Predictions for CPaaS in 2022

Our in-house experts predict the trends that will impact the CPaaS market in 2022

Sravani Gade

The world has witnessed a rapid digital revolution over the last two years, and this has transformed a lot of our day-to-day lives. The way businesses and consumers interact has significantly changed, with digital channels and online services gaining prominence.  Customer preferences, communication channels, technologies, and business models have all evolved significantly.

The past year saw some CPaaS trends continuing while some new ones emerged to claim their place in making customer experiences richer, interactive, and more personalized. In this blog, our experts share their predictions on customer experience (CX) and CPaaS trends they find promising in 2022.

Faster networks, smarter devices, and composable software – the winning trio

Jay Patel, VP & GM Webex CPaaS, shares, “We entered the communications sector when 3G was just emerging and the era of candy bar phones. Today, we’re seeing 5G technology becoming a reality and a metaverse on the horizon.  The fundamental drivers of change during this time have been faster networks (and more reach), smarter devices, and new generations of software development.

Over the coming year, these drivers are only accelerating, and I believe we are in a period of disruptive change. In particular, the impact of video as a channel of communication is only just beginning. The pandemic led to significant investment in the backbone infrastructure for video, global distribution of video client software on desktops and mobile devices, and broad cultural acceptance by all of us to get “on a video call”. This foundation will now be built upon as 5G makes it easier to have a video call anywhere and the API economy allows us to stitch together a new generation of services.

In 2021, we heard a lot about climate change with COP26 and this will not abate in 2022. Technology will play a key part in supporting sustainability initiatives. Video and AI-driven automation will play a larger role in not only enabling seamless communications but also contributing to cutting down material waste and helping the environment. In addition, e-invoices, appointment confirmations, notices, and alerts that can be delivered using SMS or a digital channel like WhatsApp will also be seen as the choice for the environment-conscious enterprise.”

Technology that brings CX differentiation and provides a competitive edge for businesses will be key

Sudarshan Dharmapuri, Chief Product Officer, Webex CPaaS, predicts, “The definition of CX has evolved significantly in the past few years. CPaaS has evolved greatly from being a technology that enables the sending or receiving of messages or calls to a platform that can orchestrate and automate smarter customer interactions. Today, brands need a technology layer that allows them to easily manage these customer interactions across all touchpoints and seamlessly integrate with existing backend business systems to provide end-to-end customer journeys and the instant fulfilment that consumers expect today.

Leveraging CPaaS tools like low-code/no-code development to build composable business applications will be key for businesses to achieve their CX goals. Adoption of new digital channels and adding automation to business processes will prove to be key differentiators for enterprises looking to deliver frictionless experiences at scale. I remain a strong advocate that businesses must prioritize end-to-end customer journey orchestration and automation as these areas continue to be the cornerstone for superior CX."

Branded communications and a centralized CPaaS platform - prerequisites  for effective customer interactions

Bruce Bales, Director, CPaaS Messaging Business says, “Consumers want to interact with businesses more and more. From inquiring about services, browsing options to purchase, and making payments, consumers want brands to be constantly engaged with them over the channels of their choice.

Brands need to simplify this process and make it easy for consumers to find them and initiate conversations. Adding their branding to all forms of communications - be it voice calls, text messages, exchanging media over digital channels, will be important. Verified communications that authenticate and certify the businesses to be safe and trustworthy will soon become a norm. Consumers will be able to identify the brand they’re doing business with by their logo and a verification badge assuring reliability, safety, and security.

Contact volumes for businesses have also exponentially risen. While most businesses have embraced API and low-code solutions to deliver customer interactions at scale, they will feel the need for a central platform that can abstract the complexities of managing these interactions across multiple systems and channels. To reach their CX goals, businesses must invest in a CPaaS platform that effectively manages these interactions at scale.

Automation that personalizes communications at scale

Brian Heikes, Director, Product Management, shares, “Businesses are increasingly leveraging their first-party customer data which helps them know their customers far more closely. They understand consumer behavior, contact history, preferences, and the interactions they have consented to that enable businesses to customize communications leading to an extremely personalized experience.

 The future of customer interactions will be done at this level of personalization, at scale, leveraging automation. CPaaS platforms that can leverage this data and automate customer interactions, such as sending personalized reminders to top-up their broadband plan every month or refill their prescriptions, are becoming common practice. Automation will not only be an instrument to personalize interactions but also provide opportunities to grow the relationship by suggesting relevant additional services to the customer based on their preferences, in turn enhancing customer loyalty.

The role of AI combined with rich messaging channels will enhance the customer experience to be a richer and more engaging experience for both businesses and customers. This shift has already started and will continue to accelerate as businesses see the results.”

WhatsApp, Apple Messages for Business and Google’s Business Messages will become game-changers

Ramy Riad, Head of Future Messaging, predicts, “WhatsApp has seen an exponential rise in many markets and continues to grow. Large organizations like banks, automobile manufacturers, and others are looking to embrace WhatsApp as their go-to communications channel. With continued developments such as its recent announcement to allow marketing communications in the channel, WhatsApp is set to become a game changer and see contact volumes rise even further.

While WhatsApp is more popular across Europe, East Africa, and Asia, the US and UK have also seen volumes increase for Apple Messages for Businesses and Google’s Business Messages. Both the channels have tremendous potential in helping enterprises increase their visibility and become more approachable by appearing on platforms where their customers already are, like Search or Maps.

Emerging channels backed by Google, Apple, and Facebook are gaining broader acceptance and providing new alternatives for business communications. This year, Google’s Business Messages, Apple Messages for Business, and WhatsApp will emerge as the game changers with rich messaging capabilities that allow customers to have interactive and engaging conversations with brands they are interested in.”