WebRTC: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth
Most smartphone users check their phones 150 times a day. This behavior, as well as growing high-speed Internet penetration, have changed how consumers create shopping lists and purchase services.
The classic mental model for marketing considers three critical moments: stimulus (i.e. TV commercial), the first moment of truth (when the consumer is in front of the shelf), and the experience using the product or service.
Yet, today’s consumers know so much more before they reach the shelf. They can find incredible details online, make comparisons and purchase online. The process of browsing or digging, as well as the “explore and compare” stage has been defined by Google as the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).
A study about ZMOT in Mexico–commissioned by Google in 2014 for products like appliances, traveling and banking services–revealed that 49% of consumers purchased their most recent airline ticket online and 41% of consumers who purchased offline have also made online purchases.
Some 25% of respondents argue that they did not purchase online because they required a salesperson’s assistance. It has been determined that additional value can be had by enabling real-time communications (voice and video) during that Zero Moment of Truth, generating real customer engagement. Customers can perceive additional value if the call also includes fluid context propagation from their Web session (name, customer ID, product(s) selected), preventing repeating all this information when the call is received by the agent.
This type of enhanced communication enables the utilization of previous customer navigation context to propose better offers tailored to the customer. The agent is transformed from being a customer service representative to a consulting salesperson who could handle customer objections and secure winning the Zero Moment of Truth.
There is an inversely proportional relationship between the effort required to establish the communication and the value perceived by the customer. Therefore, the goal of offering embedded real-time voice and video is that the customer is not required to install plugins, VPN clients or perform a setup to establish the video call, regardless of the endpoint device (PC, smartphone, or tablet).
For the company offering the product or service, it is critical to be able to route this call through the existing contact center infrastructure, reusing the current automatic call distribution systems, reporting platforms, call recording solutions, Workforce Management, and CRM desktop integrations.
Additionally, security is a big concern, since the contact is originated from the public Internet and attended by a customer service representative that is connected to a corporate network behind an enterprise firewall. New techniques and protocols are required to allow this real-time traffic to traverse firewalls according to the corporate security policies.
These types of communications are now possible as a result of the WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications) a specification evolution enabled by HTML5. WebRTC is not only a specification defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) but also an industry initiative sponsored by companies like Avaya and Google.
Avaya solutions enable customers to initiate free calls from their Web navigation session that are as simple as a click-to-call session. Enterprises could recognize additional benefit of reducing the use of 1-800 toll free services because the call uses the public Internet.
The solution–enabled by Avaya Engagement Development Platform and the Avaya WebRTC Snap-in–allows the user to translate this call to SIP to be routed to an Avaya Aura core, reusing existing contact center infrastructure and processes.
To further enhance the engagement, the Avaya Context Store Snap-in–an in-memory database–serves as a real-time repository for customer Web or mobile sessions and their successive interactions with customer service representatives. Avaya Context Store includes a secure REST API that allows other applications to be easily read or enrich the interaction context.
Context could persist in a traditional disk database to feed business intelligence applications and big data initiatives that exploit the data received by Context Store from the mobile or Web session and contact center interaction.
Last but not least, the latest version of the Avaya Session Border Controller includes the STUN/TURN protocols that enable the new NAT transversal techniques needed to support secure WebRTC communication.
WebRTC adoption is changing not only the customer experience but also the agent experience inside the contact center by enabling them to receive calls directly on their browser. That is the case of the Avaya Agent for Chrome solution, a combined effort between Avaya and Google to allow contact centers to rapidly deploy new agent positions where the agents will receive a call directly on their Chromebook using a WebRTC-enabled browser. This solution enables contact center operations to easily respond to unexpected traffic, seasonality, or home agents.
WebRTC is evolving quickly, which will enable innovative use cases to surface. At the same time, it is quite important to integrate WebRTC technologies with existing communication infrastructure. As evidenced by adapting to Voice-over-IP and SIP, Avaya has a proven track record with integrating new technologies into its existing infrastructure.
This article is a guest post from Juan Pablo Gomez, Consulting Systems Engineer at Avaya for the Caribbean and Latin America region. Juan Pablo has over 10 years of experience in design and contact center implementation. He has a Master’s Degree in Electronic Engineering and Telecommunications from the Los Andes University.