Unified Communications and Collaboration as a Key to Ameliorate the Customer Service Experience


Bachelor Thesis, 2013

69 Pages, Grade: 1,8


Excerpt

List of Contents

II List of Abbreviations

III List of Figures

IV List of Tables

1 Introduction

2 Theoretical Foundations
2.1 Asynchronous and Synchronous Communication
2.2 Business Intelligence
2.3 Convergence
2.4 Customer Interactions
2.5 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
2.6 Digital Natives
2.7 Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
2.8 Social Media
2.8.1 Social Media Overview
2.8.2 Example 1: Benefits of Social Media for a Bank
2.8.3 Example 2: Integration of Social Media and Enterprise Workflow Systems

3 Unified Communications and Collaboration
3.1 Definition of UCC
3.2 Benefits of UCC
3.3 Elements of Unified Communications and Collaboration
3.3.1 Application or Desktop Sharing
3.3.2 Calendar
3.3.3 Co-Browsing
3.3.4 Conferencing Audio/Video
3.3.5 Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)
3.3.6 Document Management
3.3.7 Email
3.3.8 Fax
3.3.9 Fixed Mobil Conversion (FMC)
3.3.10 Instant Messages (IM)
3.3.11 Presence
3.3.12 Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
3.3.13 Short Message Service (SMS)
3.3.14 Video
3.3.15 Web 2.0
3.3.16 Web Call Back
3.3.17 Web-Chat
3.4 UCC Key Modules – Effort and Potential
3.5 Barriers to progress with UCC

4 Customer Experience
4.1 Dimensions of Customer Experience
4.2 Service Experience
4.3 Design of the Customer Encounters
4.4 Decline of Customer Experience through the refusal of communication

5 Case study: “Telekom hilft”
5.1 Initial Situation
5.1.1 Telekom`s Corporate Strategy
5.1.2 Telekom`s Brand Strategy
5.1.3 Telekom`s Corporate Values
5.2 Objectives for the “Telekom hilft” project
5.3 Execution of the Project
5.3.1 Transformation of the Brand-Values
5.3.2 IT-Infrastructure
5.3.3 Processes
5.3.4 Milestones and associated Projects for “Telekom hilft“
5.4 The new Points-of-Customer-Contact
5.4.1 “Telekom hilft” – Twitter Channel
5.4.2 “Telekom hilft” – Facebook Service Channel
5.4.3 “Telekom hilft” – Service Notizen Blog
5.4.4 “Telekom hilft” – Facebook Service Videos
5.4.5 Telekom at Foursquare
5.4.6 e-Etiquette
5.5 Project Resume and Outlook of “Telekom hilft“

6 Resume, Future Outlook and Critical Appraisal

V Bibliography

II List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

III List of Figures

Picture 2.1: Points of Customer Interaction in a Bank Environment

Picture 2.2: Benefits of Social Media in a Bank Environment

Picture 2.3: Customer reports a problem on Twitter

Picture 2.4: Overview Buzzient Social Media Analytics and Integration Platform

Picture 2.5: Siebel CRM - Social Media integration overview

Picture 2.6: Example Oracle screen and Analytics

Picture 3.1: Mac IOS Email-client

Picture 3.2: Microsoft Lync- Presence

Picture 4.1: Experiences and Buying Intention

Picture 4.2: Illustration of a Customer Service Encounter

Picture 4.3: Interpersonal Communication - The four aspects of a message

Picture 5.1: Milestones and associated projects for "Telekom hilft"

Picture 5.2: "Telekom hilft" - Twitter Channel

Picture 5.3: "Telekom hilft" Facebook Service Channel

Picture 5.4: Frag "Telekom hilft" Employees and Customers supporting Customers

Picture 5.5: "Telekom hilft" Service-Blog

Picture 5.6: Service Videos on the "Telekom hilft"- Facebook Service Channel

Picture 5.7: Telekom Shops and special offers in the Stuttgart area

Picture 5.8: eEtiquette Top 101 Guidelines

IV List of Tables

Table 2.1: Types of Customer Interactions

Table 2.2: German ITC Market – volume and growth

Table 2.3: Harvard Business Review: Taking Social Media from Talk to Action

Table 2.4: Top 5 Social Networks by unique PC visitors (US)

