Real Time Communications Featured Article

WebRTC Reduces Customer Effort in the Contact Center and Improves Agent Effectiveness

July 10, 2014

Many companies today are struggling with giving customers what they want. For starters, many organizations aren’t even sure what it is their customers want. While no two companies are identical, customer wants and needs tend to follow common trends.

Trends today include speed (no one has the patience to wait on hold any longer, and they don’t expect to be forced to), multichannel access to customer support regardless of what channel they choose, and ease of support (nobody wants to have to be transferred, hang up and call another number or download a support application).

Forward-thinking companies have long turned to technology to provide customers with what they want, and today, this means embracing an open standard called Web Real Time Communications, or WebRTC. This standard allows developers to embed real-time multimedia communications into different Web browsers, allowing for fast and easy Web collaboration.

 Before WebRTC, no standards existed and developers had to rely on more cumbersome methods of allowing employees or customers to communicate and collaborate in a browser environment. Users were obliged to download plug-ins such as Adobe Flash or other solutions, making it more difficult and time-consuming to share knowledge on the Web. For a company looking to make it easy for customers, WebRTC is an ideal solution, allowing developers to deploy multimedia communications-enabled applications using simpler HTML and JavaScript APIs.

Imagine the possibilities this technology might present in the contact center: agents can quickly initiate video chat sessions with customers, demonstrating products and adding a strong personal touch to the transaction. (Think of Amazon and it’s successful “Mayday” live video chat offering.) Agents can engage in screen-sharing with customers, helping them to find answers to their questions, photos, videos, demonstrations or other support materials. Customers who begin their support journey on a Web site need no longer hang up and initiate a separate phone call, thanks to WebRTC. The same customer can instead click to call from the Web site and essentially continue the same support session, with no need to download anything onto their computer or mobile device, and no need to interactive with the interactive voice response (IVR) system (which – let’s face it – most customers hate). The WebRTC signal is converted to a SIP trunk that is natively compatible with most legacy contact center technologies.

WebRTC can also be used to streamline workflow in the contact center, helping build efficiency and speed into interaction processes. In the long run, this can help save a company money. By boosting the effectiveness of the contact center agent and reducing effort for the customer, companies using WebRTC are enabling faster and more effective multichannel customer support. And the benefits of that are simply too many to count. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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