Customer habits and expectations are changing rapidly. This is rapidly becoming the age of the Omnichannel customer. This has driven companies to become customer-centric and create communication strategies designed to connect with customers wherever they are present. To add to that, enterprise workforces are becoming more distributed and widespread. Inevitably, as new channels get added every day, managing communication has become difficult. Enterprises want a solution through which they can communicate with their customers and employees seamlessly on any platform or channel.
This burning need to enable seamless communications within enterprises and between them and their customers is the reason why Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) has become so important.
Gartner defines CPaaS as a cloud-based software-driven middleware on which the enterprises can run, develop, and distribute communications. It provides API integrations so enterprises can seamlessly integrate real-time communications channels such as voice, video, or messaging into any app or business process. CPaaS has become so popular that a report from Future Market Insights states that it would be a $5.28 billion market by 2021 end. According to a survey, 67% of enterprises expect to see better business outcomes of CPaaS within the next five years.
So, what’s unique about CPaaS? How is it benefitting the enterprises? Here’s what enterprises need to know.
What Enterprises Should Know About CPaaS?
Builds communication structure within the enterprise
Enterprises can no longer rely on just voice or digital channels to support customers and employees. Also, considering that everyone expects a connected experience, they have to integrate disparate communication channels to offer a consistent experience across multiple touchpoints. CPaaS can help enterprises build a connected, end-to-end communication structure to support customers and employees across all channels. CPaaS allows developers to add APIs and microservices into the application without worrying about the backend infrastructure. Developers can build any kind of communication capability – SMS, voice, emails, chatbots, etc. with minimal or no code. It also takes care of security and user authentication by ensuring that the person connecting is allowed to do so.
Simplifies customer support
Gone are the days when customers had to wait on hold to resolve their queries. CPaaS has redefined customer support for enterprises. With automated services like chatbots and intelligent IVRs taking care of the basic and routine queries, customer support professionals get time to focus on queries that require nuanced interpretation and intervention. They can focus on creating a better experience for customers. CPaaS is also channel-agnostic. It can deliver consistent support across every channel. Considering that customer support must now be available 24/7, customers don’t have to wait till the customer contact center opens for business. They can get solutions to their concerns immediately on any of their preferred channels. If human intervention is needed, CPaaS ensures seamless communication continuity by enabling informed handovers between various channels. Such flexibility allows the customer support team to resolve queries quickly and maintain an elevated quality of customer service.
Improves customer engagement
Apart from addressing queries, CPaaS can also help improve customer and employee engagement. First, enterprises can integrate it with the CRM, so the customer support team can access the customer’s details. They can see the customer’s details and personalize their responses or, if the opportunity presents itself, cross-sell or upsell new products to them. It also aids the marketing and sales team to create contests, promotional offers, flash sales, etc., and push the communication to the targeted customers through channels of their choice. It can also be used to send reminders for an impending appointment or payment alerts to customers. Some CPaaS solutions also offer reporting capabilities to check if the overall customer engagement campaign was successful. Similar opportunities can be exploited for employee helpdesks and support for greater employee engagement. Experts foresee AI integration with CPaaS in the future to make engagement more agile and powerful.
Offers financial benefits
One primary reason behind enterprises investing in CPaaS is the financial benefits it offers. Firstly, CPaaS does not require any special hardware setup such as physical lines or servers. It is cloud-based and works on a plug-and-play format that can be customized as per business needs. Everything is managed at the software level through APIs without any additional charges. This also allows enterprises to scale the system or add more channels seamlessly, quickly, and easily.
CPaaS is not just beneficial to enterprises alone. It has opened the doors for new opportunities for the telecom industry. The rise of applications such as Skype and Zoom were seen as threats to the business of telecom companies. The profit margins on voice have decreased too. Under such circumstances, it’s vital for telecom companies to leverage their understanding of network infrastructure and communication channels to provide innovative and powerful new solutions to their customers. Considering that enterprises are on the lookout for omnichannel communication capabilities, this is the right time to hit the market with uber-functional CPaaS offerings. Telecom companies can offer real-time communication (RTC) and no-code to low-code CPaaS capabilities for enterprises. They can offer real-time communication capabilities to enterprises through an API-led strategy that lowers entry barriers. This will help telecom companies to gain a competitive advantage and improve their profit margins. When a major infrastructure company like CISCO announces that it’s acquiring a CPaaS company (Tropo), it’s a clear sign that the telecom industry is repositioning itself to offer future-ready communication solutions to enterprises. Is CPaaS a part of your solution strategy?