What Is Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)? - Aircall Blog

What Is Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?

Contact center as a service or CCaaS is a cloud based subscription service that provides communication tools, like phone system service, to clients.
by
Nicholas Price

Today, customers don’t just want a superior customer experience; they expect it. And CCaaS may be your way of giving it to them. It doesn’t matter if you have superior products or stellar pricing if you can’t guarantee your customer service will be just as high-quality. And this is a sentiment that holds true for every industry.

Your company’s contact center solution makes a first and lasting impression of your company, giving the customer an experience that will tell them about the kind of journey they can expect if they choose to do business with you. While on the flip side, their earliest experience can also make it very clear if they need to look elsewhere.

When you use contact center as a service (CCaaS) software, you’re giving your call center representatives the tools and resources that will enhance your customers’ experience, making your sales reps’ jobs more rewarding and improving your bottom line. When it comes to the benefits, CCaaS software is an all-rounder, so let’s dive into everything you need to know.

What Is a Contact Center as a Service or CCaaS?

CCaaS stands for contact center as a service. These are cloud-based software solutions used by inbound and outbound teams to provide an overall better customer experience–while hosting everything on the cloud rather than on servers. The main purpose of CCaaS is to route contacts, support your sales team, and keep track of interactions.

Setting the foundations for CCaaS, companies have long used voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology. VoIP phone systems allow you to make phone calls using traditional telephone numbers but operate using the internet.

The “as service” part of CCaaS comes from the fact that the service providers are constantly developing and maintaining the software. Essentially, CCaaS are on an ongoing journey to revolutionize how contact centers respond to your customers.

What are the differences between UCaaS and CCaaS?

In a world where acronyms are part of the day-to-day, it can be easy to get mixed up. To get your WWE mixed up with your WWF for instance! Another common confusion in the world of contact center services getting mixed up between UCaas with CCaaS. That’s because there’s actually overlap between them both in that they come with a built-in ability to make calls and send SMS messages. 

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But the likeness stops there, and if you’re on a journey to select a CCaaS solution, then it’s critical you know one from the other.

CCaaS definition

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions are really built for customers and for those who want to deliver a high level of customer service. CCaaS providers can handle a large volume of customer inquiries, making them the ideal contact center solutions for businesses looking to scale.

These contact centers also collate inquiries from multiple channels, meaning whether a customer contacts you via a chat function, social media, SMS, or the phone, there’s no need for your customer service team to scour multiple channels–it’s all in one, accessible place.

UCaaS definition

While Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions might not be the contact center solution you’re looking for, it could be the one you’re using.

That’s because UCaaS is employed to streamline workflows and improve communication within organizations. To ensure a workforce isn’t working on disparate systems and apps, a UCaaS model will typically consist of apps for video conferencing, messaging, and admin that ensure your inter-organizational communications operate in harmony. 

How Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) Works

A contact center is a hive of activity, managing hundreds, or even thousands, of calls during the course of a day.

CCaaS gives contact centers the software tools your sales reps need to function efficiently and build meaningful customer experiences. With CCaaS, you won’t have to deal with complex hardware or challenging setups because it works with VoIP technology (voice over internet protocol).

CCaaS solutions can consist of on-premise software, but it’s becoming more common for call centers to use cloud-based phone systems and software. This makes it far easier for your workforce to operate remotely and access crucial information from various locations. Cloud-based software vendors also deliver out-of-the-box software solutions so call centers can customize their workflows according to their needs.

CCaaS also reduces your call center’s need for development and cuts costs at the same time, with the initial investment costs for CCaaS lower than using traditional phone lines for call centers. 

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, and much more. And software solutions, along with a cloud-based phone system, take this even further, expanding the functionality of call centers.

What Are the Benefits of CCaaS?

As we’ve seen, CCaaS holds many advantages over other call center setups. But what about the benefits it brings to your sales teams? Let’s take a look.

