Sheila McGee-Smith
Sheila McGee-Smith, who founded McGee-Smith Analytics in 2001, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the...
Read Full Bio >>

Sheila McGee-Smith | May 01, 2012 |


Mobile Customer Care Mania: VHT Conversation Bridge

Mobile Customer Care Mania: VHT Conversation Bridge Not only are mobile customer care applications more customer-friendly, they deliver a solid ROI as well.

Not only are mobile customer care applications more customer-friendly, they deliver a solid ROI as well.

My last post on No Jitter covered the Genesys Mobile Engagement announcement--as of this writing, it was tweeted 57 times. Since then, I've had three more briefings related to mobile customer care and one more is scheduled this week. Clearly, mobile customer care is a hot topic, and one I'll be covering from different angles over a few blogs.

VHT is the company formally known as Virtual Hold Technology. The company owns the definitive patents in the area of holding a customer’s place in queue and calling them back when an agent is available, instead of letting the person sit on hold (while eating up 800 minutes billable to the enterprise). Companies from verticals as diverse as financial services (Banco Popular), travel (Southwest Airlines), and healthcare (Blue Cross of Northeast Pennsylvania) have implemented Virtual Hold solutions since they were founded in 1995.

Over the past few years, customer service has increasingly moved from predominantly voice to multichannel (email, web chat, SMS, social media, etc.). As a company focused on the virtual queuing of voice calls, VHT saw the need to make a corresponding change to its company direction and solution portfolio. They have defined a broader market of multichannel callback: providing a bridge between various types of self-service applications and the people who can help, most often contact center agents.

The company's first new offer in the world of multichannel callback is VHT Conversation Bridge, designed to bridge the gap between mobile application self-service and live assistance. VHT wrote connectors to the native iOS and Android APIs that allow VHT Conversation Bridge to be "dropped" into existing mobile applications, enabling a connection to the contact center. VHT Conversation Bridge is initially targeted at companies who already have a mobile application but haven't integrated that app with the contact center. That said, VHT finds that when it presents Conversation Bridge to companies that don't yet have a mobile application, those companies are often in the process of designing one. They then can then design Conversation Bridge into the application from the outset.

One of the aspects of the application I found particularly compelling is how Conversation Bridge takes advantage of both its smartphone environment and real-time data from the contact center. (Conversation Bridge benefits from integrations that VHT has already developed to Avaya, Cisco and Genesys CTI, routing and reporting infrastructure.) For example, when scheduling a callback on the iPhone, the familiar alarm spin wheel is presented. When the customer selects a time, a reminder can be placed in their calendar that a call will be coming. Customers can go back to that appointment to cancel or re-schedule the call. The time slots presented are defined by contact center management; times that the center is not open will not be presented, or hours that are traditionally busy can be avoided. In terms of context, the message sent to the contact center is pre-populated with the steps already taken by the customer.

In data VHT shared for a customer (a major technology company), daily Average Handle Time for technical service calls using Conversation Bridge ranged from 8.5-12 minutes over 9 days. Inbound phone calls in the same period ranged from 12-14 minutes. That means mobile application troubleshooting and context to the agent can save 2-3.5 minutes per call to a technical expert. Conclusion? Not only are mobile customer care applications more customer-friendly, they deliver a solid ROI as well.


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

December 13, 2017

The two major vendors in the Unified Communications space, Cisco and Microsoft, are both strongly promoting their cloud UC deployments. If cloud UC is on your enterprises roadmap, but you dont want

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.