As customer expectations continue to increase and companies seek every competitive advantage, transitioning contact centres fully to the cloud is becoming an even more urgent priority. There are a variety of reasons why businesses should accelerate their decision to adopt contact centre as a service (CCaaS) solutions.
What is CCaaS?
CCaaS solutions provide the same capabilities as on-premises vendors. The foundation of these benefits is that all of the separate parts that comprise a conventional contact centre, including PBX, advanced interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD), computer telephony integration (CTI), email, text, chat, social media channels, and quality management, are delivered via the cloud from one vendor responsible for all maintenance and upgrades. In other words, the provider, not the customer, owns and operates the systems and makes them available on a per-user monthly subscription basis.
CCaaS offers several enticing benefits
Businesses that opt for a CCaaS solution can gain an attractive variety of benefits related to cost, convenience, efficiency, ease of use, and customer satisfaction.
The following are five benefits every CCaaS customer can expect to achieve by adopting contact centre technology:
1. A better customer experience
Contact centres exist to serve customers, but traditional solutions have often seemed to fall short of fulfilling their promise. Confusing phone trees, endless on-hold times, ineffective agents, and inconsistent problem resolution make for a bad customer experience, which in turn can jeopardise the entire business. In fact, Brian Solis’s research on behalf of RingCentral revealed that the chief challenge of contact centres is improving and modernising customer experiences.
CCaaS solutions are designed to be customer-centric, and they continue to evolve to fit the way people work and communicate today. A fully functional CCaaS delivers:
- Multichannel integration to let agents field queries from customers’ preferred communication channels, including social media, mobile, live chat, email, and voice calls.
- Powerful analytic capabilities that provide actionable contact centre insights.
- Quick desktop access to all of the tools a service representative needs to satisfy customer issues.
CCaaS solutions also seamlessly integrate email, social media, mobile, and real-time chat into a unified platform that promotes the tracking of information among those channels. They can also track customer wait times and high call volume periods, enabling you to adjust resources accordingly and deliver a better customer support experience.
2. A better agent experience
Conventional contact centres hamper the effectiveness of service representatives in two key ways: 1) Customer, product, and other information is usually separated among disparate, siloed systems; and 2) single-function servers and antiquated PBX technologies make it difficult to sift through customer data, especially when customers are now communicating via so many channels. This often makes agents appear uninformed and incapable of solving issues, and customer frustrations can only increase.
CCaaS solutions offer businesses the opportunity to deploy “connected agents” by serving as hubs that synthesise all critical information onto a single screen. This saves services representatives the time-consuming pain of toggling among different data sources, delivering vast storehouses of in-house knowledge and providing access to third-party cloud services with critical information such as Salesforce®.
CCaaS solutions streamline contact centre processes for the purposes of improving customer service. Click To Tweet
In addition to matching the right agent to customers based on skill sets, screen pop-ups can provide representatives with information about previous purchases and billing history as well as behavioural, demographic, and location-based customer data. Not only can this increase customer satisfaction but it can also deliver improvements in upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
3. Significant cost savings
Moving to a cloud-based, omnichannel CCaaS solution essentially mirrors the substantial cost savings that most “as a service” cloud migrations offer. These include:
- No upfront investments
- Low power costs
- Maximum hardware utilisation
- Reduced IT staffing
- Streamlined billing
- Reduced downtime
The simple fact that CCaaS doesn’t require businesses to purchase extra servers or pay for more floor space or power can save tens of thousands of dollars a year. You also don’t have to pay for maintenance or upgrades, and you can scale up as needed, paying only for what you need.
Businesses also experience other less visible cost-savings benefits. For example, because CCaaS providers provide reporting and supervisory tools for agent monitoring, businesses can expect to manage more calls with fewer agents. That translates into greater productivity and headcount savings.
4. High levels of scalability, reliability, and availability
One of the universal benefits of a cloud contact centre solution is that it allows organisations to instantly scale to meet business and customer demands including the ability to add or subtract the number of agents. Gone are the days that you need to purchase additional capacity that you may never need, pay for software licenses that go unused, or buy expensive servers or storage to answer unexpected upticks. The cloud mantra has always been to pay only for what you use.
CCaaS solutions also offer the highest levels of availability, reliability and disaster recovery, as most providers guarantee uptime as high as 99.99% by housing the infrastructure in geographically redundant data centres. These data centres are also staffed around the clock.
5. Reporting and analytics to improve the customer experience
If you’re operating a contact centre and providing exceptional customer experience is a top priority, then the ability to gather, measure, analyse, and leverage customer insights are imperative. Today’s most competitive CCaaS providers offer capabilities that quickly integrate and analyse interactions across multiple channels to deliver the type of data businesses need to achieve meaningful service improvements.
Today’s contact centre reporting and analytics tools enable businesses to:
- Track the number of abandoned calls
- Record and review calls to identify insufficient training
- Receive alerts whenever agents use ambiguous or questionable words or phrases
- Obtain context-sensitive call scripts
- Monitor and automatically adjust caller queues and voice response menus on the fly
Bottom line, contact centre data needs to be continually collected and analysed to enable ongoing improvements in customer-agent interactions.
CCaaS and UCaaS together: a new, customer-centric way forward
Traditionally, UCaaS has been deployed as a solution to improve internal communications. However, as organisations of all sizes continue to move toward the cloud at lightning speed, there’s a very good business reason to consider deploying and integrating CCaaS and UCaaS together: aligning your entire workforce around a single communications platform can provide ever-higher levels of customer service.
Being truly customer-centric means all employees are potentially customer facing. Think about it, the ability of an agent to connect at the moment with someone inside the company but outside the contact centre to help resolve an issue can take customer satisfaction and loyalty levels to new heights. And even higher, if customers could get their issues resolved right away by the office employee who has the ability to do it.
Connect the dots: UCaaS solutions streamline internal communications processes. CCaaS solutions streamline contact centre processes for the purposes of improving customer service. Integrating the two in a business environment that emphasises customer satisfaction is a natural, even necessary, progression.
Business activity will only continue to be conducted online. It’s not a stretch to consider that the contact centre will become your business’s front door where customers will have their first interaction with you.
True, this is a new way of thinking strategically about your internal and external communications. But remember this, in highly competitive environments, customer service can be the deal breaker.
Learn more about how contact centre technology can create a better experience for customers and agentsLearn more
Originally published Jul 11, 2018, updated Jan 16, 2023