Everything that we knew about business and the customer experience has changed and contact centre as-a-service (CCaaS) options continue to be the saviour, affording companies the quick deployment and flexibility needed for organizational continuity even while remote. In fact, the CCaaS market is expected to reach $10.6 billion by 2027. 

But CCaaS isn’t just a tool to boost business performance, it’s essential to enhancing the customer experience. A 2016 report shows that nearly seven out of 10 IT managers report that improving the experience of their customers is a top business priority. The adoption of CCaaS can do just that, making this an investment that benefits nearly every aspect of the business. 

What is CCaaS?

CCaaS is a cloud-based customer experience solution allowing businesses of all sizes to utilize communications tools that enable them to provide superior and streamlined omnichannel communication to their customers; physical call centres not required. 

CCaaS is a prime solution and key investment all customer-engaging businesses, large and small, should be making right now. As onsite offices and call centres were forced to shut down, it was clear the traditional contact centre model had to change, causing many businesses to successfully deploy a cloud-based solution. CCaaS allows companies to provide customer service virtually, ensure uninterrupted engagement and customer satisfaction. 

Investing in CCaaS

The customer experience is what is driving the demand for CCaaS, making it crucial for businesses to adopt it. According to Gartner, CCaaS will be the preferred model of adoption for 50 per cent of contact centres by 2022, with Markets and Markets predicting the sector to hit over $36 billion by 2025. 

If a business is using legacy services, they should be making the shift to cloud a high priority, even if they have to do so slowly. It’s not a matter of “if” companies should be moving systems to the cloud, but when – and what is their adoption strategy? Legacy service cannot compete with the scalability, easy deployment and customization of CCaaS, and the benefits will only continue to grow. 

The cost-saving benefits alone are a strong reason to invest. Like all cloud-based solutions, companies cut down on having to purchase hardware and eliminate the need to utilize space and power on-site. There are no upfront investments and businesses can scale as needed, paying only for what is being used. 

Plus, IT resources are freed up by eradicating the need to do system maintenance and upgrades in-house, also reducing any downtime. As many companies are working with reduced staff or smaller IT teams, CCaaS can offset some of the burden on IT while helping the organization to better manage headcount. Productivity can be more easily tracked with enhanced reporting capabilities, enabling businesses to better utilize agents and in some cases, even eliminating the need for a live person to resolve common customer inquiries. 

The Customer experience

Although 80 per cent of organizations feel their customer service is great, in reality, 84 per cent of customers are dissatisfied with their contact centre experiences, so there is plenty of room for improvement across a broad range of verticals and business types. 

The addition of more advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) into the workforce are changing the way that businesses engage with customers. CCaaS features can improve an agent’s ability to respond to customers and resolve issues quicker. 

Some solutions can monitor conversations, leveraging the ability to identify keywords and tone to better understand the caller, and make real-time recommendations to assist the agent, delivering a more personalized and effective response. Customers of today are looking for a custom and personalized experience and CCaaS can help with this. 

Customers have also come to expect their needs to be met very quickly. AI and machine learning (ML) capabilities through CCaaS can offload tedious, repetitive, time-consuming tasks from agents to machines. Chatbots, virtual assistants, and interactive voice response can be used to offer quicker responses, and these features are only continuing to advance and improve, allowing call centres to shift away from agents to self-service when possible. This is useful for managing headcount and dealing with high call volumes. 

The future of contact centres is in the cloud and CCaaS is a viable solution that all businesses with call centres need to explore right now. With more providers and service options, it is easier for companies of all sizes to deploy these solutions and capitalize on their features for improved customer experience and business continuity – two things that companies need now more than ever. And while contact centres have been long overlooked and underfunded when it comes to digital transformation initiatives, COVID-19 may have done many a favor by serving as the catalyst to accelerate long-term change for the industry. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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John Romeo
John Romeo is a Cloud Communication Architect and Tech Guru at Tech Guidance’s parent company, TBI. With over 24 years of extensive expertise in cloud solutions, including contact centers and unified communications, he is a dynamic technical leader and strategic planner helping enterprises to expertly align their IT resources with corporate objectives.