An architecture for mobile communications innovation in Contact Center
An architecture for mobile communications
innovation in the contact center
Keeping up with mobile-connected customers
It is a business maxim that the more a company knows about its customers and
what they want, the better its chances of providing them a positive, fulfilling
experience. With today’s ubiquitous, convenient communications methods,
particularly the use of mobile devices and networks, opportunities for rich
customer interactions are flourishing. Whether their interest is pricing, store
locations or product support, people increasingly expect information to be
available wherever, whenever and however they want it.
Meeting the growing demands of customers using mobile devices falls largely
on the shoulders of the contact center. As discussed in the Avaya white paper
How mobile devices are driving innovations in contact centers, businesses that
provide an effortless experience for customers who are using mobile devices
for voice, text, social media, video and Web interactions can gain significant
advantage. They can build customer and brand loyalty. And they can use the
wealth of contextual data about customers that mobile devices and apps
provide to improve products, services and contact center operations.
Equipping the contact center for this expanded role is not a trivial undertaking,
but neither is it an insurmountable hurdle. In this white paper, we explore the
architecture that Avaya is using to help our clients increase customer satisfaction
using visual self-service, contextual information and anytime, anywhere
Businesses that provide an effortless experience for
customers who are using mobile devices for voice, text,
social media, video and Web interactions can gain
avaya.com | 1
Thousands of mobile applications are available that provide some form of
self-service to customers, offering the convenience of efficient interaction
anytime and anywhere. Such applications typically connect to a company’s
Web site for product or service support information; to a contact center agent
via SMS text or e-mail; or, if the customer initiates a call, into an interactive
voice response (IVR) application.
Once a customer initiates direct contact with the contact center, well-defined
interfaces already exist between self-service applications and back-end customer relationship management (CRM) systems to help agents understand the
customers’ value and history. What has been missing until now is a centralized
self-service framework, including CRM interfaces and routing capabilities, that
can be extended with other applications to customers through mobile and Web
applications. With self-service workflow centralized, the amount of effort to
build new applications or to enhance existing ones is reduced considerably.
For example, a visual interactive self-service experience designed specifically
for mobile devices could enable users to navigate through a series of visual
prompts many times faster than they would listening to the same content
via a traditional IVR solution. Avaya Customer Connections Mobile is such a
Bringing contextual data into the contact center
Avaya Customer Connections Mobile is a framework that fully integrates with
existing or new mobile applications. It simplifies customer service options by
offering selections based on the way a business operates, such as how it
handles order status, account information and technical support. Customer
Connections Mobile also enables the use of rich contextual data being
generated in mobile environments, including transactional data (purchase
history), situational data (location), collaboration-enabled data (photographs
and online interactions) and application-driven data (self-service use). The
introduction of this contextual information into the customer support process
opens the door to a much richer and more fulfilling customer experience.
The introduction of this contextual information into
the customer support process opens the door to a
much richer and more fulfilling customer experience.
Also, when customers decide they need additional help, routing decisions
must be made to send the request to the appropriate group of company
representatives. With the wealth of contextual information and the capabilities
of Customer Connections Mobile, this routing decision can be made very
accurately and without forcing added burdens on the mobile application
developer. Should the appropriate agent not be available, Customer
Connections Mobile can provide the customer with an estimated wait time
and options, such as receiving a callback from a contact center agent,
based on their queue position or at a date and time convenient for them.
Avaya Aura® Experience Portal is at the heart of Customer Connections Mobile.
Experience Portal delivers the customer experience to mobile devices, as well
as other channels of communication. Customer Connections Mobile can reuse
this customer experience across other communications channels by extending
self-service from Avaya Orchestration Designer, the service creation environment
that drives Experience Portal.
Customer Connections Mobile takes advantage of Orchestration Designer’s
speed and flexibility to design, develop, test and deploy applications that are
then automatically extended to mobile applications that use the Customer
Connections Mobile Web service application programming interface (API).
Using this API, companies can put less logic in mobile applications and more in
the common business logic hosted by an Orchestration Designer application.
This translates into much faster development time, more business agility, and
lower costs for businesses deploying iOS, Android, Blackberry and Web apps.
Other benefits include leveraging Orchestration Designer’s capabilities to help
route requests for further assistance and Avaya Aura Experience Portal’s
reporting capabilities to create a very valuable set of metrics on the relationship
between contextual data and how mobile and Web users navigate the workflow.
