WebRTC technology drives powerful web calling capabilities in contact centers that improve customer experience, simplify IT operations and increase agent productivity.
There is no doubt that web real-time communications (WebRTC) is transforming the contact center. Today, you can find WebRTC-powered web calling on enterprise websites within any vertical market. Web calling helps improve customer experience (CX), minimize telephony costs, enhance IT productivity, and simplify customer service operations. And this helps contact center operators handle customer service smartly, smoothly, economically, and efficiently. So how does WebRTC accomplish this?
WebRTC is a highly disruptive, cutting-edge technology and communications standard that enables real-time voice, video, and chat communications capabilities to be natively embedded in web browsers without the need for plug-ins or other downloaded software components. WebRTC is a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allows organizations and developers to add real-time communications (RTC) features to their web browser and mobile applications without having to deal with the inherent complexities of requiring downloads or plugins to use them. WebRTC is a combination of two standards: an IETF-driven “media engine” and set of IP network protocols for real-time communications, plus an API invented by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) enabling browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, video chat, and peer-to-peer communications. WebRTC includes the fundamental building blocks for high-quality communications on the web, such as voice and video networking, audio and video processing and a data channel for chat and screen sharing services.
WebRTC has already gained universal acceptance. Today, it is widely used for voice and video calling and is supported in the Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge browsers, as well as in Android and iOS mobile operating systems. WebRTC standards have stabilized and address areas such as security, encryption, voice/video codec implementations, connection establishment, network address translation (NAT) traversal, packet loss concealment, bandwidth management, and voice over IP (VoIP)/media transfer. WebRTC is supported in mass-market consumer communications applications (such as Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger/ WhatsApp/Instagram, Snapchat, Oculus VR Chat. Business), as well as business services such as Amazon Chime, Slack, and GoToMeeting.
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SECURE WEBRTC FOR CONTACT CENTERS
WebRTC is truly revolutionizing the contact center. The aim of any contact centers, regardless of industry vertical, is to handle customer service smoothly and keep operational costs to a minimum. Paramount to contact center operators are three requirements:
- Improve customer experience (CX), so they can delight their customers through every interaction they have with them, from a web site visit to a customer service phone session with an agent. Among the delight factors are:
- Easy and immediate reachability of an agent
- High voice quality voice (and video) communications, which is made possible by the Opus (and AV1) codecs used by WebRTC
- Interaction/co-browsing with agents who are aware of the context which led the customer to click-to-call customer service and are more knowledgeable of the customer issue.
- Minimize telephony costs, which WebRTC facilitates by eliminating toll calls, since no 1-800 toll-free access charges are incurred when customer click to call the contact center.
- Enhance IT productivity and simplify customer service operations, which WebRTC facilitates by:
- Eliminating the need for download, installation, or upgrades of agent client software
- Minimizing quality issues created by network impairments
- Reducing the need for IT knowhow as voice and video connectivity are addressed by the web browser.
WebRTC enables an omnichannel approach to customer service by allowing customers to engage with contact center agents (either on-premises or work-at-home - WAHA) via a “Click-to-Call” button, in context, while they are browsing the contact center customer website. The agents themselves may be equipped with a SIP phone, a softphone, a web browser (on a PC, a Chromebook or mobile phone), or a WebRTC-based mobile application.
The interaction can occur via any of the following modes of customer engagement:
- Web-based voice calling or conferencing
- Web-based chat
- Web-based video calling or conferencing
- Message and file sharing
- Screen sharing
On the IT side of the contact center, WebRTC is attractive because of the simplified operations, productivity gains, and cost savings it delivers. With WebRTC, there is no need to install and maintain downloadable application or plug-ins on agents’ PC or web browsers or provide them with (and maintain) hardware SIP phones. Furthermore, with WebRTC, connectivity is made seamless for work at home agents, regardless of the home router being used and its configuration.
WebRTC is prevalent in the burgeoning cloud contact center as a service (CCaaS) market to US$ 24.11B by 2023 according to MarketWatch. More often than not, CCaaS solutions rely on WebRTC as the underlying communications platform because of its simplicity, high voice and video quality and the absence of application downloads or client upgrades. It also makes NAT/firewall traversal a breeze.
Learn more about AudioCodes WebRTC solution for contact centers,
Stay tuned for our future blogs on WebRTC where we will explain some of the important benefits of the technology and how AudioCodes delivers WebRTC in its products and solution.
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