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WebRTC Finds the Connection between Web Self-Service and Live Agent Support

WebRTC Finds the Connection between Web Self-Service and Live Agent Support

Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) is an exciting new technology standard that is being developed to provide rich, real-time communication applications within a Web browser. It allows users to click on a link within a Web browser and instantly connect using voice or video to a business or other users. It also allows consumers or customers to share data with an enterprise by providing a point-to-point connection. WebRTC has the potential to improve the quality and cost of customer service dramatically.
The primary backers of WebRTC have been Google and Mozilla, but Cisco, Avaya and Siemens all participate in the standards process. Microsoft has also submitted their own version of the standard to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The participation of leading technology companies is important, as it improves the chances for broad acceptance to be achieved more quickly.

What does this mean to enterprises and their customers?

WebRTC enables enterprises to provide real-time collaboration features within their websites. This means a customer can start with a chat session and seamlessly transition to a voice or video session with a live agent simply by clicking on a link within the browser. Enterprises can make this happen without major system development efforts, building new infrastructure, or installing special clients on desktops or customer devices. WebRTC is designed to function across multiple browsers, platforms and devices.
The addition of full real-time collaboration on the Web should have significant advantages for organizations. Below are a few of the potential benefits that WebRTC technology can deliver to enterprises and contact center environments:
  • Allows enterprises to offer full collaboration features, voice, video, presence, instant messaging (IM) and conferencing, directly within a Web browser, without using third-party communications applications
  • Enables live communications with a contact center from the Web; this means that Web interactions can be routed and prioritized to specific queues based on the context of the interaction, and information collected as part of the Web session, such as account numbers, authorization, passwords and completed activities, can be used to route interactions
  • Allows organizations to capture and analyze end-to-end Web-based interactions, to provide a complete picture of the customer journey
  • Reduces the cost of telephony services by enabling customers to click-to-call directly from the website, bypassing the public switched telephone network (PSTN)
The primary development focus for WebRTC to date has been personal computing platforms that support Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers. Example devices are Windows and Linux-based desktop and laptop computers and Google Chromebooks. But development is already underway to expand the use of WebRTC to smartphones, which is expected to greatly simplify the service experience for millions of consumers. (This capability is expected to be available to the market in 2014.)
Final Thoughts
With the continued growth of Internet-ready devices with integrated communications features, Web-based applications that enable real-time rich communications via browsers will become a necessity for any organization with a Web presence. Growing consumer demand for Internet accessibility and real-time communications will continue to fuel the need for people to migrate seamlessly between websites and live agents at any time, using various communications methods and devices.
WebRTC is expected to alter and greatly improve the way people communicate with enterprises. Although it’s still too early for businesses to create mission-critical applications built on a WebRTC foundation, the standards-setting bodies from the W3C and IETF, which are known for moving very slowly, are already encouraging developers to start working with WebRTC to speed up the development of this framework. WebRTC is expected to be stabilized and commercially available for use in 2014. Given its ability to improve communications between channels, reduce costs and improve the customer journey, DMG encourages organizations to gain an understanding of this emerging standard so that they can include it in their future servicing plans.

Ask the Experts

Question:
We are looking to acquire a new dialer to support a blended inbound/outbound environment. What are some of the more important features and functionality that we should be looking for when selecting a new dialer?

Answer:
During the last few years, the contact center market has experienced a wave of innovation, driven to a great degree by cloud-based vendors who are not bound by the limitations of legacy systems.
A dialer should come with standard features such as the ability to do preview, progressive, predictive and power dialing; advanced predictive algorithms; voice mail detect; campaign management solutions; etc. It should also make it easy for customers and targets to return calls by providing a fully blended inbound/outbound servicing environment that facilitates intelligent routing and queuing.
Given the demands of customers today, dialers should be multi-channel solutions that make it easy for organizations to reach customers in their channel of choice, and to transfer from an automated channel to a live agent. As proactive customer care (multi-channel outbound notification) is an essential business function for most companies today, it should be a standard component of any dialer that you consider.
There are significant differences among dialing solutions. Some dialers come with cost-saving and productivity-enhancing features, such as phone number preview, to minimize needless calls and to increase the time agents spend actually speaking to customers… Read More

DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.