You are browsing a website and a chat box pops up. Just one of the many ways that businesses are trying to reach you. Welcome to the exciting world of CPaaS or Communications Platform as a Service.
In an increasingly digitized world, organisations are constantly trying to reach their customers faster, effectively and innovatively. Enter CPaaS. According to IDC, this growing industry will be worth at least $10.9 billion in 2022 and around $17.7 billion by 2024.
What is CPaaS?
It seamlessly integrates these capabilities into your existing business software using Application Program Interfaces (APIs) thereby enhancing your communication abilities. It also obviates the need for a back-end infrastructure since everything is cloud-based. Importantly, it’s about ensuring that the machines and people understand and talk to each other.
Since CPaaS is a fully supported framework, you don’t have to be an IT expert to use it. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses to engage with and grow their customer base. It also provides a single, integrated and central platform to manage the wide range of communication channels to connect with their audience.
What makes CPaaS extremely valuable is that you don’t need to develop an in-house platform or ask a third party to do that. The easy and affordable option is a CPaaS solution.
The building blocks of CPaaS
CPaaS platforms consist of voice, SMS, RCS (Rich Communication Services), fax, online meeting, team messaging, push notifications and analytics APIs Other blocks include, outbound voice calls, inbound call routing, webRTC-based calling, on-demand SIP trunking, multimedia and video messaging, social media messaging like WhatsApp, number masking etc.
How has CPaaS transformed conversation with the consumer?
CPaaS has been a game-changer, it has transformed how businesses and customers communicate with each other. The pandemic has accelerated the pace.
Businesses need to be able to reach their customers in real time both for sales and customer service. CPaaS provides the most cost-efficient communications tools to do this through a wide variety of choices. The flexibility, versatility and ease of use makes it an extremely attractive value proposition. It has given businesses the opportunity to align their communication technology according to their product design and needs. This enables businesses to provide the best possible customer experience.
With the right integrations, customer interactions can be enriched leading to more meaningful conversations.
Benefits of CPaaS
Better customer service: CPaaS ensures that businesses are contactable in real time, and through a channel the customer prefers. It also enables personalising communications, making the customers feel valued. Better customer experience drives loyalty and higher sales.
Flexibility: A major advantage of a CPaaS platform is the flexibility to pick and choose from a range of APIs without having to set up a backend communication infrastructure.
Easy customization: A customized model can be built by combining features that meet your needs; a unique solution tailored to your requirements.
Scalability: CPaaS makes it possible to scale up or down, and remove or add features by simply adjusting the API combination in your system.
Integration: CPaaS can be easily integrated with the existing app. Tools like chatbots, CRM systems, and supplier systems can also be fully integrated with each other.
Cost-effective: Since everything is cloud-based, you save on manpower, new hardware and expensive infrastructure. With CPaaS providers offering buy-as-you-go basis options, you pay only for what you need.
Accessibility to modern technology: Unlike in the past, CPaaS has made it easier and affordable to access cutting-edge modern technology.
Trends for 2022
They year 2022 looks exciting for CPaaS. Which are the developments that will gain further traction? Here’s a window into the five exciting trends for 2022.
Trend #1: Secure SMS API’s
Given its amazing success, SMS will see further consolidation. However, organizations will strive for more secure SMS API’s, be it more robust SMS routes, one time passwords, two factor authentication etc. Equally important would be the ability to prevent fraud and hide phone numbers to protect identity as well as safety from hackers and spammer. In addition, the other factors that will weigh in are affordability, ease of use and geographical coverage.
Trend #2: Chatbots
Chatbots are here to stay. They are becoming mainstreamed and will increasingly be used by businesses to engage with the consumer to drive meaningful interactions. A CNBC report has estimated that 75-90% of queries will be handled by bots by 2024.
Given that AI and machine learning has emerged as a major enabler, the use of chatbots will be more pronounced e.g. in e-commerce. According to Juniper Research, the value of chatbot eCommerce transactions alone will be around by 2023 is $112 billion in 2023.
Further, what is likely to emerge is more human-like interactions.
Trend #3: New channels
Businesses are always on the lookout for newer and more efficient ways to reach their consumers. Equally, they need to be where the consumers are.
With Instagram’s meteoric rise, it has emerged as a popular social media platform and the place to be. Companies are now using Instagram through customized APIs for productive and engaging communication with their customers. They year 2022 will see greater momentum in this direction.
In the recent past, rich-messaging channels have been in the spotlight for their effectiveness to deliver satisfying and enriching consumer interactions. Apart from WhatsApp, these include Apple Messages for Business and Google’s Business Messaging. They provide businesses with more platforms to reach their clients. Further, as these are secure platforms, businesses will use these channels more and more in the times to come.
Trend #4: Customer Data Platform
A vital lifeline of businesses is rich, dependable and centralized data that can be used for aggregating data, building unified consumer profile and mining insights to deliver effective marketing campaigns and optimise the customer experience. That’s where a robust Customer Data Platform comes in; businesses will rely more on such platforms in 2022.
In 2020, Twilio acquired Customer Data Platform ‘Segment’ to better leverage user data and ‘create more personalized, timely, and impactful engagement experience across customer service, marketing, analytics, product, and sales’.
Trend #5: Cross-channel marketing automation
Consumers have been demanding engagements that can combine email and phone (voice, text and video) within one communication experience. While it is being done to some extent, it is often piecemeal with several different platforms needed to deliver the full service.
Therefore, the need for cross-channel marketing automation that makes it possible for businesses to use a single API for enabling any digital channel, including SMS, chat and email to reach its customers, and that too in one place.
Businesses will gravitate to omnichannel communication powered by CPaaS to enhance their customer engagement and bottom-lines.
All indications point to a further acceleration of CPaaS in 2022. Driven by this unique platform, digital communication will only get faster and smarter.
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