Avaya Aura® Experience Portal is at the heart of Customer
Connections Mobile, delivering the customer experience to
mobile devices, as well as other channels of communication.
Putting contextual information to work
Many businesses are finding that customers who use smartphones or tablets
app provided to customers
will download an application if it will help them find information or take care
of business faster. Contrast these two scenarios:
A customer uses a smartphone to call
The customer has
a company’s toll-free number using
downloaded an app
the traditional IVR menu: “Please select
offered by the company,
from one of the following options:
in this case a financial
press 1 for your account balance, press 2
institution (Figure 1).
for a transfer between your accounts,
As Figure 1 suggests,
press 3 for your last bank statement,
the same selection process
or press 4 for help.” Navigating these
conveyed visually can
prompts can take 20 seconds or longer,
take only a fraction of the
as well as requiring an audio connection
time required for IVR.
and the customer’s attention.
The extreme portability of smartphones and tablets also contributes to user
convenience. Customers typically have their devices with them everywhere,
and they don’t have to boot up a laptop to access the app.
Offering a user-friendly self-service portal isn’t always enough, however.
Customers may need the ability to communicate in real time with knowledgeable
company representatives who are instantly aware of their needs.
The extreme portability
of smartphones and
Determining what the customer wants and then routing the request to a
qualified, available company representative provides the foundation for
the service interaction. The customer’s intent and relevant context for the
tablets also contributes
session can be delivered to the representative simultaneously in a screen
to user convenience.
pop. The context can include what information the customer viewed prior
to requesting help as well as account information, a callback number and
have their devices with
location coordinates. Customer Connections Mobile can provide this context
as a Web-based screen pop or deliver a session key to a third-party computertelephony integration (CTI) application that retrieves the context. Once the
and they don’t have
agent is selected and the context delivered, the customer can be called back.
to boot up a laptop
This process can produce significant savings in a contact center’s largest
to access the app.
expense — agent time.
Exploring the architecture
Like other types of applications, mobile apps need updating. The cost of
refreshing apps for the various mobile operating systems can be significant.
Without a common framework that centralizes common business logic, the
application on each platform would have to implement the changes separately.
To help avoid this complexity and expense, the Customer Connections Mobile
architecture is built around four core service modules:
• Session services
• Visual self-service
• Data-sharing services
• Customer assistance services
The architecture is designed to be modular and employ only those services
needed to support desired features (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Customer Connections Mobile architecture
CC Mobile can integrate
with both native and
Customer Connections Mobile server
At the root level, session services are used to establish a communications
connection between the mobile device and Customer Connections Mobile and
request other services. Session services are the foundation from which all other
services are invoked and are the only mandatory service module.
Businesses can expect
If a mobile or Web application requires access to visual self-services, such as
easily measurable and
video chat and video IVR, the self-service module is deployed to manage the
quantifiable return on
investment, as well as
reputational or brand-
dialog interactions with one or more Avaya Orchestration Designer application.
Orchestration Designer applications can be written specifically to provide content
for mobile applications or be leveraged for inbound voice, short message
service (SMS) and other channels.
from expanding contact
When contextual data associated with a session needs to be shared with other
center access to
applications for screen pops or reporting, the data-sharing services can be used.
Finally, if there is a need to request live agent support, the customer assistance
services APIs allow an application to place a request to Avaya Callback Assist for
an agent to call the customer back. Mobile applications can invoke these services
through the Customer Connections Mobile API or through a higher-level runtime
that will be available in a subsequent Customer Connections Mobile release.
Leveraging your contact center investment
As an Avaya-built application, Customer Connections Mobile leverages existing
infrastructure and uses its modules to achieve a full integration to the Avaya
contact center framework, including these features:
Automatic call distribution (ACD) infrastructure
Customer Connections Mobile runs on Avaya Aura Experience Portal as its main
application platform and fully integrates with the Avaya ACD. Internet Protocol
(IP)-based integrations are preferable — either H323 or Session Initiation Protocol
(SIP). SIP-based integration is also available via Avaya Session Manager.
Among the benefits of Customer Connections Mobile, the context-rich call from
a smartphone can significantly improve the efficiency and quality of agent
screen pops. The agent can also retrieve the customer screen prior to launching
a call, potentially reducing required talk time.
Recording and quality monitoring
Because it is interpreted as a regular inbound phone call for the agent, Customer
Connections Mobile leverages in-place call-recording mechanisms. Also, specific
context data can be passed to the call-recording framework to tag and sort the