Earlier this year, we encouraged contact centers to hang up their phones for good. Why? Something better was introduced into the mix, and I had the opportunity to speak to this phone-free option at Cloud Expo’s WebRTC Summit last week.

Much like the challenges faced last year in trying to talk CMOs, CTOs and contact center managers into bringing social channel support into the contact center, WebRTC is so new-to-market that it was proving just as difficult to justify. Since our call to action on hanging up call center phones, and because of the success of our first WebRTC pilot customer deployment with a 500-seat call center, we have since deployed 20 more call centers using WebRTC. Here are four reasons why WebRTC is a must-have feature to provide exceptional customer service in the call center.

  1. Delivers on the Promise of Cost: Call centers no longer need to be limited by the confines of hardware or real estate. With WebRTC technology, inbound and outbound calls are routed directly into a web browser, dramatically reducing total cost of ownership by as much as 50 percent. This is because telephone systems and desktop phones are replaced with technology-enabled services, such as WebRTC, helping your call center to become more agile and more flexible while reducing costs.
  2. Easier to Work with than Other Technologies: When we first started on this journey, we were looking for a way to provide a no-install voice option that would transform a browser into a full-featured agent desktop with a phone without any hardware. Plugins and softphones were ruled out because they didn’t allow for an easy upgrade path. With WebRTC, you can push new features out to production and make them available to all agents as soon as they reload the web application. That said, not all browsers, especially older browsers, support WebRTC. You must continue to use flash plugins as a fall back for those browsers.
  3. Opens the Door to Other Innovative Features: Once call controls are part of the application there are opportunities for some creative feature development. Some interesting things happen when you get that tight integration with call control built into the application. For instance, you can tie call controls into other agent actions, so as they take action on the call you can automatically report it; whereas, in the past, you would have had to rely on a report. When we look ahead to future use cases, WebRTC opens us up to “call me now” buttons, the ability to enable agents to use WebRTC on mobile device browsers and video support.
  4. Creates a Better User Experience: Through LiveOps Research, we found that happy agents = happy customers. In fact, 92 percent of consumers report that a customer service agent’s perceived “happiness” has an impact on their customer experience with the brand. It goes without saying that we keep the customer service agent experience as top-of-mind as the actual customer experience. WebRTC helps us with that goal. Not only do agents no longer need a separate phone line to handle calls, they can now have access to an integrated agent desktop experience in which everything is located in one web application, including call controls. They have all of the necessary functionality for free when they start up their browsers, no updates required.

Innovations in WebRTC don’t stop here, either. We’re always looking for ways to improve upon the features and functionality that we’ve built based on customer feedback and the successes and challenges faced. Have you tried WebRTC in your call center?