5 Reasons Your Business Should Take Advantage of WebRTC

November 1, 2015

Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC) is a hot new feature that has quickly transformed both consumer and business applications all around the world. The draw of this real time capability is the fact that it allows businesses to leverage the cost efficiencies of an online and app-based service while creating a user experience that is more akin to real life by adding audio and video communication easily and cost effectively. Since any device is now capable of RTC-enabled communication, every tablet, phone, computer, television, or any other connected device will be able to utilize this type of communication in business applications. There are plenty of advantages of using WebRTC in your business, both from an employee, process based perspective and with your customers. Let’s break down the top five:


WebRTC offers easy integration and deployment across a variety of platforms


Prior to a service like WebRTC, businesses that needed (or wanted) to interact with customers over audio or video were required to use stand-alone applications like Skype, or full hardware-based Unified Communications (UC) systems that required a major upfront investment. Needless to say, few of these systems easily integrated into an in-house web platform or application, and they represented a high cost to both the business and the user themselves, who would have to download and learn how to use a third-party system simply to access some of the sales and support features that you offer.


As a service, WebRTC will allow you to quickly integrate video and audio from within your app or web site. Its power is in the fact that it isn’t a separate app or service, and therefore can be implemented within your current code. Since it is open source, the code itself can even be modified to better fit within your business needs. Additionally, customers benefit immensely since they are no longer required to learn how to use anything else in order to profit from WebRTC.


If the benefits of WebRTC are clear against apps like Skype, they blow UC services like Cisco or Microsoft Lync out of the water. UC systems often require both software and hardware implementation, and they also often need special knowledge to set up, run, and maintain. This cost can easily run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for even simple operations. Given the complexity and ongoing costs of these systems, many businesses fail to properly implement many of the beneficial aspects. WebRTC on the other hand, is very simple to implement in a variety of business cases.


WebRTC helps you improve the customer experience, thereby improving revenues


WebRTC lets your customers easily connect to a member of your team to get fast support, answers to their questions, and anything else that they could ask for from your business. This, combined with the fact that WebRTC does not require downloads of any kind, means that you will be able to dramatically improve the customer experience while better interacting with customers from all over the world.


WebRTC is not simply video conferencing, however. It’s a platform that you integrate within your current software to enable fast, easy, and clear video and audio calls, which allows you to work directly with customers from the first time they start using your service and throughout the sales and follow-up process. This enables your team to not only serve as customer support, but also to enable more sales, larger orders, and a faster transition from visitor to customer, by integrating up-selling and cross-selling methods into the pre-sales process. You can even add product presentations directly to the video to help directly address customer questions or concerns.


WebRTC enables real-time collaboration through video


WebRTC isn’t just for use with customers; it offers the ability for two people to connect for any reason, including to better manage an internal project or connect with employees in remote offices. This connection can help to drive employee engagement, especially for remote workers that rarely are able to interact with their team in real time.


In a world where employees consider themselves as being less than fully engaged in their work, implementing a WebRTC video conferencing system that is fully integrated and easy to use will help you keep your employees engaged.


Text based solutions like email or chat aren’t a good replacement for face to face communication, and don’t replicate the experience of being in an office. Video, while not a perfect replacement for in-office communication, does help to bridge the gap.


WebRTC is a secure method of communication


It’s important for all communication between a customer and your firm to be encrypted, even if no sensitive data is being transmitted. This type of security risk is a common concern among audio and video communication, and WebRTC provides a reliable answer to that by allowing you to integrate a secure method of communication into your software rather than relying on outside applications to maintain complete data security on an ongoing basis. For example, most VOIP solutions still use a less secure version of the Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) to facilitate calls, while WebRTC uses the secure version of this protocol (SRTP) in its code.


This is not only the right way to facilitate communication between colleagues or customers, but also the way that is expected by your customers when they interact with you. Many UC and VOIP providers do not rely on it simply because it would require large changes to the configuration of their software to implement, while WebRTC has implemented SRTP from the start as a standard to ensure the integrity of the system.


WebRTC is extremely cost competitive with other, similar options


The biggest benefit to companies that are looking to leverage cutting edge features in their software and web interfaces is the fact that WebRTC is an open source option that can be freely used within software. Contrasting this with VOIP or UC communication options that can cost thousands of dollars for even the simplest implementation, not to mention the ongoing high costs associated with licensing that software. 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 technology companies like Agora.IO (try their free app at beckon.cc), PubNub.com and Intercom.IO.


Beyond capital investment concerns, VOIP and UC require ongoing setup and maintenance costs that are far above what can be expected when implementing audio and video communication within your business. In fact, the cost of setting up a simple security gateway can exceed the complete costs of setting up a WebRTC deployment.


WebRTC leverages your current employee base in a more efficient way.


WebRTC has a final benefit to your business, and that’s efficiency in the time spent on a customer by your employees, or on a project by employees that are working remotely. Integrating video allows you to quickly jump hurdles during a pre-sales call or customer support request, and it negates the need for multiple emails to explain a situation. Similarly, discussing a project over voice or video allows employees to better interact and discuss the needs of the project as well as any ongoing integration issues while speeding up the turnaround time of a project.


When you compare the value per dollar spent on a WebRTC system from an employee perspective, you will see that WebRTC far outpaces email and other UC options available to you.


Conclusion


WebRTC is a new and innovative real-time communication option that is both easy and cheap to implement. With up to 93% of communication being non-verbal, it’s essential that you have a video solution which enables employees and customers to interact in a visual way and meet face to face. For remote teams, this helps to connect offices and foster cross-office employee integration. For customers it helps to put a face to your business and it improves both the sales and support process immensely.

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