Irrespective of the business type, maintaining communication with customers is key to success. Organizations that fail to provide relevant information through channels preferred by their target customers are most likely to lose ground to competitors. It is because of the importance of customer communication that we have a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) as an indispensable part of business operations.
“The CPaaS industry is expected to reach the $34 billion mark by 2026 – a number that reflects the determination among businesses to communicate more often with customers”
But what makes CPaaS the go-to solution to boost customer engagement and how it can transform your business? Let’s find out more about it in this complete guide.
In simple terms, CPaaS is a cloud-based delivery model using which you can add video, voice, and messaging features to the existing business software via external APIs. It can also be referred to as the collection of tools that makes it easier to integrate communication functionalities into various business software. It comes with the full-fledged backend infrastructure that is offered as a service to clients like you.
For example, a manufacturing unit wants to add voice notification capability to the existing employee-centric business app. With the voice API, the organization can sidestep capital and technical requirements and implement this feature without causing any disruption.
CPaaS, at its core, allows you to cherry-pick real-time communication modes that you can embed into your services. With the ‘as-a-service’ business model becoming dominant in this age of digital transformation, CPaaS basically covers messaging and voice APIs. You also get the flexibility to customize the communication stack instead of buying communication solutions individually.
If you think CPaaS is the same as UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), you must know the following differences between the two:
a) CPaaS can turn your apps and devices into communication tools. It lets you pick specific APIs that you can add to the current communication stack without creating the backend from scratch.
b) UCaaS provides you with a comprehensive platform that has built-in functionalities like phone service, call recordings, video meetings, etc.
CPaaS focuses on improving customer communication channels, which is why it helps businesses implement hi-tech communication capabilities that are otherwise out of their reach.
i) It can help automate and improve customer outreach and service. You can use it for mass distribution of voice calls (outbound), SMS notifications, etc.
ii) You can use it to utilize video calling and the related features (screen sharing, call recording, etc.) to its full potential.
iii) The customizable nature of CPaaS makes it more customer-focused (though you can handle both internal and external communications with it).
iv) You can interact with your customers through the mediums or platforms they prefer using CPaaS.
Given below is a closer look at the industries that are benefiting from CPaaS:
For CPA firms providing accounting services to different clients, being reliable and trustworthy for the clients is quite important. This reliability and trustworthiness can be built by indulging in communications backed by CPaaS. For instance, accountants can highlight their presence beyond office walls to improve an agent’s ability to provide customized service. Similarly, in-app video communications backed by CPaaS can give clients access to real-time meetings through a standard browser.
On one side, it reduces confusion for the clients. On the other, it provides accountants with a built-in tool that does not require technical expertise to use. CPaaS is particularly useful for accountants during the tax season for resources and time.
The finance industry not only involves client assets but business-sensitive data, which is why banking clients expect close communications with their consultants. For one-to-one consultancy, system-embedded video communication can put a face to voice-only communication. Moreover, one can let the customer choose between voice and video through a platform for a stronger customer experience using CPaaS solutions.
CPaaS platforms also come with critical tools required for the finance industry, such as two-factor authentication to safeguard privacy and financial information. If the end user cannot provide the code sent to his device via the CPaaS-backed tool, he cannot access sensitive data. Banking organizations can also send messages to protected groups about transactions or account information without the fear of intermediary message interception.
CPaaS can also be quite useful in the education vertical in several different ways. For example, a school administrator can contact students outside school hours without sharing his personal phone number to notify them about leave or exam circulars. Here, the administrator can use a virtual phone number along with a voice API to deliver the message.
Similarly, higher education institutes can send SMSs to alumni donors to let them know about the usage graph of donations. The institutes can also offer virtual campus tours to those making significant donations. Here, CPaaS can help create stronger relationships with alumni.
The healthcare industry has also been touched by the influence of CPaaS solutions in the form of automated reminders. In particular, healthcare institutions lose billions of dollars every year due to missed appointments, hence requiring a system that can automatically send messages or place calls based on a preset interval reminder. This can be a critical use case of CPaaS through which health institutes can send reminders with least or no effort.
Similarly, CPaaS can support the next-gen virtual patient care facility by allowing doctors in clinics and hospitals to communicate with patients via videoconferencing.
Again, trust and convenience also work incredibly well in the insurance industry. With CPaaS advantages, insurance agents can utilize features like in-app video calling and insurance renewal reminders to stay connected with their clients. Next in line is the claim settlement process. Consider this example to better understand the role that CPaaS play –
An individual suffered damage to his vehicle and made a video of the damage to file an insurance claim. This data when authorized and viewed on the insurer’s proprietary app can save the agent from visiting the site where the accident happened. The customer’s claim file can then be processed further and he receives automated SMSs as the claim passes through different levels of approval. As a result, CPaaS helps enhance transparency, improves customer experience, and reduces administrative bloat.
The retail industry represents potential CPaaS use cases. Here, a direct messaging system using CPaaS for automated message delivery can assess a buyer’s history to generate more revenue through upsells and cross-sells. Customers who haven’t bought anything before can be given a first-time purchase discount code while others making big-ticket purchases can be made to receive a ‘Thank You’ message and an additional warranty benefit.
This way, CPaaS can help retailers deliver unparalleled customer service and increase brand loyalty.
Industry-specific use cases, as detailed above, showcase the flexibility and scalability of CPaaS for enhanced, automated communications. If your business suffers from a weak communication structure, now is the right time to benefit from the presence of CPaaS-backed tools.