What Is CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service)?
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Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a cloud-based software solution designed to help you improve your customer experience. CCaaS is typically a multichannel communications platform that enables inbound or outbound communication with both your customers and new prospects.
CCaaS providers offer various software components, including collaboration and communications software, contact/interaction tracking applications, and contact center-specific unified communications (UC) features and integration capabilities. A typical contact center as a service solution includes:
- Inbound and outbound voice capabilities and digital channels — chat, SMS, email and social media response capabilities
- Automated outbound dialer (scheduled customer calls including callback functionality) and outbound notification capabilities across channels
- Workforce management solutions and/or integration to support forecasting and scheduling of team members and recording and scoring of contacts in Quality Management
- Help desk, sales automation tools and connectors/APIs to enable seamless integration with CRM platforms (e.g., Salesforce, Zendesk) and customer-facing web applications.
- Robust historical reporting, real-time monitoring and analytics capabilities
The global contact center as a service market was worth $3.48 billion in 2020 and is projected to increase at a 15.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) until 2028, according to Grand View Research.
Until fairly recently, contact centers were built on software systems that were hosted and maintained on premises. These systems demanded a significant amount of investment in people and required regular upgrade costs.
Early CCaaS solutions enabled contact center agents to login to systems via a web browser, which reduced maintenance costs and increased scalability and flexibility. These systems were built on Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, which enables calls to traditional phone numbers using internet services. But there were lots of drawbacks: the systems struggled to integrate with some third-party applications, faced slow-release updates and suffered long development cycles.
Modern solutions are built natively in the cloud, which means they are specifically developed to run in the cloud, meet evolving market conditions and take advantage of new microservice technologies. In addition, modern contact center as a service solutions integrate new capabilities like mobile access, social media and video telephony.
At its most basic level, CCaaS enables you to tap into the benefits of having a cloud-based solution. This comes with many clear advantages, including:
The key benefit of contact center as a service is the ability to improve the customer experience. CCaaS solutions are customer-centric and evolve to fit how your employees work and meet the demands of your callers. Multichannel integration enables your agents to interact with customers via their preferred channel (e.g., email, live chat, social media or voice calls).
CCaaS solutions seamlessly integrate customer experience channels into one unified platform. This enables you to route callers to the correct agent, track customer wait times and better manage periods of high call volumes. Furthermore, all the services that contact center agents require are easily accessible through their desktops, which improves your customer service capabilities.
In a contact center as a service model, contact center hardware and software are hosted and managed by a third-party provider. This removes the need for upfront investments in data center services and technologies (such as floor space, power and servers) and reduces the resources required to maintain and upgrade that infrastructure. Contact center as a service also lowers the need for additional IT staff and limits the chance of downtime because services are hosted by a third party. CCaaS allows organizations to move from a capital expenditure to an operational expenditure, allowing the customer to budget for a monthly variable cost.
In addition to reducing the cost of contact center infrastructure, CCaaS is highly scalable. It enables you to quickly deploy new solutions whenever you need them and remove them when they're no longer required. This way, you only pay for what you need and don't have to worry about outgrowing your solution.
Moving your contact center infrastructure into the cloud enables you to easily adopt new functionalities and technologies, including the latest tools fueled by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. Having access to intuitive, leading technologies enables self-service and fully automated actions, which helps eliminate mundane tasks and accelerate customer issue resolution.
CCaaS makes it easier to understand and improve your customer experience and what's happening across your contact center. Data analysis capabilities, such as interaction analytics and reporting, enable you to optimize and tailor customer service and use data to drive measurable improvements. Agent monitoring tools allow you to resolve customer issues more quickly and manage more interactions using fewer contact center agents. This can result in increased productivity levels almost overnight.
Based on Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service and WWT's customer engagements and our findings from the Advanced Technology Center, we've identified the top four contact center as a service providers.
A cloud-based contact center, Cisco Webex Contact Center delivers visibility, flexibility and scalability to optimize business results and reduce costs. WebEx Contact Center gives your customers the choice to connect through their preferred channel and uses AI-powered virtual agents to help resolve issues and offer faster assistance. Its collaboration suite also gives your agents the tools to engage team members and subject matter experts for optimal support.
NICE CXone, formerly Nice inContact, is a call center open cloud platform that offers voice, chat, email, messaging and social. It delivers AI-powered self-service chatbots and interactive voice response so you can resolve issues faster and pre-built CRM integrations for personalized service. Its smart omnichannel routing connects your customers to the right agent or self-service option, and its customer analytics feature can help you gain insights into customer experience and agent performance.
Using microservices, an API-first strategy, open data and artificial intelligence, Genesys Cloud CX delivers speed, reliability, scalability and smart automation to your contact center. Genesys Cloud CX secured its place on the Gartner Magic Quadrant due to its commitment to customer service and its strengths in customer journey analytics and orchestration capabilities.
Talkdesk's cloud contact center platform offers voice, digital channels, workforce engagement management, analytics and insights, and business tool integrations to help deliver great customer experiences. Talkdesk also has flexible deployment options so you can move to the cloud at your own pace and preserve infrastructure investments. Its solutions include industry and vertical-specific products for healthcare and life sciences, retail, e-commerce and consumer goods.
It's increasingly crucial to provide high-quality interactions through the communication channel that your customers prefer. People no longer want to have their calls answered by a machine. They want to solve their issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Cloud-based as a service systems help you reduce costs with tools that are easier to implement and quicker to upgrade. This increases the efficiency of your contact center and improves the quality of service that customers receive. Contact center as a service is also crucial to scaling services up and down as demands fluctuate, especially at busier times of the year and in response to unexpected spikes in traffic.
Furthermore, CCaaS offers greater flexibility by enabling contact center agents to work from anywhere, which in turn could reduce the cost of having physical office space.
When you're ready to transform your contact center platform, WWT can help you navigate and accelerate the contact center decision-making process. Download our Cloud Contact Center Buyer's Guide for a structured approach to evaluating and selecting modern contact center solutions.