Real Time Communications Featured Article

An Omnichannel Communications Foundation Enables RTC, Self-Service, Mobile and Social Support

September 22, 2015

Many customer-facing companies today are facing a dilemma. Their existing contact center infrastructure is getting old and simply can’t accommodate the kind of omnichannel, real-time support solutions customers expect. At the same time, they find themselves paralyzed with fear that they’ll buy the wrong solution and be stuck with it. Taking an omnichannel approach isn’t cheap and often requires significant infrastructure modification.

The writing is on the wall, however. Customers today – particularly younger customers – expect consistent information regardless of channels they use. They want to be able to switch channels in the same transaction, and if they really can’t help themselves with self-service, they expect to be able to reach a live agent immediately. In order to keep costs under control and offer top-notch customer service, more companies are going “over the top” and using lower cost services that help them offer real-time communications via a variety of channels. This is happening not only with newer channels, but with more traditional channels, as well.

“What we are seeing from our visionary customers is a desire to reduce the complexity and costs of ‘phone’ based customer care, and move towards a more cost efficient ‘cloud’ which also frees up resources to match high value customers to their best experts,” blogged GENBAND’s Andy Asava recently. “Many new innovations are being created that use software, big data and analytics to ‘sense’ consumer behavior and ‘encourage’ more spending and loyalty, and providing an expert human to help sell large ticket items, for example, to qualified prospects based on the underlying data (think Amazon on steroids) is one direction the contact industry is headed in.”


Using these cloud-based solutions, companies can actually better match customer support representatives to customers, regardless of where either party is located. They can also manage all forms of customer communications from the same platform, which increases efficiency, save costs and reduces the chance of redundant work or incorrect information provided to customers. Single platform omnichannel customer support solutions are also necessary to manage what the industry today calls “SMAC,” or “social, mobile, analytics and cloud.”

“Suddenly, there were more channels to manage, including the very risky social channels, where a single customer complaint can balloon into a corporate crisis when sharing goes viral,” wrote Asava. “On the other hand, a brilliant customer experience that converts a consumer into a true believer can also be shared, driving stronger brands and the unmatched ‘ROI’ of ‘earned media’ when social ignites in a positive way.”

Today, it’s frankly impossible to offer a true omnichannel customer support experience – including real-time communications, social media, and effective self-service – without beginning with a solid communications foundation. With this in place, companies will be well positioned to take advantage of the next “game-changing” experience. While we may not know what it is yet, we know it’s bound to arrive soon. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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