What is WebRTC?
WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications) is the technology enabling real-time communication on the web. Allowing for the transfer of video, audio and other data directly between browsers, WebRTC eliminates the need of any additional plugins or applications.
WebRTC utilizes three main Javascrpit APIs (Application Program Interface), which enables machine-to-machine communication:
- MediaStream- acquires audio and video
- PeerConnection- communicates audio and video
- DataChannel- communicates arbitrary data
WebRTC in an open-source protocol, meaning that developers are able to use it and modify it however they see fit. Simply put, WebRTC gives browsers greater capabilities, by making real-time communication a feature, rather than a separate product that businesses need to purchase.
What does WebRTC mean for contact centres?
The WebRTC technology enables for interactions to take place directly within the browser, providing agents with more information about the customer and their online journey. What this means is that customer service agents, having this comprehensive overview of the website visitor, are able to provide personalized assistance and improve their first contact resolution rates.
Essentially, WebRTC allows for a call to be tracked to its origins, and for agents to get familiar with the customer’s prior interactions with your business. Customers today expect for agents to be familiar with their previous interactions and issues- with real-time online communications, contact centers are better equipped to record and analyze interactions, storing the data to improve the quality of customer service.
What is the browser support for WebRTC?
WebRTC came to being as a result of the amalgamation of a number of technologies acquired by Google. It was released by Google in 2011 for open source use and development.
Since becoming open source, it has been supported by the W3C, which is the international standards organisation for the internet. W3C also work In conjunction with the Internet Engineering Task Force, together they will ensure the protocols are standardised across the Internet in the future.
Although WebRTC started off as a Google project, it has now evolved to become so much more. It has gathered support and backing from all the major telecoms and browser vendors (i.e. Chrome, Safari, Opera). In fact Apple was one of the final ones and only announced in 2017 the WebRTC would be supported on iOS and Safari.