Cloud Contact Centers as a Service (CCaaS)
Whether you sell socks or high-ticket software, your customer service contact center likely lives at the heart of your customer acquisition and retention strategy.
But, more often than not, the efficacy and overall customer experience in that contact center is unreliable or lacking in some way. Fortunately, the fault doesn’t lie with your agents or your leadership team.
Your contact center is stumbling because you struggle to track performance, maximize uptime, and streamline agent productivity. This is most likely because you’re using too many tools that don’t play nicely together.
According to a 2018 survey conducted by the Aberdeen Group, 55% of active contact centers are using 7 or more systems to interact with customers.
This is especially true if your company leverages remote contractors or global satellite offices to service your customers at odd or non-business hours.
While an omnichannel approach to CX is necessary, it isn’t easy. But, adopting a cloud contact center is the smart solution to simplify and streamline your customer experience from the first call to the final resolution.
Introducing the Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Contact Centers for Business
Education and understanding are vital to making a smart business decision that affects the future of your operations.
In this article, we’ll outline the basics for understanding cloud contact centers as a service, or CCaaS, and how to go about making your decision:
- What is a cloud contact center (CCaaS)?
- What are the benefits of a cloud contact center?
- How does having a cloud contact center affect my business?
- What are the important features of a cloud contact center?
- How to determine which features you actually need.
- How to choose the right cloud contact center solution and provider.
Let’s dive into the basics of getting started with cloud contact centers for small and medium businesses.
What exactly is cloud contact center as a service (CCaaS)?
Cloud contact centers as a service, or CCaaS, are an integrated collection of customer experience applications and tools living in the cloud, rather than on-site like a traditional call center PBX system.
Depending on your needs and the volume of your center, an ideal CCaaS system can vary and include several unique omnichannel tools to enhance customer experience, monitor customer satisfaction, and report on agent performance.
What are the tangible business benefits of using CCaaS versus on-premises tech?
Because a CCaaS is either built or hosted directly in the cloud, there is no actual technology on-premises, save your agent’s headsets. Cloud capability, in and of itself, offers some unique and hard to beat benefits to the success and profitability of your contact center.
Among other things, leveraging a cloud contact center can help you:
- Control Operating Costs
- Decrease Missed Calls
- Monitor Team Performance in Real-Time
- Measure Impact on Customer Experience
- Improve First-Call Resolution Rates
- Improved Quality of Service (QoS)
- Minimize Maintenance
- Prevent Service Bottlenecks
- Maximize Uptime
- Maximize Performance + Productivity
- Maintain Optimal Service Levels
- Maximize Agent & Center Flexibility
- Connect Remote Agents
- Streamline A Distributed Workforce
As if that wasn’t enough reason to go with CCaaS, you’re also leveraging the ultimate remote workforce optimization tool there is.
No more managing a vast in-house call center that drains your time and resources.
Instead, CCaaS allows you to invest in the right customer service advocates, no matter where they are located.
Plus, you can trust that they have all the right tools to do an incredible job without the added oversight.
How does having a cloud contact center actually affect my business?
Did you know that only 36% of call centers are using cloud technology to serve their customers?
While the benefits are hard to ignore, there are still companies who are attempting an omnichannel approach without the core foundation to support productivity and efficacy.
Here are a few examples of companies taking charge of their profit centers through cloud computing:
What are the important features of a cloud contact center?
An omnichannel approach requires multiple customer touchpoints and the capability to adapt to shifting customer needs and expectations. Unfortunately, many traditional call center systems are unable to actively pivot or directly inhibit agent flexibility.
Fortunately, cloud contact centers are specifically designed for agile productivity and enable your agents to work smarter, not harder through a unique suite of built-in tools and processes.
- Call Flows
- Skills-Based Routing
- Automatic Call Distributor
- Interactive Voice Response
- Ring Groups
- Intelligent Reconnect
- Overflow Forwarding
- KPI Measurement
While the features may vary based on your unique needs and long-term goals, one of the most impactful features of CCaaS to be aware of is the capability to integrate multiple contact channels to reach customers where they are.
How do you determine which features you actually need?
With all these newfangled features to consider, how do you know which ones actually make sense for your contact center and customer base?
Well, the first step is to step back and assess your current processes and where the gaps or inefficiencies lie and strategize from there.
- Conduct a full contact center audit of systems, tools, processes, and staff.
- Ask your agents and customers for their input on what you could do better.
- Choose 1-3 areas to focus on.
- Outline realistic goals for each focus area.
- Outline the key tools to achieve those goals.
If all else fails, ask a potential service provider to give you their impression of your needs and which solutions would best suit them.
How should you go about choosing the right cloud contact center solution and provider for your needs?
Not all call centers are created equal, so it stands to reason that not all CCaaS providers are either. So, considering the vast sea of choices out there, how do you select the right provider and solution for your needs.
Once you have a good idea of your long-term goals and your center needs, reach out to the top providers or vendors for a consultation.
Asking the following questions can help you get a grip on which option is going to be the best fit, and which would only tick a few of the boxes:
- How do your technology and support differ from [insert competitor name]?
- Based on what you know about our company, what sort of features would you recommend?
- Can you tell me exactly why these features are important to our long-term goals?
- What kind of staff training do you offer to get my team up to speed?
- Do you offer 24/7 help desk support in case something happens?
- What if we decide that it isn’t a good fit? Is there a grace period or trial period?
Pro Tip: Third-party brokers are the perfect choice for your next technology investment because they provide an unbiased perspective of the advantages of the tool versus your unique needs.
Plus, it takes the stress of choosing compatible platforms off your shoulders so you can focus on the customer.
Turning Your Call Center into a Profit Center is Within Reach!
No matter how large or small your contact center may be, you can easily flip the switch from overhead to a profit center with the addition of cloud contact centers as a service.
Or, get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation to find out if CCaaS is right for you and your customers.