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Top Tips: 5 ways to boost your business with WebRTC

08-07-15-5-ways-to-boost-your-business-with-webrtcNick Galea is the Founder & CEO of 3CX, developer of the award-winning Windows VoIP PBX 3CX Phone System. Before 3CX, Nick founded 2X Software, Acunetix & GFI Software. He has over 20 years’ experience in building and leading enterprise product development teams, and selling network infrastructure software.

Nick shares his top tips on WebRTC and how businesses can make the best use of this new technology.

WebRTC - What it is and how businesses can use it

WebRTC has become a hot topic in the telecommunications world and one which is set to revolutionise the way businesses communicate. In a nutshell, this new technology gives users the ability to make audio or video calls through the internet browser, without requiring a plugin or the installation of any additional software.

The open-source and free project WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is a technology supported by the World Wide Web Consortium that allows open standard browsers to communicate with each other and exchange audio, video and even data files using a simple JavaScript-based API. The WebRTC standard is gaining significant momentum and is currently fully supported by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.

Since any connected device can be WebRTC-enabled, every computer, tablet, phone and television can effectively become a unified communications device. Early adopters have been using this technology for a while, the popular example being the Amazon ‘Mayday’ button for the Kindle Fire. However, WebRTC is set to become mainstream for all sizes and types of business in the very near future, with analysts predicting that 4.6bn devices will support WebRTC by the end of 2016.

So how can SMEs utilise and benefit from this new technology standard?

Break down the barriers to web conferencing - With WebRTC, businesses can now communicate via the internet browser without dialling a phone number, or requiring a middleman, such as Skype.  For instance, WebRTC-enabled web conferencing removes the need for a plugin or additional software, allowing employees to communicate and collaborate more easily with their colleagues and customers. This also brings to an end issues of interoperability and compatibility, as with just one-click through the internet browser a user can join a web conference and interact with multiple participants. From enriching a standard phone call with video to hosting webinars- these tasks can now take place, hassle-free, through the internet browser. In addition to audio and video calls, you can also offer screen sharing and classroom features for customers and staff alike.

Improve customer service with click-to-call - WebRTC goes beyond web conferencing and moves towards ultra-personalised customer interaction through click-to-call. Imagine clicking on a website button and launching a call in which a staff member can discuss the product or service you were thinking about buying - a real person, in real-time, interactively showing you the features you ask to be shown. Businesses can also elevate a call to offer screen sharing so customers can be shown new products or offered assistance on the spot.

What’s more, by using multiple call button links, you can direct customers to the most appropriate team member for their enquiry. But don’t forget call buttons must be intuitive and well-placed on the website to encourage use and also businesses must ensure resources are in place to handle the call appropriately.

Increase sales - Besides improving customer service, WebRTC also offers businesses the ability to increase sales and conversion rates. With WebRTC-enabled web conferencing, it is now possible to visualise a sales pitch with a product presentation, saving businesses time and money on travelling to customers’ offices. In turn, the time saved can be used to reach out to more potential customers, thereby increasing the productivity of the sales team.

Cut business call costs - As inbound calls via the click-to-call function are effectively free, businesses can significantly reduce (or remove) the cost of operating expensive 0800 number calls, which can really add up for a contact centre. What’s more customers can now call you for free, with one click on your website, increasing the likelihood that they will interact with your business.

How to get started - A fully-integrated open standards solution is a popular choice for many businesses as it means a one-stop shop for all their communications needs - this combines WebRTC-enabled web conferencing, click-to-call and an IP phone system. An open standards solution will give businesses the flexibility to mix and match their hardware, such as webcams and IP phones, to create the perfect communications solution for them.  With just some simple web code, brands can be up and running in a matter of hours.

UC for all...

WebRTC is a useful new technology standard for businesses as it enables colleagues to communicate more easily and for customers to get answers quickly with click-to-call. As a customer service and collaboration tool it’s hard to beat. Businesses that embrace WebRTC will undoubtedly see commercial benefits and gain a competitive advantage - not least better customer engagement, boosted sales, improved communication and reduced call costs. At last, we are getting towards unified communication for all!

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