In order to stay competitive in today’s increasingly digital world, many companies are digitalising their business processes to engage their customers on their preferred communication channels. But this poses challenges on multiple fronts.
First, in the face of headline-grabbing data breaches around the world, these customers are also increasingly concerned about their data privacy.
Second, many companies could still be using legacy communication systems, which are often built-in silo, inflexible and cannot be customised to meet end users’ multi-channel communication needs. This results in organisations having to manage communication over multiple channels that are disjunct from business processes, further complicating an already complex situation in several areas.
Third, many organisations have already invested heavily in efforts to build expensive and fixed capacity communications systems which are now intertwined with their business workflows. This makes them wary of further investments, making it challenging to migrate to newer technologies.
As a result, even when business leaders agree that it is necessary to adopt intelligent contextual communications and omnichannel customer experience, they are uncertain about how to achieve that.
The answer to this conundrum? They need a flexible and secure real-time communication solution that can be integrated into the business workflow and applications and be available on any device and platform.
The Need for Contextual Communication
Surveys have shown that while end-users would prefer to be contacted by businesses via offline mediums or SMS, they would rather reach businesses’ customer service by voice or video calls to get quick and reliable answers. However, this option is currently fraught with customers’ frustration with multiple non-integrated communication channels and workflows.
A common occurrence is when a customer needs help with warranty claims and repair for a purchased product. Often, the customer will visit the company’s website and fill in a web form on the “Contact Us” page or go back and forth emailing without success.
Frustrated, the customer then decides to call the customer service hotline and has to explain the situation again at length because the information that was previously submitted via the webform or emails is not linked and readily accessible by the customer service staff. In addition, any images of the damaged product sent previously would have to be resent to this customer service staff, putting the images at high risk of being lost in transition. And finally, the customer will need to coordinate the visit from the field serviceman for the repair work. This whole process could take up a few days to a few weeks.
The above process – a loss of context for customers as they switch channels – is rife with operational inefficiency which can only result in customer dissatisfaction and reduced customer loyalty.
Had there been an integrated communications platform on the organisation’s website, the customer could have used that to send an email or fill in a web form. And at the same time, they can initiate a web-based video or audio call, from that same platform, to show the damaged item in real-time. Snapshots of the item can be taken by the customer service staff during the video call. While on this same call, arrangements can be made for the field servicemen.
This can be addressed with Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS). It provides companies with the platform and APIs to embed real-time communication (Video API, SMS API or Voice API) into any web-based applications or site. This approach not only allows companies to engage with customers in the channel that they prefer, but also makes communication more efficient and contextual.
Security and Privacy are key tenets of CPaaS
Customers who are more protective of their own privacy can keep their identities anonymous while initiating contextual dialogue either from an application or from mobile and desktop browsers. CPaaS’ video/audio-based calls are executed natively from within the desktop browser or mobile application using industry-standard security technologies such as HTTPS support, secure RTP, HTTP authentication, secure WebSockets and application-level authentication using tokens.
This ensures that your information is secured, whether it is media, API or messaging traffic. The user is also not required to share his personal identity in order to use voice or video calling.
Flexible CPaaS deployment to meet your enterprise’s unique needs
A full-stack CPaaS has flexible deployment options and can be utilised in multiple use cases for an end-to-end communications experience.
One use case is anonymous multi-way interactive calls over either a mobile phone or web browser that mask caller information, such as the caller’s phone number. This is easily done by embedding cloud-native APIs in the CPaaS platform for features such as virtual numbers, number masking, and App-PSTN calling.
This is especially useful for social business applications, such as ridesharing applications. This has allowed passengers to contact their drivers within the app. Other uses include speed dating, where users are uncomfortable sharing their personal contact details before knowing the other party better, and online auctioning, where bidders prefer to keep their purchases anonymous.
Another use case is the video-enabled virtual desk receptionist, when a customer interaction is needed to be escalated from a chatbot, to be managed by a customer service staff. As all communications are done within the app/site, the staff will have access to the context and history of all interactions with this particular customer. This removes the need for the customer to recount his enquiry, reducing potential frustration triggers.
There are many additional benefits to using CPaaS for an omnichannel, contextual “in-app” experience.
For example, interactions over the application can be recorded, should there be compliance or legal requirements. The CPaaS platform also provides a high-quality calling experience – in high definition video or audio – for users with different data network speeds. Finally, for users who want to communicate with businesses through their telephone lines, the CPaaS platform can provide both inbound and outbound voice calling, virtual numbers, programmatically controllable, customisable and personalisation IVR.
The days of having frustrated customers try on multiple communications channels until they find a solution can be over, with the full-stack CPaaS solution that provides an end-to-end customer communication experience that improves customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
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