Messaging, Phone Systems, and the Missing Piece
By Thomas Howe – CTO
If you asked for my opinion on the most important difference between texting and voice, as a communications engineer, I would say that messages don’t ring, and phones do. That fact turns out to be more important than you might imagine.
In a brilliantly simple act of engineering, old fashioned phones (the kind that you find on kitchen walls) ring when called. Starting the conversation, and ending the ringing, was as simple as picking up the handset. Finishing the conversation was as simple; you put the handset back. Phone calls start when you pick the phone up and end when you put it back. Very useful for many reasons, not least of which is knowing when to start and stop billing customers. Nowadays a ringing phone could be considered intrusive especially if you don’t know who is calling. However, a text message is not regarded as a disruption but rather welcomed.
Text messages don’t ring like phones and they can concurrently be reviewed and analyzed for content, sentiment, etc. The challenge for communications engineers is not to add ringing sounds but is instead to have some notion of when conversations start, and when they end. Unlike messaging, voice has original ideas of when sessions start and end. Without the natural boundaries of sessions, messaging is of limited utility in a business setting. Companies work on sessions, tasks, appointments, jobs, and milestones, as well as real-time communications, have to as well.
A fundamental difference between unified communications (UC) systems and TDC Bridge™ is this notion of sessions. UC systems enforce sessions around voice and video, but not messaging. TDC BRIDGE™ creates and manages messaging sessions: when they start, and when they end.
The business impact is substantial because when you have a messaging session, you can perform many important business and business process functions such as:
- Knowing when one starts, so you can greet a customer automatically or use a bot to help them get a question answered.
- Knowing when one ends so that you can say goodbye to a client, or use a bot to survey them
- Assigning a customer to an agent in a much more practical way, transferring within a session, and
resetting assignment for the session.
- Accounting for a conversation for billing and service delivery.
As you evaluate the options for adding texting to your call center, don’t forget the sessions. Most phone systems add on simple messaging and leave out sessions altogether. Businesses work on contracts, incidents, meetings, and completions – sessions all.
To learn how TDC Bridge™ can help your business, visit www.tendigitcommunications.com or text us at (888) 512-8398 (TEXT)