Improved customer experience

Competition is heavy in every industry, and improving customer experience is essential to providing excellent customer service. Customers expect to have problems resolved quickly, and CCaaS can make this possible by freeing up your sales reps’ time to be even more knowledgeable and helpful.

Desktop notifications

These give sales reps instant notifications about incoming calls without any laborious switching between the phone, computer, and other devices. Your sales team can immediately respond to customers or other reps and you won’t have to worry about missing calls.

Call center features

These offer a range of innovative features like call routing, IVR, voicemail, and call whispering. As a result, your phone calls benefit from game-changing technology and your call center will operate as a team. This further optimizes the customer experience.

Integrations

CCaaS platforms seamlessly integrate your calls with data and additional functionality within CRM, helpdesk, eCommerce, and other business software solutions. We’re a big fan of integrations (read about our App Marketplace hitting the 100 mark).

CCaaS Features

As we touched on above, CCaaS systems put all the software solutions you’ve been dreaming about in the hands of your sales reps. In addition to your regular phone system features, you have an array of capabilities to make your sales rep’s lives easier and continue to drive a meaningful customer experience. Here are some of the features we recommend you look out for: 

CRM integration

The ability to integrate with a CRM system can make all the difference in your customer experience. It can house extensive customer data, log conversations, and be used to add notes from the wider team. 

Call analytics

Spotting trends in your reps’ phone calls can help discern what’s going right, and what needs a little attention. Through analytics, your team learns from every phone call.

Automated processes

Adding value to your sales team’s voice means stripping back the time sucks, and keeping their focus on customer interactions. A great feature of CCaaS providers is how they automate processes, saving your team time. 

Call tagging

When you tag your calls, you’re making it easier to sort and categorize them. This means there’s no sorting through reams of notes to find the calls that were sales, included demos, or would serve as best-practice examples.

Productivity

Focusing on engagement is a great way to keep your team burnout-free and motivated in their role. This means when it comes to their activities, you’re upping the quality, not quantity to drive productivity. CCaaS providers can provide dashboards to your reps that help them focus on their daily calls.  

Call coaching

Essential to sales rep training, call coaching allows managers to advise their reps in-call. They can offer tips and mentorship all without the customer being alerted.

This list of tools is just the tip of the iceberg, and there is so much more you can do with CCaaS.

How to Find the Best CCaaS Provider

With so many CCaaS providers to choose from, where do you start in selecting the one that’s right for you? First of all, it’s important to remember that this is set to become a part of your business phone system and as such, needs to be capable of syncing with the customer service experience you want to create.

To get things rolling, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What are my business priorities?
  • What are the must-have features my CCaaS provider needs to have?
  • Will my CCaaS provider need to integrate with an existing tech stack?
  • Is it going to make my sales reps’ lives easier?

The answers to these questions will certainly help you thin the pack. But what will help more is following the below checklist on things you should look out for when deciding which CCaaS provider to go for and which contact center services you need.

Your CCaaS provider checklist

  • Multiple channels: In an era of customers looking for omnichannel communications, it’s imperative that your CCaaS provider can meet these requirements. We suggest looking for contact center solutions with at least four communication channels–and one that brings these all onto a single clear platform.
  • Automation: We encouraged you to ask whether your CCaaS provider would make your sales reps’ lives easier–well now it’s time to dig a little deeper and ask them whether this is a system they can see themselves using, or whether there are red flags in how they optimize their time. The last thing you want is a CCaaS platform that requires them to manage and maintain.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, so too do your systems. You mightn’t know precisely what the future holds, but if you’re targeting growth in the coming years, you need to ensure your CCaaS provider can go on that journey with you. Look into how easy it is to add users, and what that means for your price plan
  • Ease of use: You don’t want to target efficiencies within your sales team setup, only for your reps to have to brush up on a manual the size of a phone book. Good CCaaS solutions will be easy to use straight off the bat, and after some minimal onboarding, you should start to see the benefits right away.

Ready to unlock the benefits of cloud-based calling for your business? Try Aircall for free.

This blog post was originally published on July 30, 2020, and was updated on May 1, 2022. 

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