What about Skype in your business?
I was at a Microsoft event recently where the topic of Lync and Skype came up. Skype has a very clear end user market and message and Lync has a clear commercial message. Now Microsoft own Skype and the lines between the social and commercial world will blend even further.
Skype gets used for everything from calls to the grandparents through to people working away and conducting their lives over it…. Lync 2013 federates with Skype… so now I guess (if I told her how) that my mother could IM or video call me at work…. I am not going to tell her know how to do that but I would certainly chat with my wife over IM. So what will the real world impact of blending these often deliberately separated spheres together?
It is all about bridging the gap between your clients and you… not everyone has Lync, there is a financial commitment either into infrastructure or services, but that is not the case with Skype, it’s free… and 300 million people have it! And that means a bucket load of your end users will have it.
Let’s imagine for one moment that I run a business… maybe I run an online store selling thousands of products and my clients are generally happy people. I’ve deployed Lync in my business because I am a very smart and clever guy J … and I have a Contact Centre solution in place. What do I do with Skype? Well, this is where I go from being a very smart and clever guy to one who is also ahead of the game…
Say something goes wrong with the distribution of a new product that people have been keen to get hold of. The products have gone missing and not arrived with the consumers… Twitter and Facebook go mad with people screaming about how rubbish the company is.
Most problems occur when companies don’t respond to tweets and posts. We as an organisation are concerned but we are also prepared! We already monitor Social Media for any mention of our organisation, but if it we are being bad mouthed our Contact Centre flags it to us for immediate attention. Very clever stuff but we go further than that. We already allow Skype federation so we can contact our clients directly and quickly. In addition, we also promote on our website that we know about this issue and suggest that Skype users can contact our customer services team directly either for an IM or video call. Now our customers can get through to us by phone, Twitter, Facebook, IM, Skype and it is all monitored, recorded and dealt with swiftly…
Nice….. But only one way of using Skype. Don’t look at Skype as ‘Microsoft just buying another firm and swallowing up the market’, look at it as an opportunity to open up communications channels for your end user clients… that line between social and commercial is only going to blur further….. Why not make the most of it?