WebRTC + CRM = Better Customer Support

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Meredith Schmidt-Fellner, director of marketing at i-Comm Connect, says that Auto Europe, an international car rental company, has saved 29 cents a minute using its WebRTC-­enabled telephony solution.


While plugging in and get started with WebRTC is fairly simple (all it really calls for is dropping a line of HTML5 code into a web browser, says Fluss), organizations should consider a few things before implementing it.

One is to ensure the firm has the staff and resources on hand to back up the systems. Just as a company’s phone service has defined hours of operation, its WebRTC service hours must also be clearly communicated to customers.

Minkara mentions that organizations should also not overlook seemingly simple rules, such as making sure that employees are groomed and presentable for a video call. It’s up to the company to determine whether it is comfortable exposing customers to the inner workings of its warehouses or would rather have the service rep sitting in a branded environment with a backdrop. Of course, a lot of this depends on the company’s brand identity and image. A motorcycle company with an edgy reputation might be OK letting customers behind the scenes; straitlaced luxury brand buyers might have different expectations for calls.

No less important is that companies meet security requirements when handling sensitive customer information through these means, Minkara notes. This shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for companies since they already have to do this with any customer-facing technology they implement.

Perhaps most important, companies need to ensure that agents have quick and easy access to information about their customers. Minkara says that for this reason, tools that integrate with CRM systems and unified agent desktops are a must.

“One of the last things you want to experience as a contact center agent or a wealth manager is not knowing the portfolio of your client,” Minkara says. If the wealth management client is asking questions about recent changes to his portfolio and the agent can’t view them, “that’s probably one of the worst things that could happen in this case. The ability to have a unified view of customer data and interaction history is critical.”


Fluss notes that basic WebRTC can’t store data and therefore can’t go the extra mile to perform more advanced functions that could benefit serious organizations; if a company wishes to archive chat or audio dialogues to analyze them for trends or sentiment, for example, it will need to invest in extensions.

Oracle’s Fioretti suggests adding WebRTC voice and video functions to existing platforms. “By integrating all channel offerings, including WebRTC, with a CRM system, customers gain flexibility to add new channels in the future,” he points out.

Such an integration also provides customers with the following benefits, says Fioretti:

• the ability to seamlessly escalate from one real-time channel, such as chat, to video chat or co-browsing;

• the opportunity to retain context during cross-channel journeys;

• personalization across all channels;

• the ability to maintain common analytics, such as which channels are being used most frequently and which ones are most effective in driving a resolution; and

• the option to design service experiences for different customer segments.

“This final benefit is especially important for video,” Fioretti says. “Video agents are often specialized resources, and it’s important to move the right customers into this channel. Often, companies employ video agents to address VIP customer segments, and others may offer voice or video as a special service channel to subscribers with visual or hearing impairments.”


A number of software vendors are working on building out WebRTC functionality or compatibility. According to experts, some of the major players in this market include Avaya, Oracle, Mitel Networks, Aspect Software, Cisco Systems, CafeX, Microsoft, Genband, Google, Huawei, IBM, Polycom, and AT&T.

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