Real Time Communications Featured Article

Cloud Contact Center Solutions Providers Partner to Add WebRTC Value

April 24, 2015

The value of the real-time communications standard WebRTC when it comes to the contact center industry isn’t in doubt. The standard, which allows for real-time communications between browsers with no need to download anything, can help companies offer enhanced multichannel Web-based communications that involve live voice or video conversations between agents and customers.

The advantage of this standard in customer/agent communications is that a transaction can take place without a loss of context of what the customer has been doing up until he or she sought live help. The browsing customer can seek help while inside the existing browser session, and the agent can see what the customer has been doing. The old-fashioned alternative involved the customer leaving the browser session and initiating a phone call, which meant he or she had to explain the problem all over again. This led to customer frustration, excessive average handle times and low customer satisfaction.

But WebRTC alone solve the problem, according to Phil Edholm, President and Founder of PKE Consulting, writing for the Web site No Jitter.

“WebRTC alone will not enable the use of context or Web-based questions to map to the agent assignment models that most modern contact centers use,” wrote Edholm. “Also, while most contact center back ends use audio protocols like G.711, G.722, or G.729, browsers often use Opus.”

For this reason, many cloud contact center solutions providers that see the benefit of adding WebRTC their platforms are partnering with SBC (session border control) solutions providers.

“For these cloud contact centers, the integration of WebRTC into their SBCs used for their SIP peering is a natural extension of their existing investments,” wrote Edholm. “Generally, cloud contact center services manage agent seats directly by using SIP trunking and TDM gateways to bring customer calls into the cloud network. Using SBCs is a natural way to increase peering capabilities through a single point of presence, enhancing quality by reducing hops and transcoding.”

Once this integration happens, customers can seamlessly transition from a Web browsing session to a live agent call from inside the browser. The technology is invisible to these customers. From the contact center’s perspective, the context of the customer’s browsing session adds vital information that allows the call to be passed to the most appropriate agent, raising the chances of a faster and more satisfactory outcome. As a few contact centers begin to offer the options the WebRTC standard can provide, others will need to scramble to catch up.

“For a cloud contact center provider, the need to deliver WebRTC as a powerful tool to increase customer interactions and improve overall contact center performance through analytics and decision processes was delivered through adding value to the new SBC system, resulting in a play that will enable clients to get a leg up on the market,” wrote Edholm. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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