Table 2.7: Benefits of Social Media in a Bank Environment

Table 3.1: Stepwise Implementation: Effort and Potential of the UCC Key-Modules

Table 4.1: Dimensions of Customer Experience

Table 4.2: Types of Customer-Encounters within the CEM Approach

1 Introduction

During the last two decades the way people and companies communicate have significantly changed. Some of the existing communication channels are adapted to new layers. For example the line-switched telephony, which was invented by Johann Philipp Reis in 1860[1], is being transformed to the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) standard. Other communication channels such as Electronic-Mail (E-Mail), Web Chat, or Social Media are new and additional. At the same time our communication behavior changed through the today´s broad range of diverse communication channels. The so called generation of “Digital Natives” read blocks rather than newspapers, they often meet each other online before the meet in person and they are more likely to send an Instant Message (IM) than to pick up the telephone.[2]

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have progressed dramatically and entered every part of life. It is hard to imagine our society today without mobile phones, computers and the Internet. The Federal Supreme Court of Germany sustained a verdict in January 2013 with the fact that the Internet became a relevant type of media and a malfunction comes along with a significant effect on the day-by-day life of the majority of the German population.[3]

The industry of Information and Communication Technologies has become one of the most dynamic economic sectors and its importance continues to increase. The ICT sector has a high potential for growth, thus offering many opportunities to both the economy and the population.[4] For Germany as a high-tech location, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) plays a substantial role. Smart networking through modern ICT in traditional sectors, such as energy, transport, health, education, leisure, tourism and administration, affords new opportunities but also poses new challenges, especially in data protection. The Federal Government has developed an ICT strategy for the digital future of Germany. It sets the government ICT policy framework for ministries to plan and implement the necessary measures.[5]

The Internet has changed from a source of information to a platform for all kind of interactions. Customers are able to get product-information from the manufacturer, but also the experiences and opinions from other customers. This interactive exchange has an impact on the attitude and the buying decision of other customers within the network.[6]

The intention of this paper is to give an overview about the current state of the communication channels between enterprises and their customers. In context to this paper the focus is on the methodology of UCC to pull the manifold communication-channels and other elements like ERP- or CRM-Systems together in new ways into a single environment to reduce the complexity for the employees.

The other major topic is a general overview about the field of Customer Experience (CE), its dimensions, the method of Customer Experience Management (CEM) and furthermore it describes a current trend where companies start to deny the communication with their customers and the effect of this behavior on the Customer`s Experience.

With the case-study of the “Telekom hilft” Project these areas are brought together in a practical example to see how a competitive advantage could be generated by implementing new customer encounters based on new communication channels.

Basically the topic of Social Media will be reduced to “just another communication channel” a customer and an enterprise can use to interact with each other. However due to the topicality of Social Media and the chosen practical example, this communication channel will be described more particular than other elements of UCC.

2 Theoretical Foundations

In the following some fields and terms are explained as a requirement to discuss the areas of UCC and CE. Finally, the topic of social media as a communication channel is considered more in detail.

2.1 Asynchronous and Synchronous Communication

The conceptual pair of synchronous and asynchronous communication is one option to differentiate the types of communication-channels. Depending on the question if the parties (sender/receiver) are need to be available at the same time or not to process the communication. Telephony is a paradigm for a synchronous communication – a postal letter however is a good example for an asynchronous communication.[7]

Although this kind of differentiation brings along some inaccuracies. Chat communication for example includes synchronous and asynchronous elements. For example: Questions which could not be answered within the chat can be completed afterwards in the chat-recording.[8]

2.2 Business Intelligence

The analysis of the user (customer) generated content within web 2.0 platforms are an important task for companies. It allows them to perceive opportunities and risks at an early stage. With this knowledge they are able to implement opinion-forming marketing actions.[9]

The variety of unstructured and mainly text based customer-opinions and the complexity of human behavior pattern makes manually analysis almost impossible. Automated analysis, using the methodology of Business Intelligence is the right choice.[10]

2.3 Convergence

Convergence refers to the merger of previously distinct telephony and information technologies and markets. It is related to the concept of UCC – whereas convergence focuses on the merger of fundamental voice, video and data communication facilities and the resulting ability to support multimedia applications, UCC focuses on the user perspective to the broad spectrum of business applications. Convergence brings many benefits, including simplified network management, increased efficiency and greater flexibility at the application level. For example, a converged network infrastructure makes it easier to add applications that combine video, data and voice.[11]

