Customers have never had more expectations in terms of quality service. Managing these demands without the benefit of powerful communication tools, such as contact center as a service (CCaaS) software, is a huge undertaking. A comprehensive system of cloud solutions will put you on pace to delight customers with a competitive advantage.
With the right tools and best practices in place, CCaaS software is the industry standard in delivering an excellent customer experience. Learning how CCaaS software works and how to implement it will help you make the right decision for your company.
How Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) Works
A contact center is a hive of activity. A busy call center manages hundreds, or even thousands, of calls during the course of a day.
CCaaS is cloud-based customer experience software solution that gives contact centers all the software tools call agents need to function efficiently. With CCaaS, you won’t have to deal with complex hardware or challenging setups because it works with VoIP technology (voice over internet protocol).
Contact center as a service can consist of on-premise software, but it’s becoming more common for call centers to use cloud-based phone systems and software. In the latter case, cloud-based software vendors deliver out-of-the- box software solutions so call centers can customize their workflows according to their needs.
CCaaS reduces your call center’s need for development and cuts costs at the same time. The initial investment costs for CCaaS are lower than using traditional phone lines for call centers. Another big attraction for call centers is the ongoing costs which are subscription-based.
Call centers function best when call agents have a variety of phone system features to use like call routing, call queue, call recording, hold music, interactive voice response, etc. Software solutions, along with a cloud-based phone system, expands the functionality of call centers.
CCaaS Phone Features
CCaaS puts all the software solutions you’ve been dreaming about right at your call agents’ fingertips. Imagine being able to give your call center these capabilities in addition to your regular phone system features:
- Call analytics
- Artificial intelligence
- Automated sales processes
- Helpdesk automation
- Call tagging
- eCommerce software
- Quality Assurance
With CCaaS, this list of tools is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more you can do with CCaaS.
Call agents can use cloud-based software in your on-premise location or as part of a remote team or distributed team. They only need access to the internet and credentials to log in. CCaaS simplifies managing your call center. Everything is bundled into a single solution. If you have a question or a problem, all you have to do is contact your vendor.
Scaling Your Business with CCaaS
“As-a-service” solutions are becoming increasingly popular because they provide many benefits for companies. SaaS (software-as-a-service), UCaaS (unified-communications-as-a-service), and CCaaS are all cloud application services managed by third-party vendors. Generally, these types of services are offered over the internet, alleviating complex downloads and installations. This article in Forbes describes how UCaaS keeps remote workers connected and engaged with your in-house teams effectively.
Obviously, growth is important to your company. One of the biggest challenges with growth is the cost that tends to go along with scaling your call center. CCaaS drastically diminishes the worry over the expense connected with expanding your call center that may be keeping you up at night. It doesn’t matter if your business is large or small, CCaaS offers the right business solutions for your call center and they’ll scale with you as you grow. The cost is less of an issue because you only pay for the solutions you need. Add or remove software solutions as your needs change.
When you implement CCaaS, you won’t have to keep an IT expert on call in case something goes down on a weekend or in the middle of the night. That’s an important consideration no matter how many call agents you have working or what location they’re working from.
Software analytics will help you identify peak calling periods and also, periods with low calls, which will help you know when it’s time to hire more call agents or shift your resources. Not having enough call agents will cause you to lose sales and repeat customers. The reverse is also true. If you staff your call center with too many call agents, productivity drops, and you lose money.
With CCaaS, you save on the costs for hardware, software, and other resources, and your customers get a better experience.
CCaaS to Enhance Your Customer Experience
All the components of your contact center including your cloud-based phone system, communication channels, and software integrations get delivered to your call center via the cloud. All these elements work together to produce unmatched benefits for your company.
Enhanced customer experience
Traditional call center tools and practices did little more than serve basic customer service functions in past years. With CCaaS, your customers don’t have to suffer long wait times or be transferred around until they’re frustrated. Call agents have the tools they need to pick up calls quickly and resolve their concerns in record time. Customer expectations have evolved in recent years and CCaaS solutions allow you to put customers first.
