Could WebRTC Initiate Changes In the Contact Center?

Could WebRTC Initiate Changes In the Contact Center?

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Last week, I introduced some cool goings on in the contact center, such as cloud, smartphones and video. This week, I’ll finish my thoughts about how the contact center will continue to morph.

Integration of social media is also becoming more critical. If there’s outrage over a product defect social media can give you a read on that backlash so you can take appropriate action. You can also use social media channels like Twitter as special escalation and resolution channels, in the same way that you’d make a phone call. The contact center can then integrate those records into the overall customer file, as well.

The integration of big data is also related to social media. One of the biggest complaints customers have about contact centers is getting handed off and then having to restate what they already said. Data integration would help solve this problem. For example, I fly a lot and have a high status on my airline of choice. I like it when I call and they know who I am simply because they know my phone numbers, and they know which airport I use most of the time, so they are proactive in talking with me. That’s great customer service.

Voice biometrics will also start to enter the contact center. Proving you are who you say you are is critical in certain contact center transactions. That’s the idea behind security questions – you know, those three questions you never remember how you originally answered. If this process could be done in a foolproof way, such as through voice biometrics, it would save time and prevent fraud, thus saving money. Another use case for voice biometrics is “reading” the customer’s voice and routing him appropriately. For instance, if a customer is upset, the call center would route that customer to a more seasoned agent.

Finally, there is the mobile app. Half of smartphone users, including me, prefer mobile customer service apps. Apps are efficient, easy to access and come with services like push alerts. I often use a mobile app for the airline I fly on most of the time.  It’s tailored for me and I get alerts, etc. sent to me.  It’s nice as it has the feel of being proactive, even though the same information is available to me when I log in to my computer.  I click on the app and it’s there for me.  And if you need to talk to an agent, you’re already logged into your mobile app, so the agent would know who you are. Nice!

So let’s take that a step further. You can call a contact center on your cellular service, but if you’re on LTE or WiFi, you can call on a data channel. That’s where WebRTC could come in. Calling on the data channel would enable things like simultaneous voice and video or a simple click-to-call icon.

Plus, WebRTC is built into the browser, allowing for easy voice or video calls. For example, your website could add a hyperlink that calls an agent, or your company could send information to a customer with a call function built in.  In the early VoIP days, the “click to call from a website” was all the rage. But not that many people actually did it, because picking up the phone next to the computer seemed, and actually was, easier. But if you are on your smartphone, if you had a “click to call” VoIP icon, it means you’d need to download an app, because you’d need a SIP client of some sort. WebRTC means not having to download that app.  Not having to download an app, or even not having to dial a number, could make all the difference.  Just click and talk. 

How do you see WebRTC and other new technologies affecting the contact center? Let us know at

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