“Once upon a time: 20 years of Internet”
Do you remember mIRC? ICQ? Your first chats online, when the “emoji” tsunami was close to a dream? Remember your first Skype conversation? Wasn’t all of this just amazing? I remember perfectly trying out an audio-chat on ICQ back in 1998, on dial-up internet! I don’t need to tell you how well it worked. I also remember clearly my first skype experience in 2004: my best friend had moved to Argentina and we touched based for the first time after her departure on skype-audio. It was unbelievable, the quality was somewhat cristal clear compared to what one was used to on a PSTN-standard phone call, back then, in Santo Domingo. We spent hours talking, catching up. I learned about her back then recent “amoureux” which today is the father of her baby so that story ends up indeed with a happy ending.
The story of Companies delivering compelling Video Customer Experience is another one yet to be written in the History eBooks of our newBorn Digital World.
Video is a key asset for business. A low hanging fruit for any enterprise’s Digital Transformation journey. Why? Because internet users have being playing with “Video over IP” for 10 years already.
Today, one is able to engage an audioVisual-conversation with another Peer, straight from the browser. We tend to take this for granted as we are used to this type of experience for a while now. What is mind-blowing to me, and i think it should also be exciting for companies, is the fact that this offers an array of options to companies that i would like to introduce in this blog today:
- WebRTC & Beyond: the future is for us to shape
- A Quick Market Scanning: Technology Providers out there
- Relevant Use Cases in “traditional” or non Digital (native) businesses
WebRTC, Real Time Communication on The Browser & Beyond
What’s WebRTC? When did it start? Where is it at? Where is it going?
WebRTC is an internet protocol that saw the light in 2011. An open-source Google project allowing its browser, Firefox and Opera to deliver Real Time AudioVisual communication “off the bat”. From what i’ve been able to experience, it allows 1 to 1 communication on both desktop and mobile (iPhone & Android) devices. Of course, it is not perfect yet but i would like to imaging its full potential, coming up soon, from a Business angle. That is, Delivering literally a seamless digital experience online: from self service to potentially a live chat, finishing up with a video chat to create intimacy and potentially transform a hot lead into a sale on the spot.
Beyond WebRTC: where is it “clunky” and how to cope that?
Try to put yourself in the shoes of, either a (1) demanding & (2) tech savvy digital customer. I believe that both parties respectfully would like to receive and deliver the following type of digital journeys: (1) intuitive self service tools along the visitor’s journey on the site, (2) relevant escalations proactively suggested based upon the pages and/or topics researched on the site, (3) if escalations do happen: absolute understanding on the company’s side of the prior journey and queries the visitor has been following through, (4) if video is launched based on a critical behaviour pattern met: the possibility to offer screen-sharing, annotations on the device’s screen to help on the guidance as well as the possibility to include a third party expert on the video-call are essential. This is not possible today only leveraging the WebRTC protocol.
That’s ok though, pure market players have solutions for this, build on top of the protocol, while WebRTC gets better and better by the day. Let’s take a look at a handful of these in the form of a “comparison” matrix.
Quick Market Scanning: Technology Providers out there
The previous slideShare is the result of combining both personal research along with a collaborative professional consulting experience as well.
A Relevant Use Case and Then Let’s Imagine This Type Of Project’s Potential In Other Industries:
Below, are other headlines regarding cases where it is clear that VCX will make a huge difference:
- The Evident Insurance Case
- Retailers Providing Outstanding Aftersales & Customer Development Capabilities
- The Industrial Sector Optimising its Field Service Operating Expenditures
- The Digital Tax Agency
On a “recaping” fashion, here is the VCX Journey presented above in a 6 steps schematics – FS Sector
In a nutshell:
Video is changing the way companies relate with their fans, clients, & prospects. This is possible because, naturally and thankfully, users have become more tech savvies than ever before! Meanwhile, WebRTC allowing browser-to-broswer communication is here to stay. Today, WebRTC alone cannot answer to specific business related issues, ie: insurrance claims process. This is why, companies like the ones we’ve overviewed higher up in the article are “game changers” in the process.
What’s exiting to me the most is the very near business futur ahead: using Photoshop & AfterEffects type of APIs to further enhance the “post-production” capabilities of these type of “offerings”. For example, in order to deliver: smart selection (contrast, shape, colors, magic lasso), RGB color temperature configuration, effects, etc. All from browser-to-browser! Configuration & API management are key “tomorrow”. Imagine that soon Meerkat & Periscope could be joining forces with 3rd parties WebRTC related startups to further develop the “multi host + audience conference” for instance? Beautiful!