Today’s consumers expect on demand responses and quick resolutions, making effective real-time communications now part of the customer journey for most businesses. Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) delivers multiple communication services through a single API, allowing for a business to make stronger connections to the customer and deliver a customized experience. Customers behavior, online purchase history and the way customers engage with the brand can be used for segmentation and marketing using various communications, supporting what many businesses are looking to achieve – high touchpoints through high tech.
Expected to grow to nearly $17.2 billion by 2023 according to IDC, learn how these cloud-based services can enable your business to better connect with customers.
What is CPaaS?
Communications Platform as a Service allows real-time communication strategies like voice, text messaging, chatbots and video to be added to existing business applications. These easy to deploy, cloud-based solutions bring an improved, more tailored customer experience without the need for businesses to build backend infrastructure and interfaces. Adding features and functionality like notifications, click-to-call and multifactor authentication is made easy through APIs, comprehensive software development kits (SDKs), and Java or .NET code libraries.
The CPaaS Market
The global CPaaS market is in a high growth stage and analysts are bullish on the market; Frost & Sullivan say many providers are reporting double-digit annual growth. IDG expects the CPaaS market to continue accelerating at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.3% through 2022, and the Synergy Research Group reports CPaaS has the highest growth rate across all UC and collaboration market segments.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the incredible trajectory of CPaaS is being driven by:
- a steady stream of innovative new features and capabilities
- the addition of new providers in the market and involvement of major UCaaS players
- increased interest and adoption of API-driven communications services by businesses of all sizes
Can Your Business Benefit from CPaaS?
CPaaS is ideal for a business focused on the customer experience and invested in transformation. If you have any of following components to your business, you should be looking at CPaaS –
Online purchasing requires retailers to engage with consumers in a variety of ways, to process orders, manage inquiries, handle returns, market/promote goods. CPaaS supports retail sales by not only keeping customers updated on the latest products, sales and promotions via text and email, but tailoring messages based on the customer’s activity and engagement. With the spike in online shopping, also comes an uptick in shipping delays and order issues, and CPaaS facilitates frictionless communications by updating customers on order status notifications, allowing them to reschedule deliveries, cancel orders or connect with agents easily.
Many contact centers have already expanded beyond simply taking phone calls. They are engaging customers across multiple channels, including voice, email, text, social media and sometimes even video. CPaaS allows an agent to do those at one time. Say he/she is engaged with a customer inquiring about a product; CPaaS allows a customer experience build, where the agent can send that customer a message, have a video chat and share a file or image of product to discuss. Now, customers are now being given the option to choose how they want to communicate with the brand. CPaaS’ quick to deploy, easily scalable real-time communications become crucial for the enhanced customer experience.
Services with Appointments or Pickup Times
Late or missed appointments can be costly for many businesses, such as healthcare, financial services, real estate, home delivery services, utility companies and salons. Healthcare systems, for instance, report losing $150 billion annual due to missed appointments. Automatic appointment reminders and updates using the customers preferred communication method can improve efficiency, customer relations and revenue. The same would apply to businesses utilizing pickup or carryout services, like many of today’s restaurants and brick and mortars stores, that can use CPaaS to maintain communications, avoiding customer satisfaction issues and lost sales.
Making sure payments are being received and in a timely manner is crucial to business. CPaaS solutions can streamline the payment collection process with automated calls, texts and inbound payment collections. This frees up time and resources while also ensuring payments are taking place. Customers can be reminded of an upcoming payment or notified of a missed payment using their preferred communication method, with some CPaaS solutions even processing payments.
Industry Specific Uses
Finance: Safeguard financial information and privacy with multifactor authentication; Verify identification of a person via video conferencing; Manage global accounts and off-site business; Use chatbot data for transactional programs and to build on sales.
Healthcare: Allow for in-home care and eliminate unnecessary travel; Automate calls and messages for appointment reminders; Share real-time patient data across providers; Provide appointment prep and after-care.
Human Resources: Conduct interviews and record for others to view candidates; Onboard and train employees via video conferencing; Send companywide notifications and alerts via chat and SMS.
Insurance: Message about new policies and products; Let customer start or check claims and get answers to common questions through calls, text or chatbots; Automate status updates for customers, doctors, pharmacists, auto repair techs, etc. for quicker claim processing.
Restaurants: Directly connect with customers and eliminate third-party service fees; Coordinate delivery and carryout; Offer customers special promotions and loyalty rewards.
Retail: Market and incentivize existing customers via text and email; Gather feedback and use sentiment/tonality to respond; Target nearby potential customers using geofencing.
Finding the Right CPaaS Solution & Provider
Most providers offer a mix of RTC (real-time communications) services - voice calling, text messaging, chatbots and video. Selecting the right provider comes down to business needs, present and future. Here’s what you should ask yourself –
- What communication features do you need now and in the future? Outside voice and text messaging, do you need video messaging, group messaging, picture messaging or additional phone numbers?
- If you’re using SMS today, are you scheduling and tracking engagement?
- What applications do you have? Are you planning to deploy any new applications soon?
- If you have a business app, does it integrate and communicate with multiple departments?
- What level of support do you need need? Can you manage on your own through provider instructions, documentation and internal resources or do you need dedicated support resources?
- Do you need communication solutions to be scalable based on business activity, seasonal spikes, growth plans and cost structure? What flexibility should the provider offer?
Once you have determined your needs, you can start looking into providers. Here are top providers to consider –
Read “The Importance of CPaaS in Uncertain Times” to see how these easy to deploy, cloud-based solutions are helping businesses during these challenging times.
Have questions on CPaaS or want an impartial vendor comparison? Email any information requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.