Communications Blog • 6 MIN READ

Why WebRTC will change the way you communicate [podcast]

Mike Burke

Written by Mike Burke

In this latest podcast we discuss the impact WebRTC will have on the way we communicate and the capability it provides organizations to deliver an improved customer experience through the contact center.

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Scott: How is WebRTC going to change the way we communicate? Here to discuss that is Mike Burke with IR. Mike, let's first start with defining WebRTC for people who may not be familiar with it yet.

Mike: Well, WebRTC, the RTC part stands for real time communications. WebRTC is a capability that's built into browsers that are on everybody's desktop if you've got Firefox or Chrome or Opera or the new Windows Edge browser installed you've got access to this fantastic capability that can easily let you as a consumer set up a voice, data, and video interaction with a company just at the click of a button from a smartphone application or from your computer desktop.

Scott: So what is its role in the enterprise world?

Mike: The role in the enterprise world is to provide a warmer type of an interaction between a company and the consumer or the customer. The idea is that a video interconnection between a consumer and a brand is a friendlier kind of an interaction. It's also the way it's going to be implemented or could be implemented by a financial services institution or an airline or any large enterprise that has a consumer facing contact center. It should significantly reduce customer effort which is a key measure in the contact center industry. It should significantly reduce the customer effort required to make a connection and speak to somebody, you know, at the financial services institution or the airline or wherever it is because of the ease of implementation and the way it's been integrated into those browsers.

Scott: So give us an example of an optimal implementation.

Mike: Well, an optimal implementation might be, you know, you get your credit card statement or you get the email that says your statement's available online and so you log in at your computer and you're going through your transactions for the last month and you see the one for the, you know, for the Thai restaurant down on the corner and you see the one for your grocery trip to the, you know, the neighborhood co-op and then you come across a transaction that says 150 pounds of squirrel food and you think to yourself, you know, I didn't really do that. I need to talk to somebody about that because that sounds like fraud and you look on your screen and you see a button right there that says talk to an agent and so instead of having to go find the number to call that's on the back of your credit card, and you know, and go through that process of keying in information in the IVR and repeating the whole, you know, your whole story just to get back into the system, you actually can just click on a button and be connected with an agent who has access to the information on your desktop and who can speak to you through the microphone and speaker on your computer and if you've enable it, you can even have a two-way video chat. The default use case is probably to present you with video of the agent and you can decide if you want the agent to see you or not but the beauty of it all is that your situation is communicated to the agent as a part of the interface and so you don't have to go through all of those stages of accessing a contact center by calling somebody up and then going through those three phases of interaction which is, you know, identification, authentication, and then getting irritated by all the different enter this for that and did you say this? Press one and all those other things that have to happen. By simply clicking a button on the browser page, you're connected to an agent and the agent can see the context. You can explain it to the agent and say, I didn't buy $150 worth of squirrel food. I don't know how that may have happened and the agent can then do whatever is appropriate based on whatever level of authority or customer service insight that they want to bring to the situation so it's a very high tech way of simplifying that connection between the customer and the institution.

Scott: So this is a technology that's been around for a couple of years. What hurdles are there in place that sort of prohibit wider implementation or asked another way, what will spur broader implementation in the coming years?

Mike: Well, the functionality is out there for point to point communications between two individuals and the bandwidth required to do that is not too bad. You know, for example, you and I could, you know, initiate a, you know, a voice data video call pretty easily. But if you're a large multinational bank and you want to put the ability to serve say 10,000 simultaneous customers using this in place, there's a lot that has to happen to be able to mediate the connectivity that's required as well as to assure the voice and video streams if your clients choose to use them are really being transmitted smoothly and provide a smooth connection and so the building of that infrastructure within those institutions to in some cases be there in parallel or to replace some of the existing infrastructure for human interaction in the institution, that's one of the barriers and so figuring out how to do this right so that when it's implemented, the interactions are high quality and effective to everybody is really important, not just that it's an efficient interaction but that it's also a high quality interaction and so building that infrastructure and making sure that it works reliably every time is what's really important.

Scott: Join us next time when we discuss the omnichannel experience and ways to do it well. For more podcasts, visit

Topics: Communications Customer experience

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