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How VoIP is Transforming Social Networking for Business
February 15th, 2016

How VoIP is Transforming Social Networking for Business

Ian Linton

Social networking for business is an important trend that your company cannot avoid. In fact, you should embrace it. Your customers use social networks to share views on products, services, and compan...

Social networking for business is an important trend that your company cannot avoid. In fact, you should embrace it. Your customers use social networks to share views on products, services, and companies. They use the networks to gather information from other consumers before making purchase decisions and the views expressed can make or break your company’s reputation.

Your employees are also using social networks to share information about their work or, increasingly, to collaborate by sharing knowledge, skills, and experience.

VoIP can help your business take advantage of these developments in social networking to strengthen relationships with customers, influence the market in a positive way, and enhance the level and quality of teamwork in your company.

VoIP does this in a number of ways. It supports the increasing transition of social networks from the desktop to mobile devices. It enables call centers to handle social network communications as part of the wider range of channels customers use, and it enables employees to access and use internal social networks for collaboration.

Social networking goes mobile

According to a report by Mobile Media Consumption report, 60 percent of Internet use is now done from mobile devices and mobile browsers spend more time on the Internet than their desktop-based counterparts.

Established social network players like Facebook have adapted to the trend by developing mobile app versions of their original platforms, but newer entrants are building mobile sites from the ground up and integrating VoIP into their platforms.

In communication apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Viber, members can use VoIP to record and transmit voice messages to other members. Users with phones operating on 3G or 4G networks can also make free voice calls to other network members.

Transforming the call center

With so many customers using social networks to communicate, call centers are being forced to adapt and allow customers and prospects to make contact by many different channels.

Call centers are becoming contact centers with the ability to handle email, Instant Messaging, chat, video, and social networking channels, as well as voice. VoIP can support all of these channels in the contact center.  And, with the ability to receive, record and retrieve different message formats in a single inbox, VoIP ensures productivity does not suffer.

Call center owners who do not want to upgrade their existing infrastructure can use a cloud-based VoIP contact center solution to deploy the full range of channels. This enables them to provide a better service to customers without incurring upfront costs.

Interacting with customers

Contact center agents who can access social networks can increase interaction with customers and build stronger relations. They can comment on posts or join discussions about products and services, demonstrating that your company cares about customers’ opinions.

They can also monitor comments and trends to identify any potential problems or opportunities. Recurring social media posts about poor product performance, for example, can alert your company to problems before they become damaging. If customers discuss needs that they feel are not being met, your team can take the opportunity to offer solutions.

Participating in social networks through a VoIP contact center gives you the opportunity to build greater engagement with your customers without incurring sales and marketing costs.

Building teamwork through social networks

The combination of VoIP and social networking for business can also help build teamwork and collaboration throughout the business, and increase employee satisfaction.

A Facebook app allows members of an internal social network to contact other members by VoIP from within the app. Employees can use this network to share information, knowledge, and expertise with colleagues on a VoIP platform.

Employees can post updates on projects they are working on, make requests for help or knowledge, or provide details of their own expertise, which could be useful to others. This approach to sharing knowledge and expertise is a great foundation for strengthening a collaborative culture.

A growing force

The integration of VoIP and social networking for business is in an early stage, but growing interest by companies and by developers mean that it is likely to move quickly into the business communications mainstream.

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