10. December 2020 Blog

What Is Contact Center As A Service (CCaaS), and why do you need it?

Do you want to offer world-class customer support to your customers but your call center isn’t quite up to the task? A CCaaS platform might be just what you need. Read on to find out more!

We know that running a call center in the 21st century is challenging. Dealing with endless calls, sales quotas, technical issues, and demanding customers is one thing. But you also have to keep upping up your customer support game continually.

Do you still think that as long as you have great quality products or services, customers will just keep coming to you? That may have been the case several years ago, but not anymore.

Today, customers expect to experience superb customer experience straight from the first touchpoint with your brand. If the first contact with your brand is positive, clients will probably choose to continue using your product or service. But 72% of customers said they are likely to switch to a competitive brand after just one bad experience, according to the Northridge Group's State of Customer Service Experience report. 

  • Maybe you are ready to move your customer support or sales to the next level, except for the fact that your call center isn’t quite ready?
  • Are your support agents overwhelmed with their daily and after-call tasks?
  • Is your current software outdated?

Moving from a typical call center to a cloud-based one with CCaaS might just be what you need!

Wait, what’s the difference between a call center and a contact center?

Call centers and contact centers are not the same things, contrary to what some people might say. Rather, you could say that contact centers are an evolved form of call centers. 

Call centers are a place where agents handle inbound or outbound phone calls. In the past it was phones that were the main communication channel between companies and customers, so companies used call centers for customer support or sales. But that’s no longer enough.

Nowadays, customers have far more options at their disposal, and they expect companies to be available on all of the channels they might use. That’s why contact centers were created. 

Besides handling incoming calls, contact centers also use various digital channels for customer support like:

  • text messages
  • chats
  • social media
  • emails

What’s more, all channels act as part of one integrated environment where customers can freely switch between them and receive the same level of customer support on each. To achieve this, contact centers often use cloud systems that can offer far more features than traditional on-premises tools

What is a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?

One such type of cloud service that has proven to be incredibly useful for contact centers worldwide is Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) platforms.

Contact Center as a Service solutions:

  • complex cloud platforms made to decrease the workload that call centers have to deal with daily
  • offer various handy features unavailable in typical on-premises tools
  • quickly growing in popularity
  • the most significant advantages is flexibility
  • agents can work on whatever device they want and from any location
  • your employees can save time and energy

Many sales or support agents use several different tools for their daily tasks: spreadsheets, schedulers, analytic tools, call recorders or databases. But jumping between several different applications is time-consuming, not to mention tiring. And let’s not even mention how frustrated agents may get whenever one of their tools hangs up, shows an error message, or lags. 

Now imagine that you could have a cloud platform with all the tools a contact center might need, together in one place. Since it’s based in the cloud, there’s no need for lengthy and complicated installations on every computer in the office.

Your employees just need to download an app and go through a tutorial, then they can start working straight away! This solution can also be easily adjusted to your needs, without involving an IT team or lengthy contracts. That’s CCaaS in a nutshell!

The five most important reasons why you should get a CCaaS tool

#1 A better customer experience

Yes, phones still are one of the most commonly used communication channels when it comes to customer support. But nowadays, a growing number of customers prefer to use different methods, like live chats or emails. If they can’t reach out to you using those means, they might simply leave for a company that they can contact in the desired way. 

With CCaaS:

  • agents can respond in the same manner to questions or requests coming from various channels
  • your customers can get faster responses (without being stuck on a busy line) and in a way that’s most convenient for them
  • your customers can get in touch with a customer support agent quickly and on the user’s chosen channel, it will naturally increase their trust in the company

#2 More productive agents

How much time do your agents waste on juggling several different tools every day, or on completing repetitive and monotonous tasks? Not to mention, mounds of paperwork. Contact Center as a Service platforms have all the tools your support or sales agents might need, all in one piece of software.

If agents can perform all of their tasks in one place, it will  naturally speed up their work. What’s more, CCaaS tools allow users to quickly and easily share files or updates between team members.

Such platforms also have in-built automation features to take care of all those pesky, repetitive tasks like updating databases or sending emails. This saves your agents time, but not only that. How many times has it happened that, because of stress or tiredness, your agents sent the wrong email to the wrong person or made a typo in the text? Giving such tasks to automation tools is an excellent way to take some stress off your agents’ shoulders.

As long as those automation tools are regularly monitored, they can do several tasks simultaneously without making a single error. That means more time for your staff to take care of your customers!

#3 Increased job satisfaction for agents

With CCaaS tools, your agents no longer have to search for customer data through several different files or work with countless different tools. Now, they can focus all their attention on the customers and get more done in the same amount of time. Besides making agents more productive, CCaaS tools also help their jobs become easier.

While such systems won’t yet calm down angry customers or provide foolproof methods to increase sales, there are several tasks for which they can give a helping hand. Keeping KPI metrics regularly updated, sending emails automatically, and sorting out incoming calls into groups and redirecting them? CCaaS can do all of them and more, allowing your agents to focus on providing the best customer support they can rather than on sending “ticket completed” emails,

#4 Easy and cheap to set-up

Installing several copies of your on-premises system on multiple computers is not only time-consuming, but expensive as well. Want to replace all of your current computers? You’ll need to reinstall everything, and then the help of your IT team will be necessary. The cost of licensing an on-premises tool will be high as well, plus you never know when the cost might suddenly shoot up. 

Cloud solutions are much, much easier to use. Companies just need to download the platform or app and they can use it straight away. The costs of CCaaS are also much lower than for a typical on-premises system - there’s only one transparent monthly or yearly cost that can be adjusted at any time. 

#5 CCaaS platforms are easily scalable

With an on-premises system, changing it for a new one or adding different features to the existing setup can be troublesome. Installing the system onto each of dozens of computers in your company is one thing, but what if it turns out you need to replace the hardware first in order to make the new solution work? No wonder companies sometimes stick with outdated systems - replacing them is just not worth the cost. 

CCaaS tools, meanwhile, are all easily scalable - a company only pays for the features they need, and they can adjust the plan at any time. Need a greater plan with more features because your business is growing? With just a few clicks, you can move from your current plan to a different one. If you need a custom plan for your company, that’s not a problem either - all CCaaS providers tend to offer tailor-made plans too.

Conclusion

In the past, it was much harder for customers to switch between companies. If a customer had a problem or was unhappy with the service provided, they would just sigh in annoyance and continue to use the same company as always.

Now they can change companies at the click of a finger though, so sticking with outdated call centers is out of the question. A modern CCaaS solution can help you move your call center into the year 2020 and  beyond to make your support or sales better than ever.