Using WebRTC to Reshape Customer Experience in the Contact Center

​Customers are continuously looking for improved service in a timely and efficient manner. However, customer service can be notoriously slow and ineffective. Frequently, customers are being passed from department to department in contact centers, and rarely getting their issues resolved promptly.

Imagine a caller parked on the IVR and listening to insipid on-hold music.  When the call eventually reaches the head of the queue, the ACD will instruct the IVR to transfer the call to a specific agent.  The agent gets the screen pop and asks the caller to verify his/her identity. The customer tries to find the account number and PIN. If that is successful, only then does the process of asking for the reason for the call begin.

Alternatively, the customer can try sending an email to a generic customer service email address and hope a customer care assistant gets back to him/her in decent amount of time. This is time consuming and inconvenient.

The contact center experience typically involves:

  • Navigating through the IVR
  • Endless waiting on hold
  • Loss of contextual information from the source application
  • Re-establishing identity and context
  • A voice-only experience with a faceless representative and lack of collaboration tools

Such a poor customer service experience, for both customers and contact centers agents alike, can prove business critical. Customers can be driven to move to competitors as a direct result of this kind of interaction. Moreover, it's becoming more and more difficult for companies to attract their customers, satisfy their requirements, and win their loyalty.

In an effort to change this picture, many companies already provide multichannel support (via Click to Chat, Click to Call, Click to Video, phone, e-mail, etc.) to their visitors. WebRTC allows people to chat in real time directly from the browser. It means that customer service personnel will be able to provide immediate, personal support to website visitors.

WebRTC is a technology that enables instant communication through the web browser, with no downloads or plug-ins required. It includes the fundamental building blocks for high-quality communications, such as network, audio, and video components used in voice and video chat applications.

The WebRTC architecture makes video calls as efficient as possible, supporting 'live assist' features that allow agents to: share their screen with the consumer; draw/annotate on the screen; push files or links to the user; view the consumer's profile, geo-location and browsing activity; and support other features like context-based routing and call back.  Used effectively, these features can lead to an overall improvement in key metrics, such as first call resolution and call handling time.

In a world where online buyers stop making purchases from a website that doesn't provide them high quality customer support, WebRTC offers a high value technology for the e-commerce industry.

The Change is Here

With the ability to simply tap a button to enact a voice call or video share, the extension of customer services is significant. Imagine going to a web site, finding out who you need to speak to and simply clicking on their number to talk, have a video conversation or chat, with no downloads or plugins to complicate things.

This simple, yet effective, communication can even create new experiences. Explaining to a technician what the problem is using your phone for 'see what I see' functions is easier than ever. And customers have the ability to get the service and support they need.

The way that customers are served and supported will continue to change, driving an inherent change in the structure of traditional call centers. WebRTC can play a very strategic role in supporting the growth of online self-service for mobile consumers, by extending the user's ability to have a rich communication experience from any device. This can become a key differentiator whenever real-time modes of contextual live assistance are selectively needed.

In other words, WebRTC is likely to turn the traditional call center into a customer interaction center, where many communication methods are combined with the ability to extend care. This, in turn, will be key to growing sales.