Real Time Communications Featured Article

The Power of WebRTC in the Call Center

October 06, 2015

Technology in the call center is one thing that can set a company apart from another. Too many competing firms are offering commodity products at prices that have little variance. Trying to determine one provider from another is difficult as the marketing material suggests you’ll experience the best interactions with each one.

If you dig a little deeper, however, there are advantages one may have over another if the leading company considers real-time communications to be a priority. It’s the call back to the importance of service after the sale. Everyone is sugary sweet when you haven’t made the purchase decision, yet. But how do they perform once you’ve become a customer and you have an issue that needs a little attention? This is where the key performers will rise above those seeking to do little more than the status quo.

The reality is that WebRTC offers key competitive advantage for the call center willing to make the investment. Those leading the pack in innovation already offer Web chat, multiple channels for engagement and seamless interactions such as co-browsing technology. The goal is to ensure the seamless experience for the customer, no matter what channel they use and no matter the number of channels involved in one interaction. With WebRTC, all channels can be integrated into one to deliver the best of both worlds.

But there’s a challenge to migrating to WebRTC. While the open source project allows browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, chat and even file-sharing, there are some who are hesitant to make the switch. The platform would allow for the sharing of rich image and video applications without the need to download software or plugins, yet not all contact centers have the technological know-how or the man-power to manage this channel.

At the same time, there are still variables at play here that could degrade the experience for the customer and the agent. While the agent may have everything he or she needs to participate in the real-time communications conversation, the customer may not have the right version of their browser, their headset may not be correctly configured and sufficient bandwidth may not be available for the two-way conversation. If you think about the number of Skype calls you’ve had where problems occurred, the same could happen within WebRTC – not exactly the customer experience you hope to create.

That doesn’t mean that WebRTC can’t be part of your real-time communications initiatives in the future. It simply means you have some homework to do before you make that decision and start to implement the technology. You have to understand your customer and his or her capabilities when it comes to connecting with your brand. Does WebRTC offer a true competitive advantage when done correctly, or are your customers going to use traditional channels anyway? Can voice and video integration in real-time improve outcomes, even if you have a few hiccups?

There are call centers today effectively using WebRTC to engage with customers, but they did their homework before launching this new initiative. They understand the expectations and took the necessary steps to ensure success. If WebRTC can do the same for you, don’t let the challenges hold you back. Instead, develop a strategy that ensures you can overcome them for effective outcomes. 

Today at ITEXPO in Anaheim, a session titled “Why WebRTC will Improve Customer Experience,” happening from 1:30 -2:15pm will dive deeper into the topic of customer service and the contact center environment and why WebRTC is a logical addition.  

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Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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