If the question “what is CPaaS?” led you to this article, you’re in good company. Many business professionals have been wondering what this latest example of techno-jargon alphabet soup actually means. CPaaS is a powerful business enabler that can launch multi-channel marketing campaigns, boost customer loyalty, and enhance ROI on your technology spend. Here’s a brief primer on what CPaaS is all about and how it creates value for various areas or departments within a company.
What Is CPaaS?
CPaaS stands for Communications Platform-as-a-Service. As its name suggests, CPaaS is a cloud-based service that’s designed to facilitate communications across a multitude of channels. With CPaaS, businesses can integrate powerful and easily accessible communications capabilities into a variety of business applications, creating customized flows that better manage both inbound and outbound communications.
What’s more, CPaaS allows businesses to unlock all of these powerful business capabilities quickly, effectively, and at an attractive price point. As a result, it’s taking off in a big way. Statista expects the CPaaS market to generate $8.1 billion in 2019, representing a staggering 1,925 percent increase from the $400 million forecast for 2015. Here are just a few ways in which CPaaS can help your business take a great leap forward.
Enhance Customer Service
Nearly every business wants to enhance the customer experience, largely because doing so is key to winning and keeping customer loyalty in a dynamic market. Customers spend time on a variety of communications channels, not just one, so businesses must effectively engage them on their preferred channels, including messaging apps, SMS, and voice. Otherwise, they’re missing out on one of the most powerful methods available for forging meaningful and lasting customer relationships.
Customers also tend to hop from one channel to the next while interacting with a company, in the process losing crucial context about their request or issue. What does that mean, exactly? Remember the last time you dialed several levels deep into a customer service phone line and had to repeat your customer information or tell a new agent your whole story from scratch? These disjointed handoffs feel pretty frustrating, don’t they? This same problem can also arise when a customer switches from a messaging app like Facebook Messenger to a company’s customer service phone extension. These scenarios cause friction in the customer experience.
One of the benefits of CPaaS is that it retains crucial contextual information so that companies can provide consistently exceptional customer service regardless of the channel in which a conversation takes place or where it heads next. With access to insights like a customer’s intent, physical location, and social presence, a company can far better understand a customer’s needs and significantly improve their overall experience.
Optimize Marketing Campaigns
Until recently, marketers were also encountering obstacles when trying to communicate effectively across siloed channels. With CPaaS in their corner, marketing teams can create holistic, multi-channel campaigns that engage the customer across the entire trajectory of their journey—and across all of the channels where they spend their time. Rather than simply designing an email-nurture campaign that only proceeds across that single channel, for instance, marketers can augment that experience with follow-up SMS messages (including a discount code, for example) or voice calls as appropriate.
Crucially, CPaaS allows businesses to centrally track and analyze all campaign communications from within a single platform. This means that marketers now have unprecedented visibility into the total effectiveness of their campaigns, which allows them to determine where to optimize their strategies for greater impact and maximum return on investment. Marketing departments can also leverage CPaaS to automatically conduct customer surveys at specific points in the customer journey, sending them out after a customer first engages with the business or makes a purchase. This way, marketers can have the benefit of instant, timely insights into areas where the customer experience could be improved.
Improve the Employee Experience
Although some of the juiciest benefits of CPaaS concern customer experience, these same benefits can equally enhance the employee experience. HR professionals can leverage CPaaS technology to send out timely company-wide notifications and alerts through the specific channels that employees prefer to use, keeping them updated on important events like a recent business acquisition or an annual open enrollment period.
This capability is especially handy in emergency situations, such as severe weather or a security incident. With rapid communications from the HR team on their channel of choice, employees can stay apprised of what is happening at the office from wherever they may be at the time, reassured that the company is on top things. Meanwhile, HR teams can quickly verify the location of their staff to make sure everyone is safe and sound.
Just as marketers tap CPaaS to conduct timely customer-feedback surveys, HR can use CPaaS to send out employee surveys immediately following a training session, staff retreat, or team workshop—over whichever channel the employee finds most convenient, be it SMS messaging or a messaging app. This way, HR can get speedier responses than it might otherwise, and the business can quickly incorporate the feedback it receives into its employee program.
Drive Business Progress
As we can see, CPaaS is way more than a jumble of letters that only a technology nerd could love. It’s actually a powerful business enabler driving serious advancements in the customer experience, marketing campaigns, and even employee engagement. The logical next question is this: How will you put CPaaS to work for your business?