2.4 Customer Interactions

To interact with somebody or something means to work or to communicate with two or more people or things.[12]

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Re: (Hornby, 1995 p. 594) – author`s illustration

Table 2.1: Types of Customer Interactions[13]

Example: In a Bank environment multiple Points of Customer Contact, where Customer Interactions takes place, can be found.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Re: (Göhring, et al., 2012) – author`s illustration

Picture 2.1: Points of Customer Interaction in a Bank Environment

2.5 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

Customer relationship management (CRM) software addresses customer life cycle management business processes, and provides functionality to enterprises in sales, marketing and customer service (including call and contact centers) through collaborative, operational and analytical components.[14]

In context to this paper – the CRM system gives the employees a higher ability to respond to the customer requests and it improves the ability to perform during the interaction.[15]

Efficient CRM consists of four different phases.

1. The identification of profitable and unprofitable customer groups through customer value analysis.
2. Winning a target customer who has been identified in step 1.
3. Developing ties with the target customer.
4. A relationship is developed with profitable target customers and efforts made to expand customer sending.

In the established consumer market, customer retention is regarded as the core of customer relationship management.[16]

2.6 Digital Natives

John Perry Barlow[17] was the first person who used the term “natives” in context with technology. In his article: A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace; Barlow stated: ”You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants.”[18]

A common definition says Digital Natives are born after 1980, when social digital technologies came online. They have all access to those technologies and the skills to use them. Unlikely Digital Immigrants are born before 1980 and learned how to E-mail and use Social Media late in life.[19]

2.7 Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

ICT is seen as the fifth successive technological revolution since 1770s. After the Industrial Revolution (1771), the Age of Steam and Railways (1829), the Age of Steel, Electricity and Heavy Engineering (1875) and the Age of Oil, Automobile and Mass production (1908), the Age of Information and Telecommunication started in 1971 with the announcement of the first Intel microprocessor.[20]

ICT is a key to productivity in all industries. Measured by gross value added today, the ICT industry itself is ahead of mechanical engineering and motor-vehicle manufacturing. In employment terms, it was just behind mechanical engineering in 2009, accounting for 846,000 jobs in Germany.[21]

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Re: (BITKOM, October 2012) – author`s illustration

Table 2.2: German ITC Market – volume and growth[22]

Although the ICT sector of the economy is extremely in providing a foundation for a modern economy, but the primary benefit lies in the productivity potential by applying these technologies and services to change the way business is done.[23] The Banking and Finance industry, for example, has been restructured on a global basis. Banks have reorganized the way they work and we do our banking and financing very differently today than the decade before. The information and communication technology and the international liberalization of finance created highly liquid and flexible global currency and security markets.[24]

A basic requirement for a Unified Communications and Collaboration environment is a homogenous and reliable information and communication technologies platform, which includes Wide Area Network (WAN), Local Area Network (LAN), Fixed Telephony Lines, VoIP Enterprise Telephony, Mobile Communications, Processing Power and Storage Capacity.[25]

2.8 Social Media

This chapter will give an overview about the topic of Social Media. There are 2 examples – the first on is about the benefits a Bank could get out of Social Media and the second show how Social Media content can be implemented into an existing enterprise workflow system.

2.8.1 Social Media Overview

Social Media is a collective term for internet based media offers which are founded on social interactions and technical capabilities of the Web 2.0. Priority is on communication and the exchange of User-Generated Content. Due to its networked structures Social Media is becoming increasingly important in a manner to publish commercial information.[26]

Social Media is also giving more power to the individual customer. Economical information about companies and products can be exchanged easily. In the times before the internet, companies only announced positive information, but nowadays this asynchronous relationship is getting more synchronous. More and more companies are taking the chances that came along with this new customer relationship.[27]

A Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Survey[28] shows that: two-thirds of the 2,100 companies who participated are either currently using social media channels or have social media plans in the works. But many still say social media is an experiment, as they try to understand how to best use the different channels, gauge their effectiveness, and integrate social media into their strategy.

Despite the vast potential Social Media brings, many companies seem focused on Social Media activity primarily as a one-way promotional channel, and have yet to capitalize on the ability to not only listen to, but analyze, consumer conversations and turn the information into insights that impact the bottom line.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Re: (Harvard Business Review Analytic Services , 2010 p. 1 et seqq.)

