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Report Encourages the Use of Mobile Social Networking in the Call Center

Pyramid Research has released a report that encourages call center operators and agents to learn to optimize mobile social networking tactics for their customer interactions.

Part of the Telecom Insider Report Series, "The Peril and Promise of Mobile Social Networks for Operators" presents data and case studies collected from several European markets, including the Netherlands and the U.K., that offer a glimpse into the evolution of social networking via mobile phones. The report provides an overview of mobile social networking, including how it has influenced the development of emerging mobile technologies and how the patterns of communication are changing. The report also covers how the use of tariffs is changing in order to prevent data from overshadowing voice and text and provides examples of how some operators are tracking the development of their communication patterns.

The Facebook Factor

According to Pyramid's report, 300 million of Facebook's 700 million users worldwide are accessing the site through mobile devices. Which means, roughly 40 percent of users who are logging into the social media site are doing so with devices other than a PC or laptop.

Jan ten Sythoff, Pyramid Research analyst at large, thinks that call centers should take note.

Sythoff explains that social networks have been beneficial to mobile operators, offering additional revenue and driving new users to adopt mobile Internet and existing users to increase their data usage in order to keep up. Non-messaging data revenues are the fastest growing segment for mobile operators, with a 2010 to 2016 CAGR of nearly 15 percent, compared with messaging's 4 percent and -3 percent for voice.

With these statistics in mind, Sythoff is concerned that Facebook is poised to be the "central contact center" in the not-to-distant future. As of November 2010, Facebook implemented their own email platform, which gave those 300 million mobile users the ability to send email, instant message and SMS conversations from one central site.

"This threatens operators both directly by impacting their voice and messaging revenues, and indirectly because their brands are overshadowed by social networking brands," Sythoff warns. "Operators therefore need to strike a delicate balance between leveraging the demand for social network mobile access and the threat of social networking cannibalizing their basic suite of services," he adds.

Will Pyramid's predictions set the standard?

Sythoff goes on to explain Pyramid’s suggestion for operators to capitalize on growth in mobile social networking by offering innovative devices, tariffs and services, as well as by keeping track of developments in communication patterns in different segments and being prepared to make the changes necessary to conform to these developments.

It's no secret that mobile social networking is moving quickly towards becoming the norm, in both social and business situations. But, will Facebook’s hold on mobile social media ultimately affect the call center?

Leave your thoughts in the comments, or email me at cdairo@icmi.com.

Christina Hammarberg is the former associate editor at ICMI.