Verizon Debuts Tap-to-Talk Customer Service Tool

To streamline the process of contacting customer service from within a mobile app, Verizon Enterprise Solutions has launched Visual Interactive Calling, a tool that enables consumers to tap a button in an app and connect directly to a live agent. The technology is for banks, retailers, airlines, travel and hospitality firms, and any other type of business that provides live support.

The connection for the tap to talk will be supported by the Web Real-Time Communication standard (WebRTC) and routed from the app to the call center by Verizon. The agent who picks up the call will be able to see the caller's name, location, and all other associated CRM data that the brand would normally have access to through an integration with companies’ existing customer support ecosystems. Additionally, agents will be able to co-view callers’ mobile device screens, making it easier to see the problem and deliver support. It's worth noting, however, that agents won't yet be able to co-browse, meaning they won’t be able to remotely tackle issues for customers, PCMag reports.

For customers, this could bring an added sense of security to customer service interactions, particularly in industries such as banking. Logging into a mobile bank app requires several layers of authentication, so once customers are already in the app, they’ll feel more comfortable connecting with customer service through a call.

Plus, according to Tom Smith, senior manager of CX Innovation with Verizon Enterprise Solutions, banks have shared that the primary reason they receive calls to their contact centers is to verify potentially fraudulent transactions, but now that verification can happen within the app, it will lower the need for follow-up calls.

For Visual Interactive Calling users, the technology is a way to provide consumers with a self-service opportunity. "We want to help enterprises interface with customers more effectively and efficiently...This gives our customers' users an easy way to transition from mobile self-service to the contact center, and it lets agents share visual content to improve customer assistance," Smith said during a briefing on the new tool.

While this technology comes from Verizon, it’s not limited to Verizon users on the consumer side. In other words, it doesn't matter whether consumers are using a Verizon Wireless mobile device. The technology is available immediately to U.S. based companies, and while the company has not publicly shared pricing details, Verizon's customers tend to be large enterprises.

"Verizon created a unique software-based mobile CX service that easily integrates into consumer mobile apps offered by companies," Rich Costello, senior research analyst with IDC, said in a statement. "Visual Interactive Calling is a seamless and secure way for consumers to efficiently get information from a single location on their smartphones."

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