Table 2.3: Harvard Business Review: Taking Social Media from Talk to Action

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten[29]

Re: (The Nielsen Company, 2012 p. 5) – author`s illustration

Table 2.4: Top 5 Social Networks by unique PC visitors (US)

2.8.2 Example 1: Benefits of Social Media for a Bank

Which benefits could bring the implementation of Social Media as an additional communication channel to a Bank environment?

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Re: (Göhring, et al., 2012 p. 3) – author`s illustration

Picture 2.2: Benefits of Social Media in a Bank Environment

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Re: (Göhring, et al., 2012 p. 5 et seqq.)

Table 2.5: Benefits of Social Media in a Bank Environment[30] [31]

2.8.3 Example 2: Integration of Social Media and Enterprise Workflow Systems

Of course an employee could log into a social media platform – interact with customer and in parallel he or she could type the information in existing enterprise workflow systems – and this approach is a simple and quick option to start with social media. However there are more integrated ways to connect social media with the existing enterprise systems. In the following example is shown how a message from Twitter finds its way into an Oracle Siebel CRM system by using a solution from Buzzient, Inc.

Step 1: A customer complains about a product on a social-platform – in this case on Twitter. Customers are reporting problems or asking question, but not directly to manufacturer on established channels like the telephone or a fax – they post it somewhere.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Taken from: (Buzzient, Inc., 2013 p. 2)

Picture 2.3: Customer reports a problem on Twitter

Step 2: A social media analytics platform – in this case from Buzzient Inc. searches and collects relevant content according to given keywords and filters on social sources like: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RSS, Blogs, iTunes, Android Marketplace. That happens real time and on historical records.

Related content will be stored and forwarded seamless into the enterprise workflow systems. This could be a CRM System, a Contact-Center with multichannel integration or a Unified Communication & Collaboration environment. In this case it is a Siebel Oracle CRM System.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Taken from: (Buzzient, Inc., 2013 p. 3)

Picture 2.4: Overview Buzzient Social Media Analytics and Integration Platform

Step3: Arrived at the enterprise workflow system, the social media content can be handled just like input from other communication channels, like emails or faxes. An advisor can now answer the Tweet directly out of the CRM System.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Taken from: (Buzzient, Inc., 2013 p. 4)

Picture 2.5: Siebel CRM - Social Media integration overview

Step 4: Now that the social content is handled on the CRM System, the communication can be stored, reported and analyzed.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Taken from: (Buzzient, Inc., 2013 p. 8)

Picture 2.6: Example Oracle screen and Analytics

3 Unified Communications and Collaboration

The following chapter will give an overview about the topic of UCC, the benefits, the majority of the elements and the efforts and potentials for the stepwise integration of the 6 key-modules. Furthermore it show barriers for the implementation for small and medium enterprises and large enterprises.

3.1 Definition of UCC

Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) describes the combination of communications capabilities with collaboration technologies. Until fairly recently, the technologies and vendors for enterprise communications and collaboration were fairly distinct, with telephony and networking product vendors comprising the former and software companies like Microsoft and IBM dominating the latter. That cozy distinction has eroded dramatically because Microsoft and IBM offer voice and telephony features, and vendors like Cisco have moved into the collaboration market. In most organizations, those IT employees responsible for managing and defining the needs of collaboration tools are different to those managing and defining the needs of communication tools. Unified Communications (UC) is a closely related term, describing a similar phenomenon, where communications technologies extend into some areas of collaboration, either by integration or by offering those capabilities directly. UCC is newer and less developed than UC, but has the potential to go much further toward realizing transformational changes. Mashups[32], portal consoles, application programming interfaces, Web services and packaged clients will enable communications and collaboration services to be blended into a mix that includes email, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, social networks, calendars, blogs, tasks, wikis, personal profiles and discussion forums.[33]

3.2 Benefits of UCC

UCC is not a single technology but a family of related technologies and the benefits are very multifold.[34] UCC delivers new options and features that improve and expand the capability for businesses that are eager to change the way they communicate and collaborate -- even the way their employees work. Enabling rapid access to experts, peers, and decision makers via the most optimal communications method allows business to accelerate business process completion by significantly reducing human latency.[35] Information, the invisible factor of production, gain in economic policy`s importance. More than this Collaborative working effects the building design and urban development.[36]

