With the big-league companies such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook integrating WebRTC into their processes, the rest of the business community is left to wonder about the capabilities of this new technology.
What exactly is WebRTC? Is it really worth the hype?
Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is an emerging open-source standard that allows for voice calling, video chat, and data sharing directly between browsers. It enables every device despite its maker, type, or operating system to become a user’s communication platform. WebRTC means no software installation, no new IDs and passwords, and no need to learn the nuts and bolts of a totally new product. WebRTC is about convenience, simplicity, and mobility, but that’s not all. For business owners, WebRTC is a lifesaver. To find out why, check out these five reasons:
WebRTC Is All About Ease
Before the emergence of WebRTC, users had three options to choose from if they wanted to video call: Skype, tools like GoToMeeting, or full-blown Unified Communications (UC) systems. All three are standalone services that require installation, passwords, and time to get to know the specifics of their functionality. To use either Skype or GoToMeeting, a user has to flip back and forth between applications, manage multiple contacts lists, and remember a separate set of ID and password for the call to happen. Utilizing a UC system (Microsoft Lync, Cisco, Avaya) on the other hand, comes with a hefty price tag, making it a communications standard affordable only to large corporate accounts. Implementation of a full-fledged UC system requires the purchase of associated hardware and software and the hiring of an expert who has the knowledge and the skill to deploy the system. As a result, most companies integrate with the application only partially, but certainly all of them experienced large expenditure on the product and employee fatigue with the system’s complexity.
Unlike the above options, the only thing WebRTC needs to function is a working browser. At the time of writing, WebRTC is supported by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera, with Microsoft coming soon, making virtually every device capable of integrating with the new technology. With minimal effort required to install and operate, WebRTC is designed to deliver the ease of communication.
Services come with a price. Skype charges for phone calls, GoToMeeting offers subscriptions, and UC systems come with significant hardware investments. WebRTC is not a service, instead it is technology that enables its users to make calls and share files in the browser, thus making communication absolutely free over the Internet, or very low-cost when using optimization services. If you want WebRTC pre-packaged and easier to use then you may want to pay a little for pre-built libraries and cloud services from a WebRTC infrastructure company. This is most appropriate when you need a guaranteed quality service, for example across global networks and mobile devices as provided as a service by Agora.IO (try their free app at beckon.cc).
There are no hidden charges or additional hardware purchases required, and for larger businesses, WebRTC significantly reduces the cost of operating a contact center by significantly reducing the need for expensive 1-800 numbers. Customers can now reach businesses for free through a mobile app or the website with the click of a button. WebRTC is all about simplicity.
Secure Like No Other
When it comes to business communications, sensitive information is often involved. Whether it is a large corporate merger in the works or a patent-pending design, avoiding information leaks is critical to any company’s future. It is no wonder that enterprises across the board are invested in keeping their conversations and data files private. Since WebRTC is based on a secure real-time protocol (SRTP), no one other than the callers will be able to interfere. In contrast to WebRTC, most VoIP (Voice over IP) services utilize a real-time protocol that does not incorporate modern-day security features such as encryption and authentication. Experts say that it is the technology’s security that has even traditionally rigid financial and healthcare organizations considering the implementation of WebRTC.
Employee Engagement Boost
Gone are the days of weekly employee meetings. Today, enterprises operate with their workforce spread across the globe. The challenge of bringing everyone on the same page is the daily struggle of a project manager or a business owner. With less than 68% of employees feeling engaged in their work, it is the company’s productivity that is at stake. Many solutions available on the market use texting features in an effort to replicate consumer social media messaging, but his does not meet the full needs of business engagement. So how does a business owner overcome the obstacle of low engagement?
WebRTC provides a solution.
The technology’s real-time video awakens the sense of team work among employees as it visually connects them with one another, going beyond the impersonal nature of e-mail or chat. WebRTC creates a sense of presence and involvement in the business’s workflow among employees translating into higher participation and engagement. Unlike other solutions, WebRTC is here to demolish the walls and bring people together so that they can achieve their goals and feel accomplished.
New Age of Customer Service
Customer satisfaction is at the core of any business transaction. No customers equals no sales. However research shows that as many as 89% of consumers switched to a competitor after a poor customer service experience (RightNow survey) and up to 60% of consumers agree to pay more for a better customer service (Desk survey). Clearly, some companies prefer to focus on closing a sale rather than catering to client satisfaction. Customer service departments remain either hard to reach (long hold times or obscure email addresses) or hard to connect with (limitations of verbal explanations). Trying to explain a simple product issue can take hours and resolve in nothing. In a saturated market of products and their providers, it is a recipe for disaster. To improve their customer relations and resolve issues with ease and efficiency, businesses should consider WebRTC. WebRTC enables consumers to connect with a company with the click of a button, explain the problem or ask a question, and provide visual materials to support their claim. WebRTC’s click-to-call capability not only elevates customer concern resolution, but also increases conversion as visual demonstrations and support is available in an instant.
The simple, secure, and cost-effective nature of WebRTC is here to transform the world of business communications. Its protocol will keep conversations confidential; the low cost of implementation will optimize balance sheets; the ease of operations will improve customer satisfaction; and its collaboration capability will make employees feel more involved. With analysts forecasting 4.6 billion WebRTC enabled devices by 2016, many businesses will step into the new age of secure and simple web communications. The question is: when will you?