Google disrupts customer service industry
Did Google just disrupt the disruptors? The
tech giant recently announced that it is
offering the technology for a button that will launch a Google hangout directly from a
Hangouts is Google's name for its
videoconferencing service that allow several
people to join the same video chat from multiple devices, including smartphones.
A related service, Hangouts on Air, allows a video conference to be recorded directly to
Youtube. Originally a part of its Google+
social network, it has since spun off into a standalone service.
The service was announced on the official
enterprise blog for Google posted by Stephen
Cho, Head of Google Apps and Hangouts Technology Partnerships "With this new Hangouts
button, apps everywhere will let colleagues,
partners, and customers meet face-to-face
anytime, anywhere, and work more effectively together with just one click" Cho explained, "A number of our early partners have already
enriched their applications with Hangouts". He specifically mentioned several of their
partners in the sales and customer service space, "Sales reps working in Salesforce.com can automatically kick off a Hangout with their
account team through Esna; in myERP, a sales
rep can start a video meeting with any
customer prospect. Zendesk helps support
agents start a Hangout to consult with other agents and internal staff, while Freshdesk lets a customer service agent Hangout with a customer to quickly resolve support issues".
The hangout start button can be configured by any moderately skilled developer and let you
specify if it starts up a text chat, a video
call, a video conference or a recorded on Hangout on Air. Since the customer has control
of their own camera settings, this
essentially allows for deployment of an Amazon Mayday- like customer service button on any
website or app allowing customers to see and
communicate with the representative, whether they are using their video camera or not.
It seems that Google has once again put a
disruptive game-changer on the market.
As described by the CITEworld blog
http://goo.gl/KlurVp "Pretty much everybody
has access to Google Hangouts, and Google is
letting anybody embed the button. Obviously, you lose some of the really deep functionality for customer service agents to go hands-on
with customers that Salesforce offers, but
it's definitely more lightweight and almost
certainly easier to deploy in an application.
There's a move towards using collaboration
and chat technology for better customer
service. It's going to be really interesting
to see if Google Hangouts gets further built
out as an enterprise offering with that kind of service as the focus".
What will this free application do to the
large number of startups and small software
companies have developed similar fee-based
applications? No one really knows, but the
news can't be good. They will likely either have to either adjust and offer more value
added services, or incorporate the technology into their own offering. Clearly this is a development in the customer service technology industry that cannot be ignored.
Companies like www.teledini.com, a client of
ours seem to like the news. It will bring
further viability to WebRTC and Video applications.