SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Gary Audin and Douglas Green
SHARE



Gary Audin and Douglas Green | February 21, 2014 |

 
   

Is WebRTC Good for Your Contact Center?

Is WebRTC Good for Your Contact Center? Though WebRTC holds promise, t is not a given that adding WebRTC to the contact center will be a profitable development.

Though WebRTC holds promise, t is not a given that adding WebRTC to the contact center will be a profitable development.

At many presentations discussing WebRTC, the contact center is one of the environments where WebRTC is expected to shine. It will shine because it potentially could provide a more satisfying experience to the customer. The customer can easily initiate a voice or video chat with an agent. The capability will be a part of their browser, and it's free to use.

The questions for the contact center implementers are:

* Is WebRTC a good opportunity for me?
* How do I develop a WebRTC strategy?
* Is this real now or in the future?

There are already hundreds of millions of WebRTC-capable browsers installed worldwide. This huge installed base should not be confused with WebRTC adoption success, however, as it can stimulate invention but does not guarantee actual usage. There also are still many technical challenges to overcome, such as video codec support and most importantly, interoperability.

WebRTC Must Meet Business Needs
Doug Green, publisher of Telecom Reseller, recently presented at a conference about WebRTC. Doug's presentation was called "Economics of WebRTC," an economist's viewpoint. Doug focused on the business decisions relating to adopting WebRTC. According to Doug, WebRTC has to deliver one or more of these goals:

* Make money
* Save money
* Save time
* Improve experience (the one area most commonly associated with the contact center)

WebRTC can be a labor-saving technology. Through its collaboration capabilities, agent labor can be more strategically deployed. It can reduce the time required to complete tasks, which can be done today--though mostly with more expensive solutions. WebRTC promises to deliver these capabilities at a much lower price and to a greater number of organizations.

Good for the Contact Center
One WebRTC focus is on improving the contact center experience. Doug felt that WebRTC can be an excellent sales delivery mechanism. It will be most useful for high value transactions. It can also help with complex customized sales or services such as for medical and scientific devices and healthcare. Use of WebRTC can better retain the high-value customer.

The ability to initiate a voice and later a video chat with an agent while accessing a website, should help retain that customer. The chat can mitigate problems the customer has with the website, and the ability to chat may also increase the number of customers willing to try the website. They always have an exit to talk to a person.

The voice/video chat may improve customer retention and loyalty. That's important because it is much less expensive to work at keeping the customer happy than trying to recapture the customer when the contact center experience is poor.

Downside for the Contact Center
Over the past decades, the number of contact center agents has been limited. The use of Interactive Voice Response and artificial intelligence has maintained, and in many cases reduced, the number of agents required to service an expanding population. So will WebRTC help the agent staff numbers go down, or will they have to expand?

Doug and I think the number of agents and the accompanying contact center budget will increase with WebRTC use. Costumers will be more willing to enter a voice chat rather than continue with a website that they don't like.

In addition, exploring video chat brings up new problems:

* Contact center agents will have to dress better.
* Agents cannot have visual tics like stroking their hair, playing with something like a toy, etc.
* They will have to be trained to be visually pleasing.
* The customer may be more likely to be able to tell when he or she is dealing with an offshore contact center, and this may affect the nature of the interaction. * It is likely that video chats will last longer than voice chats, tying up the agent longer.

The end result of adding voice and video chat to a website will mean an increasing agent bill and probably higher pay.

We can speculate on customer behavior, but we cannot be sure that the addition of WebRTC will have a commensurate increase in profits or reduction in cost. It is not a given that adding WebRTC to the contact center will be a profitable development.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

December 13, 2017

The two major vendors in the Unified Communications space, Cisco and Microsoft, are both strongly promoting their cloud UC deployments. If cloud UC is on your enterprises roadmap, but you dont want

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.