and files need to be secured.
The fourth example of technology enhancement is the Voice Biometrics for Customer Authentication. IVR authentication commonly entails querying callers to enter their PIN or personal identification numbers or passwords following customer or account identifiers in order to accomplish the identification and verification process (ID&V). Voice biometrics is also another type of ID&V that makes use of unique features of voice comprising tone, frequency, pitch, and resonance for the purpose of confirming a caller’s identity. It augments the process of verifying the PIN of the customer in IVR self-service applications and also works in collaboration with either speech-enabled IVRs or touch-tone. The use of Voice biometrics offers many benefits such as reducing ID&V tome by more than 75 percent over agent authentication as well as by half over IVR PIN entry.
The fifth example of technology enhancement is the use of Video especially in contact center. New and emerging innovations specifically in data networking are adding more capabilities and bandwidth to corporate networks (Jacada, 2014). At the end, various manufactures offering contact center solutions are touting benefits of video into contact center. The use of protocols and WebRTC makes it easier to enable the contact center to be video enabled through the use of contact center agent desktop hence opening the possibility of one way or two way video communications.
In a nutshell, technology enhancements simply offer a cutting edge with cost-effective solutions by providing next-generation capabilities to the already existing products while at the same time extending their life cycle. The various forms of technology enhancement have helped in making communication and information sharing faster, speeding up delivery of information, improved accuracy, and enhanced the experience of communication especially in various business institutions where technology enhancement is deployed widely to enable delivery of customer services in an improved and quality manner.
- Cisco. (2014). Cisco Enterprise Mobility Solution. Device Freedom Without Compromising the IT Network. Retrieved February 21, 2016 http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/solutions/Enterprise/Borderless_Networks/Unified_Access/byodwp.pdf
- Harley, D.(2003). Technology Enhancements. Retrieved February 21, 2016 from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eqm0335.pdf
- Jacada. (2013). Visual IVR. Retrieved February 21, 2016 from http://www.jacada.com/images/sales_tools/Jacada_Visual_IVR_WP.pdf
- Vielhauer, C. (2005). Biometric User Authentication for IT Security: From Fundamentals to Handwriting. Springer Science & Business Media