Dialogic Blog

Improving Customer Care with Verizon’s Visual Interactive Calling

by Alan Percy

Jun 22, 2017 9:03:00 AM

One of the challenges with any customer care is integrating the mobile application experience with a live agent interaction.   Today’s dis-integrated environment has consumers using their mobile applications to initiate transactions, but if a live agent gets involved, things get messy.   In most cases, that live agent experience requires repeating a host of identity verification questions, often stumping the consumer and causing confusion and frustration.

Thomas Smith, Senior Manager of Customer Experience at Verizon, joined me for an interview on the Communications Developer Zone podcast, explaining how he has been working on the problem. Tom explained that he has been focused on providing tools to enterprises that will improve the customer experience through the use of mobile applications, speech recognition, and other technologies. 

“We’ve all been exposed to poorly designed IVR systems,” noted Tom during our podcast. “Escalation is almost always a cumbersome experience requiring the consumer to answer a number of challenging questions”

To solve these challenges, Verizon recently launched Visual Interactive Calling – a new product based on Oracle WebRTC Session Controller (WSC) targeted toward enterprise contact center.  Visual Interactive Calling is seen by the consumer via a mobile application that integrates with a cloud server into the client’s contact center.  By merging visual clues along with a voice dialog with a live agent, the bridge between consumer and agent is dramatically shortened, allowing for simplified authentication and two-way information sharing.

Oracle Architecture in Verizon visual Interactive Calling

As Tom explains in a scenario where a consumer that has lost a credit card and wants to order a replacement, “using the bank’s application, the identity verification is accomplished without the challenge questions, which we know are not very secure.”  With Visual Interactive Calling, the identity verification and security measures are handled by the application, allowing the consumer to proceed with their issue.

When discussing the architecture, one of the technical hurdles that Tom noted was integrating the new WebRTC-based service into customer existing contact center infrastructure.  To accomplish this, Verizon depends on Dialogic PowerMedia XMS to perform codec transcoding, converting from the WebRTC codec to the format required by the customer contact center.   The all-software XMS software is integrated with Oracle WSC and provides support for a wide range of codecs and media formats. 

Targeted toward large enterprise contact centers, Verizon Visual Interactive Calling was launched in May of 2017 and will find its way into many of the name-brand consumer applications over the next year or two.

You can hear the whole story with much more detail on the Communications Developer Zone Podcast.

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Topics: Communications Application Development