CEO & Co-Founder
What is Contact Center as a Service?
Contact center as a service is a cloud solution that provides companies with an array of contact center features such as interactive voice response, automatic call distribution, workforce optimization (WFO) capabilities, call recording, quality management, and more.
They provide flexibility so businesses can more easily manage customer interactions while providing insights into customer behavior and preferences.
Contact Center vs. Call Center
A call center is designed to manage large volumes of inbound and outbound telephone calls. Call centers are commonly used by businesses of all sizes to manage customer interactions including customer service requests, sales endeavors, and technical support issues.
Contact centers have a similar function, but provide customer support through multiple channels including:
- SMS texting
- Video conferencing
- Live chat
- Social media interactions
Cloud-based vs. On-premise Contact Centers
Cloud-based contact centers are solutions that enable customer communication to be hosted in the cloud. They handle inbound and outbound calls and messages across various channels like voice, email, SMS, social media, and the web. Unlike on-premise systems, they can be accessed from anywhere and uses automatic call distributors and IVR to route calls to customer service agents.
On-premise contact centers are contact center solutions that are installed and operated on the business's servers, typically within their own physical location or data center. These systems are maintained and managed by the business's IT department and require initial capital investments for hardware, software, setup, and maintenance fees. However, this system can offer more control since businesses can customize their setup per their needs.
UCaaS vs CPaaS vs CCaaS
Unified Communications as a Service, or UCaaS, is a comprehensive solution that unifies all communications into one single platform that can be accessed via multiple devices. UCaaS solutions can provide business phone services, voice analytics, video conferencing, messaging services, team collaboration tools, contact centers, and more. It eliminates the need to integrate multiple communication apps and keeps users from constantly switching back and forth between applications.
Communications Platform as a Service, or CPaaS, is a cloud solution designed to enable developers to create engaging customer experiences within apps and websites. It provides access to APIs for developing custom applications and integrating voice/video/chat capabilities into existing software or creating new ones from scratch.
So while CCaaS services offer customer communication and support services:
- UCaaS is primarily focused on internal communication.
- CPaaS helps developers create custom applications for a variety of communication functions.
Key CCaaS Features & Services
CCaaS provides businesses with key features and services to ensure customers have the best possible experience. They include:
CCaaS allows businesses to operate remotely without sacrificing the quality of service or customer experience. It provides greater flexibility in how agents handle customer inquiries while still providing the same level of service. CCaaS also allows contact center management to remotely oversee daily operations across multiple channels and touchpoints to develop the most effective customer journey.
Omnichannel capabilities offer businesses the ability to manage customer interactions across multiple channels, such as phone, email, chat, text message, and social media. This provides customers with a seamless, unified experience when communicating with businesses.
With omnichannel support, businesses can ensure their agents have the context they need to provide better customer service. Businesses can also leverage data from conversations and customer records to create more personalized customer interactions across all channels.
Outbound & Inbound Contact
Outbound contact involves proactively contacting customers or prospects, while inbound contact involves responding to customer inquiries. Both outbound and inbound contact can be managed through a CCaaS solution, allowing for more efficient use of resources and improved customer satisfaction.
APIs & Integrations
CCaaS solutions offer APIs and integrations that enable organizations to connect their contact center operations with other business systems.
APIs provide a secure way for companies to connect with partner services, while integrations allow for a seamless data flow between different systems. This enables companies to capture customer data in real time, enhance customer experiences, and improve operational efficiency.
Advanced Contact Center Software
CCaaS also provides advanced contact center software that includes features such as call center monitoring and coaching, power dialers, real-time analytics, AI automation tools, journey mapping tools, and more–all of which help improve the overall customer experience.
Security & Compliance
Some security and compliance features that CCaaS providers should offer include:
- GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, and SOC-2 compliance
- ISO-27001 certification for data security accreditation
- 99.9% guaranteed uptime and geographic redundancy for backups and updates
- End-to-end encryption for secure communications
- System security tested by third parties
- Automated update and data backup
- Meeting locks/password protection
The right Contact Center as a Service solution can provide numerous benefits for organizations looking to improve their customer service operations.
1. Cost Savings
With CCaaS, businesses no longer need to purchase and maintain expensive on-premises hardware and software, meaning they can avoid large upfront investments and long-term maintenance costs.
CCaaS solutions can be more affordable than hiring and training additional personnel to manage their contact center infrastructure. Businesses can also benefit from reduced operational costs as CCaaS solutions can come with built-in features such as automatic call routing, automated IVRs, web chats, and other self-service technologies that reduce customer service response time, leading to fewer costly mistakes on calls or chats.
2. Scalability & Flexibilty
Contact center as a service allows businesses to quickly scale up or down as needed due to changes in customer demand or company size. This kind of flexibility is often not available with traditional contact centers, which are limited by physical infrastructure and costly investments in hardware and software.
CCaaS also allows for the customization of services according to different customer needs. Businesses can choose the features that best suit their customers' needs, from automated phone answering systems to real-time chat support. This helps ensure their customers receive the highest level of service available.
3. Workforce Optimization
WFO tools, such as scheduling and forecasting, help reduce the time and effort required to manage a contact center, allowing agents to focus on more complex tasks that require human interaction and can lead to increased productivity.
CCaaS means managers can easily schedule agents’ workloads and provide them with greater flexibility at work, such as the ability to request time off and adjust their schedules. Managers can also improve resource management by identifying bottlenecks in the contact center, analyzing call volume patterns, and optimizing staffing levels to ensure efficiency and increased profitability.
While CCaaS has its advantages, it’s important for businesses to also be aware of:
1. Quality Control
While CCaaS generates vast amounts of data on agent interactions, it doesn’t automatically provide insights into the quality of those interactions and what agents are successful and why. Tools like Operative Intelligence ensure quality control in contact centers by automatically connecting different data points, identifying patterns and trends, and generating actionable insights from customer interactions across all inbound and outbound channels.
The platform reveals what causes increases in handle time and cost and how to reduce it, as well as where performance variability is being driven at agent level. This enables contact center managers to evaluate and test the progress of their agents, create and implement training programs to address performance issues, and coach with precision to improve agent effectiveness.
Operative Intelligence agent dashboards
2. Security Risks
Businesses using CCaaS have to rely on the security provided by a third-party provider, therefore they should look for providers that are compliant with industry regulations and standards related to customer privacy and data protection.
They should also provide the necessary security measures to protect customer data from cyber-attacks and other threats. This includes using encryption protocols, authentication policies, malware protection software, and other safety measures.
Boost Your CCaaS Capabilities
CCaaS providers have helped companies to improve customer service, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. But while CCaaS services provide enormous amounts of data, they typically report on lagging performance metrics–such as call volume, average answer speed, and average handling time–that don’t provide a complete picture on how the customer’s experience with a product or service is really going.
On its own, a CCaaS can’t tell companies:
- The exact reasons why customers are reaching out in real-time
- Which inquiries could be shifted to self-service–and the volume and ROI of these inquiries
- Interactions that drive revenue and lifetime customer value
- First-Contact-Resolution and satisfaction for 100% of your agent interactions
With Operative Intelligence, all of this information is available on demand. The platform allows contact centers to boost their analytics capabilities and unlock additional insights from data provided by CCaaS. For example, Operative Intelligence can help contact centers understand the root cause of why customers are reaching out in real-time–instead of just providing data on overall call volume.
Operative Intelligence can be implemented quickly by contact centers that use CCaaS solutions since our platform easily accesses data through APIs. This is a faster and more efficient method compared to the complex approaches required for legacy or on-premises contact center solutions.
Make it easier to transform your customer journeys, experiences and customer service.