Contact centers are a direct link between customers and businesses. The importance of this segment of your business is substantial. Most companies are prioritizing customer experience, ensuring they can receive responsive support in multiple channels. That weighs heavy on customer service agents that need to work efficiently and adeptly. To meet the needs of customers and agents, companies are adopting Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS).
What Is CCaaS?
CCaaS is a cloud-based customer experience platform running on a contact center software engine. Because it lives in the cloud, it’s accessible from wherever with a login and internet connection. It includes multiple features that streamline customer queues from all channels and uses technology to boost efficiency and productivity.
CCaaS vs. Traditional Contact Center Applications
Traditional on-premises systems and CCaaS often include many of the same features. The key differences relate to how they function. On-premises is as it sounds, only available in a physical space. The servers and software are at the location and are the company’s responsibility. In such a scenario, running it is expensive due to the equipment costs. Your IT team also has to maintain it. Additionally, it can take some time to configure and deploy.
CCaaS, however, lives in the cloud. Accessibility is never an issue, so contact centers can be remote-enabled. That’s a significant improvement over on-premises, considering the much-adopted hybrid work models. Further, the costs are monthly fees with no expensive equipment or labor necessary. CCaaS is fast to deploy as well, so you could be up and running within days.
What Features Are Most Important in a CCaaS?
In comparing platforms, there are essential features it should have. They will ensure you have the right tools to delight customers and empower agents. One of the most important is already a given — it’s in the cloud. This allows you to have agents working from home on a secure, easy-to-use platform, which can help you attract and retain employees.
Intelligent Routing: Ensuring Customers Reach the Right Agent
Most companies have multiple products, services, or customer types. These segments contact support for different reasons. CCaaS allows you to route the customer to the right agent based on their needs. Without this, they may encounter lots of re-routing and frustration.
Your platform can define skills-based groups, sending customers to the agent that can serve them best. In doing this, you can likely improve first call resolution, decrease the interaction time, and provide a positive experience.
Integrations with Other Customer-Centric Platforms
Another must-have feature for your contact center software is integration capabilities. With this, your agents can have access to pertinent information. For example, an integration with a customer relationship management (CRM) solution provides agents with historical data about the customer. This offers context and may alleviate the customer’s need to repeat herself.
Another critical integration is with a unified communications platform. By having this, agents can immediately chat with other parties, such as supervisors or those outside the contact center, to find answers.
Dynamic Notifications for Outbound Communications
CCaaS isn’t just for inbound communication. Your business can also use it to contact customers via voice, SMS, and email with dynamic notifications. With this feature, you can be strategic in customer contact that can help in so many ways. Use it for appointment reminders, outage notifications, payment due notices, emergency alerts, promotional offers, and more.
Analytics and Reporting to Power Decisions with Data
Valuable data is underneath every interaction. By having access to it, you can have visibility of operations. There are two ways this functionality delivers benefits. First, real-time dashboards help supervisors manage in the moment. Second, historical data identifies where you’re effective and areas that need attention.
CCaaS has multiple report types such as agent performance, queue performance, missed calls, tracking, first call resolution, and more. This data impacts your staffing levels as well. You can see peak call times and if you have enough people available at those periods.
As data is the new currency in business decision-making, having an ample analytics and reporting engine is critical.
Supervisor Features for Quality Assurance
Another group of features your business will appreciate are supervisor controls. Those that oversee agents can review, score, and provide feedback. They can also use monitor, whisper, or barge during calls to guide agents. Call and screen recording provide additional insight in evaluating operations.
Customers want to engage in different channels, and companies have to meet their expectations. According to a U.S. customer survey, 58 percent of people prefer digital channels, including email, chat, text, and social media. The minority (42 percent) still favor the phone.
CCaaS integrates all customer communication channels: voice, chat, email, and SMS. You then have an omnichannel, universal queue and can understand customer interactions by channel, volume, and duration.
Is CCaaS Right for Your Business?
Adopting CCaaS could revolutionize how you manage your contact center. With an agile, feature-rich solution, you can provide customers with multiple channels for contact and a better experience. The technology also enables agents to be more productive and effective. If your goals are to improve customer interactions, support your agents, and reduce costs, CCaaS is the best solution. Learn more about the possibilities by checking out Intermedia Contact Center software.
March 3, 2022
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