CPaaS: The Next Generation of Chatbots and Conversational Support

August 25, 2020 (Updated)

Chatbots

cpaas communication platform as a service

Enterprise leaders understand the importance of omnichannel customer service. Their customers expect seamless interactions, regardless of the various channels or devices they choose.

However, businesses still struggle to meet these expectations. Many say they offer omnichannel service, when, in reality, they have more of a multichannel approach. 

That’s where a CPaaS comes in. Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) gives businesses the flexibility to adapt to different use cases, integrate multiple channels, break down silos, and offer richer, more meaningful support.

Let’s take a look at what CPaaS means today, and why the market value for CPaaS is expected to reach $10.9 billion by 2022. 

What is CPaaS?

CPaaS is a Communications Platform as a Service. CPaaS is best defined as a framework used to enrich customer communications. It’s a cloud-based solution that allows developers to add communication features without needing to build backend infrastructure and interfaces.

Today, a more appropriate definition of CPaaS would be a Communication Conversational Platform as a Service. Here’s why: 

  • Converse means to engage in conversation
  • Communicate means to exchange information

It might seem unimportant, but it’s worth discussing the difference. We’re past the point of simply communicating and exchanging information. To be truly omnichannel, brands must hold contextual conversations. 

Conversational platforms allow enterprises to do just that. They offer a unified interface that contains all the tools necessary to communicate meaningfully across channels. By aggregating the messaging channels into a single platform, brands can make sure each touchpoint is consistent and contextual. 

The importance of a conversational interface

An important part of a CPaaS is the conversational interface. Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs) are how brands communicate with their customers at scale. There are a few different types:

  • Text-based Interfaces
    • Like text-only chatbots, and standard SMS messaging 
  • Graphic User Interfaces (GUIs)
    • Like applications, websites, and operating systems
  • Voice User Interfaces
    • Like Siri, Amazon Alexa, or Cortana

Good conversational platforms can combine functionality as needed. For example, the experiences we build at Hubtype use both text and graphics (like buttons, carousels, images, date selectors, and other rich elements). This combination is often referred to as a conversational app

In short, there are many different types of conversational tools and interfaces. That’s why conversational platforms are so important. Brands need a singular place where they can manage different channels, conversations, and preferences.

A Comprehensive Guide to Conversational Apps

The role of automation

At the enterprise level, businesses also need to automate parts of the customer journey. Automation is necessary to provide the immediate, responsive service customers expect. 

A CPaaS or conversational platform helps businesses use automation more meaningfully. It allows businesses to use automation for simple queries and hand off customers to a human agent when necessary. 

So, CPaaS solutions make it easy for businesses to combine chatbots and human agent support. The seamless handoff between chatbot and human, paired with the ability to manage everything in one place, helps keep customer satisfaction high.

With well-built CPaaS solutions, automation adds value to the customer experience instead of bringing it down. Again, it allows for a flexible support model, drawing on customer data to guide the user flow and keep it relevant.

What makes CPaaS attractive to enterprise businesses?

CPaaS eliminates the need for backend infrastructure

CPaaS solutions allow businesses to embed communications into existing workflows and apps without the need for intensive coding. There’s no real backend infrastructure needed to make it happen. Instead, they can open up communication channels and scale them instantly.

With solutions like ours at Hubtype, the amount businesses pay depends on monthly average users (MAU). So, businesses only pay for what the use. 

Like with other “as-a-service” models, there are many benefits of working with a CPaaS provider. Businesses reduce their upfront IT spend, gain more flexibility, and tap into leading technology and expertise.

Enterprises can finally offer omnichannel service 

Like we mentioned earlier, many companies say they offer omnichannel communications when what they really have is a multichannel approach. Sure, they connect with their customers on multiple channels, but the experience isn’t unified. 

Many brands still struggle with communication channels that exist in silos. All of those individual silos hold important data — data with the potential to make customer experiences better. 

Finally, with conversational platforms, brands can offer service that is truly omnichannel. They can simplify their workflows and communication stacks and manage everything in one place.  

Partnering with the right CPaaS partner

When selecting a CPaaS partner, consider the use cases and channels you want to offer service on. Look for a provider with flexible APIs that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. 

For example, Hubtype helps enterprise businesses aggregate messaging channels and enterprise-scale software stacks. This includes WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, web-chat, Telegram, and others. And, we do this while reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.

Our opensource framework, built on React.js, allows robust integrations. This includes CRMs, APIs, analytics, AI, and other business tools. Developers then focus on building beautiful conversational apps that drive business results.

Hubtype works with national and multinational brands around the world. HP, Bankia, Salomon, Massimo Dutti, and Volkswagen all rely on us to increase ROI. Our tools improve the lifetime value of their customers, all while reducing operational costs.

Are you ready to meet your customers on the channels they prefer? 

Contact us to see if Hubtype is a good fit for your enterprise business.  

Whitepaper: A Comprehensive Guide to Conversational Apps

This 22-page whitepaper published in Q1 2020 explains how conversational apps are driving the single largest paradigm shift in business today. It discusses how we got here, what it means for businesses, and what you need to know to keep up.

Topics include:

  • How customer engagement for enterprise businesses has transformed
  • How conversational apps help empower, transform and elevate business
  • Industries ripe for conversational apps
  • A guide to building conversational apps and experiences
Download the Whitepaper: A Comprehensive Guide to Conversational Apps