What Is CCaaS? How Contact Center as a Service Aids Small Businesses
This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Contact center as a service (CCaaS) is a cloud-based communications platform that integrates voice and digital channels, including messaging, live chat, phone calls, support tickets, and emails. Its features, such as analytics, call routing and management, and interactive voice systems (IVR), enable businesses to interact with and serve customers efficiently. Learn how the CCaaS technology works and what it is, along with its benefits for growing small businesses.
RingCentral Contact Center is an example of a CCaaS solution that integrates cloud-based infrastructure with contact center functionality. As one of the well-known CCaaS providers in the market, check out RingCentral to learn more about its contact center solutions, including omnichannel routing, privacy functions, analytics, and real-time reporting.
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How CCaaS Works
CCaaS technology, also called hosted contact center tech, is a provider-hosted software in an offsite data center. Unlike traditional on-site call centers, CCaaS maximizes omnichannel tools for broader customer engagement, better client experience, and employee performance reporting.
CCaaS solutions operate as a central hub for customer interactions, including logging caller information and routing calls to contact center agents for appropriate action. Phone calls are routed over voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone systems, enabling the integration of critical customer service functions, such as call management functionality, coaching, supervision automation, and customer self-service capabilities.
According to HubSpot, the old-fashioned contact centers are no longer enough for customers’ needs. About 90% of clients indicate they want immediate responses to their questions, which may be limited for those utilizing on-premise systems. Customers want support through their channel of choice, and CCaaS provides an integrated customer hub that makes companies accessible across various mediums like chat, social media, phone calls, tickets, and email.
Benefits of CCaaS Solutions
When considering if CCaaS is the right platform for your small business, there are several things to consider, such as cost and maintenance, required skill level, functionality, and ease of use. Here are some key benefits enjoyed by businesses utilizing CCaaS solutions:
1. Increased Flexibility & Scalability
In a business landscape where scale and flexibility are essential to survival, CCaaS provides companies with the freedom to expand and adjust based on actual needs. CCaaS business solutions are customizable based on need, and as cloud contact centers, they quickly adapt to technological advancements, ensuring end users are at the forefront of customer service.
2. Prompt Response & Personalized Customer Experience
With an omnichannel platform, customers will be able to engage your business through multiple channel touchpoints, effectively reducing wait time and increasing customer satisfaction. With self-service options, customers are able to resolve their queries 24/7 with minimal agent intervention.
Call center software solutions generate reports consolidating the different contact points, resulting in detailed customer profiles and collated transaction history, so your agents are better able to support clients.
3. Reduced Operational Costs
CCaaS, an offsite cloud-based system, eliminates the need to purchase expensive equipment and hardware or develop high-tech infrastructure that depreciates over time. Features, such as self-service, chatbots, and automated routing, allow your business to serve customers quickly and with fewer agents.
CCaaS eliminates the need for capital outlay for extra servers and the square footage to house such equipment and staff. Maintenance and upgrades are based on need. With streamlined operations, your small business will have lower power costs, maximized hardware and technology utilization, reduced operational downtime, and lean technology and customer service staffing.
4. Optimized Performance & Productivity
With offsite infrastructure and cloud-based services, workforce and operations become more mobile, allowing an agent to access the system virtually anywhere as long as they have a compatible device with an internet connection. CCaaS platforms also improve agents’ workflows, allowing for multiple application use during a call and a central interface that provides access to customer information, history, and network accessibility.
With improved knowledge management, agents have quick access to information, increasing the amount of satisfactory and positive engagements with clients. Agents have the opportunity to focus on more complex customer interactions as opposed to repetitive tasks.
5. Access to Data Analytics & Business Intelligence
A unified platform consolidates customer information, performance indicators, and real-time analytics. CCaaS makes it easy to collect and analyze productivity and customer data, giving businesses critical insight into customer concerns, buying considerations, and client demographics. The information contributes to better decision-making on marketing campaigns and operational adjustments.
CCaaS Features to Consider
Assess your existing processes to understand your communication gaps and determine the specific needs of your call center business. There is no one-size-fits-all CCaaS system, but below are some key features that CCaaS has to offer:
1. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems
The IVR is the electronic voice menu that greets customers and helps them navigate the system through a series of prompts. It also routes them to the appropriate self-service solution or customer agent. This ensures your customers are always engaged, regardless of time, location, or concern. Through IVR, small and growing businesses alike have 24/7 phone system reception with customers able to reach you anytime.
2. Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) & Management
ACD facilitates routing inbound calls and interactions to the right agent or department, minimizing misrouting and customer dissatisfaction. ACD improves call center waiting time, optimizes the customer experience, and connects clients to the most qualified and appropriate agent.
3. Customer Mapping & Databases
Using customer relationship management (CRM) software, CCaaS collects and consolidates customer data and interactions for historical and account tracking. CCaaS identifies customer demand and analyzes data to optimize the company’s products and services. A live contact database makes it easier for customer service agents to have the correct information and context when dealing with clients.
4. Data Analytics
CCaaS allows you to monitor and track customer interaction, as well as generate data and analytical reports on call volume, customer profiles, and customer queuing time. The data helps managers identify staff who may need additional training and staffing requirements during peak hours. The contact center metrics and trends also help boost agent performance and evaluate internal strengths and weaknesses.
Contact Center as a Service Providers
There are plenty of things to keep in mind when choosing a service provider, such as software selection and call management features, budget, and team size. Your service provider is key to ensuring the best customer engagement for your business. Below are three of the best CCaaS solutions and providers for small businesses:
RingCentral offers customized contact center solutions that include skills-based routing, agent management, an auto-dialer, and real-time insights. It also integrates with popular CRM software, ensuring agents are updated on the customers’ details.
RingCentral offers four contact center plans: Essentials (voice features), Standard (omnichannel solution), Premium (includes quality management functions), and lastly, Ultimate (integrates workforce engagement management). These plans have customized pricing, and those interested may contact RingCentral sales for a quote.
Genesys Cloud offers cloud-based contact center solutions with a user-friendly interface and omnichannel communication support that includes video, email, chat, voice, and video calls. With its blended artificial intelligence (AI) approach, its CCaaS services contribute to streamlining workflows and provide comprehensive performance analytics and insights.
Its basic plan, Genesys Cloud CX 1, includes inbound and outbound voice, IVR, and API requests, starting at $75 per month or 68 cents per hour.
Talkdesk is a CCaaS provider that offers a 100% uptime guarantee, with customer self-service functionality, detailed analytics, call intelligent routing, and multilevel IVR. The CX Cloud Essentials offers hybrid contact center services, including call routing, dashboards, and voice engagements, starting at $75 per user, per month.
Call Center vs Contact Center
Call centers and contact centers are gateways to customer service, but their functionalities and purpose vary in many ways. A traditional call center primarily services customer inbound and outbound calls. Other channels, like email and chat, are processed in silos with no synchronized, unified data center that monitors and tracks the customer journey.
A contact center is a comprehensive communications system with advanced telephony features, handling inbound and outbound customer interactions. However, unlike phone-based call centers, contact centers enable customers to engage with you through various platforms, such as messaging, emails, live chat, and social media.
Call centers typically have agents who handle voice calls relating to inquiries, account clarifications, telemarketing, and other customer-related concerns. Contact centers act as the central hub of client management—they are designed to establish personalized interactions that result in the timely resolution of matters through the customer’s channel of choice.
Setup & Installation
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the difference between UCaaS & CCaaS?
CCaaS and UCaaS (unified communications as a service) are cloud-based platforms that utilize voice, video, and messaging functions. The main difference between the two is that UCaaS consolidates business communications into a single platform, enabling teams to coordinate remotely. On the other hand, CCaaS is an all-in-one communications channel for sales and customer support.
Check out this article to learn more about the difference between UCaaS and CCaaS and when to use them.
2. How much does CCaaS cost?
CCaaS is scalable and customizable, with pricing dependent on the provider and the available tier or services. The standard pricing structure is either by the minute or pay per user, per month, ranging from $25 to over $100.
3. Which types of industries or businesses are CCaaS best for?
Companies that engage clients or require constant communication and multichannel avenues, such as healthcare, education, and travel, would greatly benefit from using CCaaS. Call centers are particularly suited for enterprises with a strong need for voice interaction or dealing with account clarifications and data privacy, such as banking and finance.
CCaaS is a cloud-based communications service that consolidates customer interaction touchpoints. Its benefits include higher customer satisfaction, reduced IT requirements, and lower operational costs. Now that you know what CCaaS is, selecting the right system will allow for a personalized customer experience, real-time omnichannel communication, and improved agent efficiency.