Today’s consumers demand more from businesses than ever before. One of these demands is fast, real-time communication with the seller to get answers to their queries. If a business takes too long to answer their questions, they’re more likely to turn to that company’s competitors and do business with them instead.
Thus, it’s critical to elevate your business communication systems if you’re a business that wants to keep pace with the latest industry trends and innovations. One way to improve your connection with your customers is through CPaaS.
What is CPaaS?
CPaaS, short for Communications Platform as a Service, is a cloud-hosted model that enables you to improve the functionality of your business’s existing communication channels. Suppose your current messaging app supports only text messages. To level up the efficiency of communication with your customers, you can use CPaaS to add voice capabilities to the app and other convenient features.
This way, you don’t have to build your app from scratch so that you can include all the features you wish to have. Instead, you take an already functional system and add only the missing features by embedding Application Program Interfaces (APIs). This saves you from the usual headache of additional backend infrastructure and expensive hardware. Alternatively, you may instruct a CPaaS vendor to custom-build a system with every useful communication feature you wish to have for your business.
How CPaaS can help you
Some of the benefits you’ll reap by working with CPaaS providers include:
1. Multiple communication options
Different customers have different communication preferences. While one prefers text messages, another may prefer WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. As an entrepreneur, you wouldn’t want to impose your preferences on your customers. Instead, you should strive to use anything they like to your advantage, including how they want to communicate with you.
And this is exactly what CPaaS allows you to do. You get to take your communication prowess a notch higher by using voice and video messages on top of written texts. When customers hear your voice and see your face, you nurture an emotional connection with them, which can help influence their decision to buy. (1)
This may interest you: 7 Tips to Using Chat Apps More Effectively at Work
2. Voice conferencing
For a traditional phone call, you can only talk to one person at a time. This system is quite limited, considering those instances wherein you need to speak with several people at once yet they’re spread across different locations and can’t immediately attend a physical meeting. To understand the importance of conferencing, consider the fact that IT service companies worldwide generated a whopping USD$4.3 billion back in 2015 from their audio conferencing services. You can be sure the market has grown further by now. (2)
With CPaaS, you can place a voice call to, say, all your regional managers across the country and converse with them as if you’re in an in-person meeting. You save a lot of time this way without compromising the need to communicate. Thus, even if your team members are separated by distance, you can always keep everyone updated on significant developments in a given project.
3. Multichannel support
Imagine how stressful it can get for a customer support agent to constantly switch between different apps to address customers’ concerns via their preferred platform. For instance, you’ve provided seven messaging platforms to the public. If you have a significant number of customers and each one uses their chosen app, the staff member in charge of client communication will soon get exhausted as they move from one app to another. In a recent survey, more than 50% of workers claimed to feel overwhelmed and under pressure to use too many apps. The result is loss of focus and increased stress levels. (3)
But with CPaaS, you can use only one platform to access messages from all the different apps. Apart from being an excellent time-saving solution, working with one platform to connect with clients eliminates pressure and allows you to focus on their needs and serve them better.
4. Top-notch security
In 2019 alone, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre received about 1,300 grievances daily. And even more alarming is the fact that businesses in the U.S. lost more than USD$3.5 billion that year due to a lack of data security. It’s believed that many cybercriminals use phone tapping and hacking as a means to get vital information such as email addresses, phone numbers, bank details, and credit card information. (4)
For this reason, you want your business communications to be as secure as possible. You don’t want a fraudulent character eavesdropping on your conversation with a client. Fortunately, CPaaS comes with sophisticated encryption technology. Only the authorized receiver can read any messages you send through the platform.
Stringent security measures increase customers’ level of trust in a business. On the contrary, if their information leaks to hackers, business owners may receive life-changing backlash from the public and possibly suing in the courts of law.
5. AI-inspired replies
Most messaging apps in the market don’t have the automatic reply feature. This is essential for businesses because of the vast customer base they cater to. If customer agents are to reply to every message from the customer manually, they will burn out within a few hours. Luckily, artificial intelligence (AI) enables you to configure your app to send customized replies to consumers without human involvement. (5)
Customers’ queries may be repetitive in nature. With CPaaS, you won’t have to type the same reply for thousands of customers asking the same question. All you need to do is store sample replies in the system so that they’re automatically sent to every customer who makes a related query, just like how chatbots do. This way, your customer care representative can focus more on responding to more personalized and unique questions.
Automatic replies also give customers the impression that you’re always there to answer their questions quickly, and that’s precisely what today’s consumers expect of you as an enterprise.
6. Video-enabled help desks
CPaaS allows you to set up video-enabled help desks. Instead of chatting with a customer through text only, you can let them see your face and hear your voice in real-time, thus boosting your business website conversions. Engagement through video calls can also help foster customer loyalty. (6)
CPaaS can effectively accelerate your journey to becoming a respected communication leader, not only among your business partners and company staff but also among the public. And it all starts with choosing a reliable CPaaS provider. So, shop around for most of the features discussed above and see how you can improve your communications.
About Author: Ray Ponciano is a communications coach. He frequently speaks at business seminars, instructing business leaders how to elevate their communication skills. Outside work hours, he’s either at home with his wife and kids or out in the mountains hiking.