Blog Post

Contact Center as a Service: General Overview

If customers are the biggest value for businesses, then an efficient contact center is the best way to communicate with them. Thus, companies use strategies to engage customers and satisfy their needs fully. The quality of the contact center as a service directly affects their further steps and desire to come back in the future. According to the Fortune Business Insights research, the global CCaaS market size is expected to grow from USD 4.87 billion in 2022 to $15.07 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 17.5% during the mentioned period. This tendency prompts businesses to develop their potential for implementing customer service tips. In this post, we cover the CCaaS definition, its core features, the difference between a traditional contact center and CCaaS and, of course, the success stories of implementing CCaaS solutions. You don’t want to miss them!

CCaaS agent

What’s a contact center we’re used to

A contact center is a department where customer service is managed across multiple channels, such as live chat, phone, social media, and chatbot. Customer-facing agents use contact center software as a united platform to manage interactions received through different channels. Compared to having the phone as the only communication channel in a call center service provider, using several channels allows companies to scale customer experience without recruiting more employees. It enables them to provide quick problem resolutions and maintain a high level of customer service even during peak periods.

The in-house contact center option means that the team is an internal part of the business, works in the same environment with other departments, or communicates online with colleagues. The conservative industries such as banking, insurance companies, and medical institutions choose this option as data security is an essential point for them. However, the risk of leakage with the outsourcing provider is minimal. The modern, reliable providers care about data protection and follow international/local data protection acts to store the information securely.  

Thus, fast-growing companies, depending on the seasons, and other businesses successfully undergoing digital transformation are now choosing outsourcing customer service. It means delegating client service operations to a third-party provider with the possibility of controlling the workflow. This option usually saves a lot of resources as it handles all the processes, from hiring agents to providing a detailed customer work review. 

All you should know about CCaaS concept 

What is CCaaS? It is a cloud-based solution that manages customer communications and directs inquiries to the proper channels. CCaaS makes it easy and quick for companies to organize customers’ experiences addressing their specific needs. 

Core peculiarities

1. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) 

IVR is one of the most user-friendly features of CCaaS as it makes customers’ experience smoother. After the IVR signal, the client has some options to choose from and get help from a specific department. As a result, the customer does not feel abandoned with his request but feels the company’s support from the first second. Visual IVR is another feature gaining popularity today by providing clients with an interactive menu on their smartphones. While waiting in the queue, they can look through self-help suggestions or move to another communication channel, such as a chatbot. Visual IVRs do not let clients get bored on the call and can even help with their requests before connecting with an agent. 

2. Call back opportunity 

Customers often have an unpleasant experience of waiting in queues for a long time. While visual IVR is a great way to engage them with the other channels where they can get assistance, many customers still prefer to communicate with agents. Call back feature in the IVR saves customers’ time and ensures they do not feel abandoned. After waiting for some time in a queue, a client can schedule a call back with an agent. Once there is a free agent, he contacts the customer and follows up with questions. 

3. Personalized files 

Having personalized pop-up files for every customer is beneficial to the general workflow of the CCaaS. The companies develop this feature by connecting call recordings with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and gathering all available information on customer history in the company. Thus, the customer can receive personalized help as CCaaS agents know all the peculiarities of his profile in advance.

4. Contact center analytics 

Managers closely monitor all the performance indicators using CCaaS technology to evaluate the level of customer satisfaction. It is essential to analyze FCR (first contact resolution rate), CRR (customer retention rate), and AHT (average handling time) to review the success strategy for contact centers. There is never too much information to improve your communication with customers! 

Due to Covid-19 challenging the traditional business structures, contact center as a service solutions provider became a popular option for middle-sized and large retail and tech companies. Remote working is being implemented regularly around the world. Thus, a cloud-based CCaaS with an online working model is a top priority for businesses. In the development of the customer service field, even conservative industries such as banking, insurance companies, and medical institutions will use the contact center as a service provider because of its flexibility and adaptability to current market challenges.

