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Google+, Google’s new social media service currently in a public beta, has garnered a fair share of positive reactions since the beginning of its invitation-only testing phase. However, businesses’ use of the service is very much in its infancy.

Michael Dell, Dell’s chairman and CEO, aims to change that. The executive recently posted on Sunday to his public Google+ wall:

“I am thinking about hangouts for business. Would you like to be able to connect with your Dell service and sale teams via video directly from Dell.com?”

“Hangouts” is one of Google+’s key differentiators. The feature essentially allows an easy way for Google+ users to video-conference with each other. Hangouts facilitates informal, instant, and immersive conversations that are more on-demand, “pull” focused than the traditional Skype call or video conference call. The CEO has used the video chat feature more than 12 times since his July sign up to the service. With numerous affirmational comments, 446 +1’s, and 119 shares (as of this writing), Dell’s idea has received a large amount of positive feedback.

Hanging Out with the Company

One user, Sebastian Hiernaux, commented that:

“…it would be fantastic! Whatever people say about automation we still need that human contact when the buying process gets complex.”

Another user, Matthias Gutfeldt, cautioned:

“Sure, but does your Dell service and sale teams want to be on video while angry customers shout at them because something’s not working? I doubt it :-).”

The idea is comparable to the way Twitter has made customer service much more accessible and instantaneous for consumers. Janko Roettgers, a journalist for popular tech news blog GigaOM, expressed his own opinion:

“… the idea is indeed intriguing: Some customer service needs are very similar, so having a service representative talk to a small group of customers at the same time could be more economical than the traditional one-on-one call. Using video could also humanize tech support, and group settings could even initiate self-help between customers.”

He further noted that launching this kind of functionality anytime soon would not be possible–Google+ is still in an invite-only testing phase. However, If realized correctly, “Hangouts” could change how companies interact with customers and further stoke the multichannel contact center fire.

Could Google+ change the way we do business? Can Dell leverage “Hangouts” successfully? Is it a good idea? How does this change the way contact centers interact with customers? Please, throw your ideas my way and share your comments below.

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