Picture this. When your customer phones in, she is never placed on hold. There are no queues, and there is no need for her to push a dozen numbers before getting through to the right agent. Instead, she’s directly connected to an agent who knows her name, has her case history already pulled up, complete with notes, and can offer personalized assistance.
If she prefers, she can start a face-to-face video chat with the agent. Meanwhile, the agent is working from home thanks to a closely customized application programming interface (API). In fact, it’s easier than ever for your customer to contact you at any point in the purchasing process. But this stepped-up level of convenience is widespread now.
Your customer has also opted to receive automated outgoing calls (auto-calls) from her bank and healthcare provider to remind her about appointments, and hear balance updates. Her favorite restaurant is using a geo-location API to time the preparation of her meal to perfection before she arrives, or provides alerts for curbside pickup.
These are just a few examples of how Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) technology is changing the digital landscape today.
Besides increased customer satisfaction and retention, there are other benefits for your business:
- Removal of manual processes, reducing operating costs
- Freed up time to pursue new opportunities
- More consistent payment and improved revenue cycle management
- Delivery of one-time passwords, reducing fraud and theft
- Real-time fraud alerts
Against a trend of hyperconnectivity and busy lifestyles, today’s consumers expect to interact with companies around-the-clock. Today, 85% of people prefer to communicate on mobile-friendly channels including text, voice, over-the top (OTT) messaging services from third parties like WhatsApp, and Rich Communication Services (RCS).
PWC discovered last year that the number of companies investing in these services has surged from 20% to over 80%. It looks as if those that fail to update their legacy technology (handling large numbers of interactions without intelligent routing) risk frustrating potentially high-value customers.
What’s attractive about CPaaS solutions is that they are cloud-based, so businesses don’t need to build their own expensive hardware to engage customers via real-time communications (RTC). But there is much more to CPaaS technology. It provides the opportunity for deeper, value-based solutions that are highly scalable.
While cloud and all manner of things ’as a service’ have shown their value over the last couple of years, CPaaS has been the star of the show. It has been vital in helping businesses adapt to working and engaging with customers in a contact-free world.
Customized Business Processes
Continued CPaaS market growth is down to the great flexibility that the technologies bring. Organizations are looking for a low cost way to build powerful custom applications and business processes. Conveniently, many CPaaS providers offer affordable ‘pay as you go’ or per message pricing models, where businesses only pay for the services they need.
Aside from the convenience of AI chatbots and video-enabled help desks, agents can use highly contextual information about each customer to provide a more closely personalized service, or to fast-track higher-value targets.
For example, the assistant can view current items in the customer’s online shopping cart, the webpage they are looking at, or the details of their last ticket with the support department. Businesses can also utilize CPaaS to more accurately track customer engagement across a variety of platforms.
Authentication has been revolutionized by CPaaS. The online banking and healthcare sectors are already using CPaaS to implement password verification procedures in their drive to tackle fraud and identity theft. Needless to say, the right CPaaS solution will tick all the compliance boxes for GDPR, PCI and HIPAA.
As well as offering all these advanced features, CPaaS solutions allow you to rapidly increase capacity and add new countries, channels, and applications whenever the need arises. One recent bi-lingual self-service hotline offered flexible capacity for over 100,000 simultaneous calls per second! Incredibly, it took only eight hours to build, test, and deploy.
Of course, most businesses wouldn’t need this sort of capacity. What’s important is that the latest cloud-based contact center solutions make it possible to keep up on top of things when you experience a surge in customer numbers, while also maintaining the soon-to-be-expected higher benchmark for customer care.
Proven Results and Data-Driven Decision Making
A recent study of customers who implemented CPaaS on top of their on-premises solution reported a 30% improvement in customer experience (CX) ratings, a 53% increase in revenue, and a close to 30% decrease in operational costs.
Visual dashboards provide a detailed picture of your operation with on-demand visibility and historical analysis. You are also equipped to make data-driven decisions, setting up alerts based on anomaly detection or thresholds to meet your KPIs.
On top of this, you can delve much deeper into your data with built-in natural language processing, sentiment analysis, and tonality that takes the more difficult guesswork out of understanding the customer experience.
CPaaS versus UCaaS: What’s the Difference?
What distinguishes CPaaS from UCaaS is that the latter is for businesses that don’t want to build or customize their own apps. With CPaaS, a company can constantly build and innovate on top of the base communications infrastructure.
However, CPaaS is still a cloud communication platform, so there is no need for you to maintain expensive in-house servers. CPaaS technology also allows developers to build apps that overlay and complement your existing business technology and contact center solutions. There is no need to fully replace older systems unless you really want to.
Industry analysts expect a huge rise in the number and types of CPaaS use cases in 2022, as organizations reimagine their approach to business and strive to keep their customers happy as the trends of online shopping and remote working continue to evolve.
The rise of CPaaS can only be good news for the consumer. Thanks to CPaaS, a new standard for technically advanced customer support will become widespread, expected, and a much easier system for businesses to manage and deliver.