What’s the difference between a traditional contact center and Contact Center as a Service

Traditional Contact Center Contact Center as a Service
Setup and installation It usually takes several months to prepare the hardware, maintenance and general guidelines It usually takes 1-5 weeks for full implementation of all processes. Can be prepared in as little as 1 day in some cases
Cost Major upfront costs including licenses, servers, hardware, physical office space and IT resources. Initial costs equal around $15,000 not counting the resources for hiring agents No upfront costs. There is a possibility to choose from flexible plans as the work progresses. Costs range from $70.00-$200.00+/month per user
Hardware Hardware is mandatory including headsets, cables, servers, wires and space to to host a server No special hardware required except for strong Internet connection. The agents practice BYOD (bring your own device)
Communication channels Usually VoIP Telephony Software (Voice, Fax, SMS) VoIP software, Video Calling, Website Chat/Live Chat, Social Media Messaging
Maintenance Managed by the separate in-house team Managed by SaaS provider
Popularity Following Statista, 59% of users do not enjoy the traditional contact center service without the possibility to reach the company via social media According to a Salesforce study, 75% of consumers prefer CCaaS because of seamless omnichannel experience

Core pros of CCaaS

Enablement of all communication channels

It is one of the main CCaaS benefits as the customers usually want to communicate with companies across various channels. Thus, cloud-based customer service can assist agents with reaching out to clients effectively via calls, email, SMS and social media.

Lower costs maintaining the service

As no special hardware or office space is required for CCaaS workflow, they save a considerable amount of money. Moreover, since CCaaS provides clients with “pay-as-you-go” plans, companies don’t have to spend money for additional features they don’t need but can choose the necessary elements as they develop over time. 

Remote work component 

CCaaS eliminated the outdated contact center approach when agents had to answer calls and emails in the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Therefore, the agents can work from any location in the world, using their own devices and working across different time zones as CCaaS software connects conversations across different channels and enables real-time notifications. 

Available assistance for agents on call

Live AI assistants can help agents answer tricky questions or provide specific data to increase customer satisfaction. In addition, with active APIs, developers can take advantage of CCaaS trends and technology capabilities to experience third-party apps for innovation.

What’s the cons of CCaaS 

Disruptions of existing software

While many CCaaS providers integrate their software into popular systems, inseparability can be an issue for companies that use proprietary or legacy software.

Requires employee training investments

The companies have to organize training sessions for team leaders and supervisors to get acquainted with CCaaS procedures and peculiarities so they can cooperate with agents. In addition, the sales and agents teams need instructions on properly using VoIP and other CCaaS features.

Dependent on Internet connection 

CCaaS requires a stable Internet connection for a smooth workflow of all processes. Thus, if there is an issue with its performance, it may affect all CCaaS tools and issue solution rates. 

CCaaS usage: Success Stories

1. Five 9 & Nutrisystem

Nutrisystem is a weight loss industry leader that made a full shift to remote work in 2020 and realized that it requires cloud-based customer service. Thus, the company reached out to Five 9 CCaaS scripts to try AI and automation capabilities for business innovation. As a result, they instantly broaden engagement by covering chat, email and self-service. Nutrisystem experienced a 20% cost savings in telecommunications by implementing a virtual queue. Finally, customer satisfaction increased by 15% by connecting contact service with CRM and UC platforms. 

2. Acer & 8×8 

Before adopting 8×8 services, Acer had various contact center in-house systems in different locations, considering connecting all of them in one cloud-based system. Then the company realized they wanted to pay more attention to IVR to create a positive customer experience using a fast-response system. Turning to one centralized system has been a success for Acer as agent experience and workforce management have improved drastically. While customers use self-service systems, the software remembers all the information, so when the conversation with the agent starts, the client does not have to repeat the details again. On the agent side, Acer can boast greater visibility of employees at different levels, so the customer knows the agent is ready to assist whenever the help is needed. 

The Bottom Line

Companies in the modern business world use many strategies to engage customers and satisfy their needs. We described what is contact center as a service and how your business can benefit from cloud-based customer support. IVR and omnichannel features help keep customers’ attention on the company and gather as much information as possible. Call back and call recording strategies ensure a smooth customer experience when handling the issue and in case of arising disputes after. Finally, CCaaS can provide your company with such benefits as enablement of all communication channels, lower costs of the service and 24-7 agents assistance. Your company will certainly flourish by integrating a cloud-based contact service strategy with the newest technological advancements.

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