Delivering UCC capabilities in a software-based approach enables IT managers to rapidly upgrade existing environments, or replace legacy infrastructure, and offer communications and collaboration capabilities to their users within familiar environments. UCC delivers benefits for both IT professionals and information workers. Benefits for the IT organization include reducing the cost and complexity of UC platform implementation and management. Businesses will derive greater benefits as the UCC solution is brought into more general use throughout an organization – allowing more interaction with the right people. A single UCC environment can reduce the complexity, uncertainty, and cost of IT and telephony operations and management, while supporting new advances in employee productivity leading to greater business value.[37]

3.3 Elements of Unified Communications and Collaboration

3.3.1 Application or Desktop Sharing

Application or Desktop Sharing is an additional feature for audiovisual conferences or collaborative working. A common whiteboard, a document or an application can be viewed or processed by two or more participants. Typical uses are presentations or trainings.[38]

[...]


[1] Cf: (Thompson, 1883 p. 11)

[2] Cf: (Palfrey, et al., 2008 p. 2)

[3] Cf: (Pressestelle des Bundesgerichtshofs, 24.01.2013)

[4] Cf: (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), 2010)

[5]

[6] Cf: (Kaiser, 2012 p. 143 et seqq)

[7] Cf: (Beisswenger, 2007 p. 35)

[8] Cf: (Fetzer, 2010 pp. 38, 39)

[9] Cf: (Kaiser, 2012 p. 143 et seqq)

[10] Cf: Ibid.

[11] Cf: (Stallings, 2009 p. 27)

[12] Cf: (Hornby, 1995 p. 594)

[13] Cf: (Bolte, 2002 p. 3)

[14] (Gartner, Inc., 2012)

[15] Cf: (Bolte, 2002 p. 78)

[16] Cf: (Kracklauer, et al., 2004 p. 26)

[17] John Perry Barlow is an American poet, essayist and a political activist. He is also a former lyricist for the Rock-Band Grateful Dead and a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

[18] (Barlow, 1996)

[19] Cf: (Palfrey, et al., 2008 p. ii et seqq.)

[20] Cf: (Perez, 2002 p. 11)

[21] Cf: (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), 2010 p. 3)

[22] US billion = deutsche Milliarde

[23] Cf: (Castells, 1998)

[24] Cf: (Mansell, et al., 2007 p. 68)

[25] Cf: (T-Systems International GmbH, 2009 p. 6)

[26] Cf: (Sjurts)

[27] Cf: (Michelis, et al., 2012 p. 26)

[28] (Harvard Business Review Analytic Services , 2010 p. 1 et seqq)

[29] Year on year Change; A method of evaluating two or more measured events to compare the results at one time period with those from another time period

[30] Cf: (Zeger, 2009 p. 109)

[31] Cf: (Forest, et al., 2011 pp. 14 - 15)

[32] A mashup is a web-application which imports most of it content through other web-applications via open Application Programming Interfaces (API)

[33] Cf: (Gartner, Inc., 2012)

[34] Cf: (Pavlenyi, 2011 p. 1 et seqq.)

[35] Cf: (Forrester Reseach, Inc., 2010 p. 2)

[36] Cf: (Maciejewski, 1987 pp. 4-5)

[37] Cf: (Forrester Reseach, Inc., 2010 p. 2)

[38] Cf: (Khosrow-Pour, 2001 p. 657)

Excerpt out of 69 pages

Details

Title
Unified Communications and Collaboration as a Key to Ameliorate the Customer Service Experience
College
University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart
Course
International Management
Grade
1,8
Author
Year
2013
Pages
69
Catalog Number
V232843
ISBN (eBook)
9783668458437
ISBN (Book)
9783668458444
File size
2826 KB
Language
English
Tags
unified, communications, collaboration, customer, service, experience, UCC, CX, Customer Experience, VoIP, Social Media, Omnichannel, Multichannel, CRM, Customer Relationship Management, Business Intelligence, BI
Quote paper
Roger Otto (Author), 2013, Unified Communications and Collaboration as a Key to Ameliorate the Customer Service Experience, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/232843

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Unified Communications and Collaboration as a Key to Ameliorate the Customer Service Experience



Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free