There is so much change going on in business communications, it is hard to keep track of what’s real and what’s coming!
More importantly, the new stuff has to coexist for a while with our legacy forms of business communications, i.e., text messaging and telephony. That’s why moving business communications to the “clouds” as software will provide both greater flexibility, faster and easier integrations and interoperability, and the ability to support BYOD mobility.
I have long maintained that UC must include contacts between automated business processes and individual end user consumers (B to C). We have long had C to B online interactive access between business users and business processes, but now that is being quickly extended to consumer/customers with smartphones and tablets. The impact of that shift is being felt with the likes of social messaging and WebRTC that enables mobile customers to access their choice of live assistance, without initiating the traditional “blind” and inefficient phone call to a call center agent.
I just experienced a practical benefit from social messaging that I hadn’t expected. I have received regular offers through Groupon, including a particular restaurant in my area. I had used up my coupons, so when I received a new offer, I immediately signed up for it. However, unlike in the past, I did not receive the coupon email to print. Instead, I got a cryptic message that there would be a couple of days delay.
After a few days with no coupon delivery, I went on line to Groupon and found the offer that I thought I had subscribed to, but it now showed that the “Offer was no longer available.” So, I called the restaurant up to find out what the problem was, and someone said to check with Groupon. I sent an email to them, which was promptly acknowledged, but the response was it would take a day or so to get back to me about my question.
I then did get a phone call in response to my voice message, but the agent indicated that the problem was controlled by the restaurant, not Groupon. OK!?!
I then decided to post my question on the restaurant’s Facebook page, and voila! I got a response back in a few hours. They indicated that they weren’t discontinuing their Groupon offers, and that the next offer would be coming in two or three weeks. That’s all I really wanted to know, but the traditional forms of messaging didn’t do the job!