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Communications trends

Unified communications for great customer experiences

Our customers have been steadily moving away from communication methods such as traditional circuit switched calls or even emails in favour of voice over IP (VoIP) calls, instant messaging and even social media to connect with family and friends, and are increasingly preferring to do the same for their interactions with brands. Even more so, they want to be able to communicate across multiple channels, and still receive quick and seamless service.

While many businesses have realised this, and tried to respond by offering customers the ability to communicate across channels, this is often done manually within each type of communication platform, leading to a fragmentation of information relating to the customer, their query or complaint, and their previous interactions with the organisation – and ultimately slow and/or poor service.

To address this Balkanisation of communication services, we have seen the emergence of Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS), to provide businesses with a single place from which to initiate communication with ease, be it voice calls, chats, instant messages and even social interactions.

The advantages of CPaaS, as opposed to on-premise systems, include:

  • No on-site installations or purchase of costly PBX hardware
  • No additional server requirements
  • No capital outlay
  • Monthly per user subscription
  • Scale up or down based on requirements
  • Entirely managed in the cloud by professionals

While there may be several such offerings on the market, businesses need to closely consider whether these solutions are cost-effective, and if they address the requirements of particular markets or geographies (For example, does it offer regulatory compliant call recording?), if they contain all the features they need, and if it can integrate with their existing systems.

Built with business needs in mind

Telviva One was initially developed as a soft-phone client for the Telviva Cloud PBX service, before it was expanded to become a comprehensive unified communications tool, with open standards such as API’s and webRTC being used to tie many disparate services together. It has also been built with security in mind: industry standard encryption is used to keep data safe, and it is browser-based, meaning that users don’t have to download or install anything on their devices.

Telviva One is not only very competitive since the subscriptions are rand- rather than dollar-based, but we have adapted the product to the local market in terms of the common integrations that would be required.

Being locally built, it also means that Telviva can work with local customers to customise integrations so that Telviva One can pull data from their existing customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Such integrations mean that customer service consultants have as much information about the customer as possible, regardless of on which medium previous interactions took place.

Furthermore, detailed analytics allows brands to learn more about their customers, as well as how well their products and services are received or perceived by these customers. When combined with a solid strategy foundation, a unified communications platform presents brands with the potential to create a great experience for their customers.

Looking ahead

We are constantly listening to our customers needs and are working on many product ideas – as an example, your video conference call recording automatically gets saved to cloud storage when the meeting is done.

There is a growing role for artificial intelligence and machine learning in communications. In future, we could see intelligent bots or artificial assistants that can understand the context of conversations and suggest relevant actions, automatically draft meeting minutes, and even identify action points and then assign them to the right employees.

Then, there are technologies such as augmented reality, that are gaining popularity in certain niche vertical applications (think of engineers in high-tech industries requiring support, and have access to both the blueprint overlay, and the guidance of a more senior colleague).

We can’t imagine and implement every single feature our customers might want in order to meet their business needs, but Telviva is continuously working on improving and enriching the features, functionality and user experience provided by Telviva One.