In talking with a range of website and mobile application owners, I often hear that real time is not part of their offer. This is often true even if they have a chat agent on their site. Part of the reason is that, today, much of human interaction is still in a call center, running on 100-year-old telephony solutions. In fact, even more websites see real time as something they do not need.
The reality is that the real-time web can have a major impact on virtually any site. The key is to think about how real time can impact the users and how they relate to the site.
E-commerce is a clear area where real time applies. I have seen, as recently as May of this year, an analyst from a noted firm saying that WebRTC was really only of value in the contact center. The clear value of a direct link from the website to the human interaction is immediately clear to anyone who works in customer care today. With 70 to 90 percent of contact center interactions preceded by a visit to the organization’s website, it is clear that carrying contextual information from the website to the human interaction is a critical component in delivering rapid first call resolution and customer loyalty. However, feeding back to the website why customers could not solve their problems there may be even more important. And, decisions like media types, asymmetrical versus symmetrical communications, can have a huge impact on the success of a real-time integration.
However, real time goes well beyond simple customer care or sales. With the explosion of requirements for follow-up care in the new health care initiatives, using the real-time web is a great way to minimize cost while dramatically improving outcomes. With a real-time web-based service patients get follow up in detail without driving to the office or occupying valuable office space. This has contributed to significant reduction in recidivism where it has been deployed. Further, large health care organizations see a time when the majority of their patient interactions may be on the real-time web.
For normal apps, communications may not be about customer care, but rather about enabling real time as a way to extend and enhance the app’s value. For example, a popular crowdsourcing app like GasBuddy could use real time to enable a user to talk to a GasBuddy member at a popular low cost gas station to check the line length. Similarly, an application like Waze could enable commuters on the same path to interact. Or a ride sharing app like Uber could enable video calling to allow users to choose their drivers. In fact, the uses of real time are virtually limitless.
It is clear that the new real-time web technology can be used to create differentiation. Amazon Mayday, for example, combines real time using WebRTC with an asymmetrical user experience (video from the agent to the customer, screenshot from the customer device to the agent) to create a differentiated support position that drives device adoption by populations that may be scared off by the more complex support models of other offerings.
The key to integrating real time into your website or application is to understand how it will impact your overall business values and metrics. Will real time make your app more desirable and therefore the app that users open to solve the problems you address? Will real time make your app stickier? Will it encourage users to have the app available for a much greater time frame? If you offer notifications, does that mean your app will be open more, enabling you to gather information and metrics that can be monetized?
The key to success is understanding what is possible, how much it costs, and how to implement a successful solution. The Real Time Web Solutions Conference is designed to help define the value and implementation of real-time web capabilities. The conference will focus on which real-time services (audio, video, data) make sense as well as how to deliver those values to your customers, community, or other participants. The first step in the journey is to understand how the real-time web can change your app/site and how it will enhance your acceptance, use, and monetization models. The Real Time Web Solutions Conference is the best place to do that.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi