How CPaaS improves CX operations and efficiency – TechTarget

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Today, leading contact centers support a bevy of customer-service channels, including business messaging, text messaging, self-service, social media, video calling, visual engagement, voice calling and webchat. For many companies, this long and varied list of channels is required to meet customer expectations for ease of engagement.

Companies that want to establish a rich omnichannel experience for their customers can implement communications platform as a service (CPaaS). No matter the starting point — whether it’s an on-premises or cloud contact center platform — CPaaS enables companies to layer in additional channels with relative ease.

And that’s just the start. With CPaaS, companies can also incorporate advanced analytics, build new workflow automations and customize their customer experience (CX) deliverables for optimized service.

For success, expand CPaaS use with new APIs

In Metrigy’s global buyer-side market forecast research, “Customer Experience MetriCast 2024,” 85% of the nearly 1,600 companies studied were already using, planning to use or evaluating the use of CPaaS for their CX operations. Historically, when using CPaaS, SMS has been the starting point on the channel side — and that continues to be the case — followed by social messaging and webchat. In terms of additional capabilities, analytics is the top CPaaS capability, according to the Metrigy research.

One of the advantages — and a best practice — of a CPaaS approach is starting small and expanding use. More than three-quarters of 400 companies in Metrigy’s “Advanced API & CPaaS Development 2023” global research anticipated continuous growth of CPaaS use. Of those companies, most are either increasing use of the same APIs for new use cases or the same APIs for the same use cases.

Nearly 50% attribute growth in CPaaS usage to the increased use of the same APIs for new use cases. Consider SMS use as an example. Companies might initially use CPaaS to add text messaging as a contact option for customer service. Next, they might use SMS for proactive messaging — first to notify customers of package delivery status and then to remind them of a warranty expiration, alert them to a product recall or send a loyalty coupon, for example.

Forty percent pin CPaaS growth primarily on increased use of the same APIs for the same use cases. Sticking with the SMS example, the growth might occur when a company extends its SMS channel option to additional regions. Or a company might use SMS for proactive outreach for one or more additional product lines. For example, a home appliance manufacturer could start using SMS for proactive outreach on its refrigerator line. Then, because that’s successful, the company could do the same for washers.

A small percentage, 11.3%, are growing their use of CPaaS with the addition of new APIs. This group sees success the most. Nearly 14% of this study’s success group, as determined by year-over-year changes across four business metrics, has expanded CPaaS with the addition of new APIs, versus 0% of the nonsuccess group. For example, perhaps a company begins outreach via voice calling and then adds text messaging, or vice versa. Other top CX use cases for APIs include providing virtual assistance in a self-service channel, webchat and video calling.

Exploring how CPaaS can improve CX

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Easy development and advanced AI features

The path to API enablement for CX use cases has become significantly less developer-centric over the last several years with the introduction of low-code/no-code options. Companies that once considered and ruled out CPaaS due to the challenges of working with a full-code platform need to reexamine its potential for CX optimization. Using CPaaS no longer requires developer expertise.

Rather, CX and other nontechie staff can use low-code/no-code development platforms featuring drag-and-drop and visual workflow builders for weaving API-based capabilities into a customer journey. One example is the addition of post-interaction survey requests within the engagement channel — a practice that increases the likelihood of receiving customer feedback.

Besides expanding their portfolios with low-code/no-code options, leading CPaaS providers have also integrated APIs with more advanced functionality, such as AI. Companies looking to empower their CX operations with AI should evaluate CPaaS options. In this case, a single API can introduce significant advantages. For example, an enhanced video API might include AI capabilities for live captions, translations and transcriptions, providing streamlined delivery of those advanced features.

CPaaS is a rapidly evolving category, no longer just about text messaging and click to call. API enablement via CPaaS must be a top consideration for CX and IT leaders as they look to enrich the customer journeys they support.

Beth Schultz is vice president of research and principal analyst at Metrigy. She focuses her research on unified communications, collaboration and digital customer experience.

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