Better call agent experience
With CCaaS, call agents can access all their tools right on the screen in front of them. There’s no wasted time due to having to access programs harbored in different silos. All programs are in the cloud and APIs allow them to work seamlessly together. Screen popups and bubbles put the call history, billing history, sales data, and other information at their fingertips, make their job easy and making them look like a rock star to your customers.
CCaaS solutions have very little upfront costs, low monthly subscription costs, reduced IT staffing, reduced downtime, low or no cost for maintenance and upgrades. With CCaaS, you can also scale your call center agents which increases productivity and revenue.
Higher reliability and availability
Your vendor handles all the maintenance and upgrades for CCaaS and most of them guarantee uptime, some as high as 99.99%. Good vendors locate their infrastructures in geographically redundant data centers and staff them around the clock.
CCaaS allows contact centers to scale to meet customers’ needs. Having all solutions in the cloud makes it easy to use remote teams, distributed teams, or set up a virtual call center almost immediately. There’s no need to pay for software licenses and you only pay for the capacity that you need.
Access to reporting and analytics
Call metrics are essential for leveraging customer insights for things like preferred communication channels, call tracking, call coaching, getting context for calls, and adjusting staffing and voice menus instantly.
Overall, these benefits ensure a high-quality customer experience.
How to Successfully Implement a CCaaS Solution
Call centers and contact centers have long been considered cost centers—a part of the business that costs money and delivers very little or nothing back. Competition has increased across virtually every industry and that’s caused a great evolution in the area of how to serve customers from the origin of the first sale, to the final delivery, and throughout every part of the customer relationship.
The philosophy of improving customer service has evolved into improving the customer experience. The focus on the customer experience has actually turned contact centers into revenue centers.
To successfully implement a CCaaS solution, you need to have a vision for the most-preferred customer experience. Give complete scope to your vision. Outline the process for truly engaging customers with every contact point across your organization. Take the time and effort to draw up some flow charts and make sure that your people and processes are all in alignment. Develop specific strategies to address the most common problems and processes.
Without having the scope of your overall strategy, it’s impossible to have the full scope of your business goals and objectives. To be clear, CCaaS can be successful when your company has a shared vision of what the ultimate customer experience looks like. This type of strategic planning will provide you with a detailed roadmap for how to fulfill your company’s mission and deliver on the promise of a good customer experience.
By laying out the new vision and sharing it with your employees, you’ll be able to respond to customers in the way they expect rather than in the way you’ve gotten used to doing it. Call center software and VoIP integrations will help you improve the customer experience by expanding your offering of communication channels, reducing wait times, resolving concerns faster, and adding self-service options.
10 Best Practices to Benefit from a Contact Center as a Service
The communication field is still developing best practices for CCaaS. In spite of that, there are a lot of contact centers around the world that are doing a lot of things right, and they’re getting fantastic results. These companies are setting the pace for best practices for the “as a service” field.
Here are some of the best practices for CCaaS to emulate:
- 1. Provide an omnichannel experience with channels like phone, chat, email, SMS, and social media.
- 2. Coach and train contact center agents.
- 3. Pay attention to scale and get it right and base it on real-time data.
- 4. Use analytics to track call metrics and identify problems.
- 5. Use self-service options to supplement live call agents, not replace them.
- 6. Set reasonable goals for call agents and coach them to achieve them.
- 7. Route calls to address customer needs at the earliest opportunity.
- 8. Map out the customer journey and monitor it to modify workflows as circumstances change.
- 9. Record calls and use call whispering and call barging to aid in training.
- 10. Be innovative and adaptable. Be aware that technology continues to advance in ways that can help or hurt your contact center.
Best practices for CCaaS are still evolving, and by putting them into place and adding to them, success is just around the corner. Aircall supports best practices for cloud-based phone systems and software integrations to join the right combination of people, technology, and workflows to take the guesswork out of how to deliver the expectations of an excellent customer experience.