WebRTC Expert Feature

January 29, 2014

WebRTC and the Call Center

In connection with ITEXPO, tomorrow Phil Edholm and Chris Vitek will be leading the WebRTC Enterprise Pavilion with a focus on Call Centers.  

When I first got started with WebRTC, the buzz surrounding it all had to do with computer telephony integration (CTI). In fact, I think I got in at just about the time the term “pop screen” was born, and although the industry has certainly come a long way since, I am uncertain as to whether the pop screen has ever received the full benefit. For instance, we have call directors that can optimize for time of day, skill set, and a host of other variables, but does the pop screen come with the call? I recognize, of course, that my experience is anecdotal, but it is rare that I do not have to repeat a lot of information to several people manning the phones, let alone initially to the machine.

I believe WebRTC represents a great opportunity for Pop Screen 3.0 (recognizing that several attempts have already been made to deliver 2.0), and here is what I think it should look like.

If it is a voice-only call, let’s focus on the call routing. First, there is the webpage itself, which should have embedded call routing to the correct contact center.  A user should not have to press “1” to hear messages in English, if the site is read in Spanish then direct the call as appropriate. Second, the page should go beyond simply routing the call. For example, if the user is looking at cameras then deliver the call to the people who know about cameras, and so on.

Once the call is in the call center it should be bonded to a data channel, after which ask the question once… “For Security Purposes…”  Once that question is passed, the call will be put in secure/encrypted call flow, one in which if transfers need to occur will invite them into the path rather than resetting and making the caller again answer the “For Security Purposes” question.

So with the call now secured we can take advantage of the multimedia aspect of WebRTC.  

First, let’s assume we can use the data channel to push information to the user (i.e., infomercials, spec sheets, and video calls). As some have pointed out, there are not many call center personnel that you want to see, so this may be a special skill set, or perhaps avatars are a better way to handle the video conversations (and, possibly, parts of the Web could be associated with different avatars).

Ideally, PopScreen 3.0 should come quite close to a customized conversation.  The term personalization is often used to describe concepts such as those I have described, and WebRTC should enable an easy-to-implement strategy.

In the meantime, I look forward to the experience “my mother’s maiden is…. and I was born in…”

Edited by Alisen Downey
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