Real-time communication and customer service: challenges and opportunities

Smith, Emma

Publish: Wednesday, Sep 21

One of the aspects that most concerns companies today is to offer a customer service that exceeds users’ expectations. Nowadays, consumers do not choose a company solely on the basis of the products it offers. Although this is a very important aspect, it is the relationship it maintains with its customers what encourages them to stay with it and, above all, to build customer loyalty. 

This is where technology plays a key role in helping companies develop systems that helps them to better support their customers. Among these systems are those that enable real-time communication. These tools offer businesses a quick way to solve customer queries, as well as the opportunity to implement new strategies to personalize their services.

However, while real-time communication is a great opportunity for companies to improve their customer service, it also brings with it a number of challenges

Want to know what they are? Here’s everything you need to know to deliver a better customer experience through real-time communication.

Challenges of real-time communication

The need to use more resources

We must bear in mind that customers may have queries at any time of the day. This means that they may come to us even after hours, so if we want to implement a real-time communication system, we must take this into account and allocate the necessary resources.

This allocation of resources implies, for example, having different agents covering different shifts and available to serve customers. As we can imagine, this is a big cost for the company, but fortunately, as we will see below, technologies such as Conversational AI solutions allow us to reduce them.

Agents may be overwhelmed

Implementing channels such as real-time chat or a Click to Video button on your website will certainly increase the number of interactions with your customers. By facilitating communication through a channel where they can receive answers to their questions quickly, they will be encouraged to contact us to solve their doubts. And, of course, as their experience will be more satisfactory, they will be more likely to recommend us to their family and friends.

This increase means that agents may be overwhelmed at any given moment and may not be able to comply with one of the main characteristics of real-time communication: the immediacy of the conversation. However, this is also a challenge that we must overcome by relying, as in the previous case, on the possibilities offered by Artificial Intelligence

Users are cautious when providing data through these means

In order to solve customer queries in real-time, it is mandatory for agents to ask for certain confidential data. This is sometimes a difficult task.

For example, imagine that a customer has a problem with his bank account and decides to contact them via a web chat. To verify their identity, the agent will most likely ask him a series of basic questions, probably including their ID or the last digits of their account.

As this information is so sensitive, customers are reluctant to provide it through these communication channels, because they are beware that it could be used for any purpose other than identity recognition. 


Opportunities to use real-time communication in your customer service or distance selling

In addition to providing quick answers to users, using real-time communication systems in your customer service offers other opportunities:

Flexibility and ubiquity

For real-time communication to be possible, the systems used must have the necessary technology: WebRTC (“Web Real-Time Communication“). This open source protocol is used in the most advanced communication solutions and, as its name suggests, is responsible for transmitting information (audio, video, text messages, images, documents, etc.) in real-time over the Internet.

This technology is characterized by the fact that it can be found within the main browsers (Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla, Opera…), so it does not require the installation of any software or executable complement. Thus, we can communicate in real-time with our clients from anywhere in the world. We simply need a device (computer, mobile or tablet) with an Internet connection to access the platform from our browser.

This implies a high degree of flexibility, as we can manage our conversations in real-time and provide an efficient service at any time and no matter where they or we are.

Real-time collaboration with customers

Real-time communication not only allows us to talk to our customers without waiting or interruption, but also to collaborate with them and help them complete certain processes to prevent them from abandoning them.

In this sense, cobrowsing solutions allow us to talk to customers by voice, chat and video at the same time that we accompany them through our website: from simple actions such as browsing with them to show them all the products we offer to more complex ones such as sharing, editing and signing documents.

All this without you or your client having to leave the browser or switching tabs. 


As mentioned above, one of the challenges of real-time communication is that customers do not always believe that they can provide personal information securely. Therefore, even if it takes longer for a response to arrive, they sometimes prefer to make these arrangements through means they already know and trust.

However, the truth is that these systems have a number of elements that, although they may be unfamiliar to users, make them a secure means of customer service

In addition to the fact that WebRTC is the most secure IP telephony protocol and that conversations are encrypted, the solutions themselves offer additional security features. 

In the case of, for example, those of cobrowsing that we mentioned earlier, they are characterized, on the one hand, by the fact that no session data is stored, as only the browser tab in which the session has been started is shared. On the other hand, when confidential data is entered, the content is hidden from the agent. In this way, customers can be sure that their data is protected from third parties.

If you would like more information and personalized advice on how to make real-time communication the best ally of your customer service, please contact us. Our team will be glad to help!

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