The needs and expectations of the present-day customer are that business services are “always-on” – available whenever and wherever the customer wants to interact with them. Over the years, as a primary channel for customer engagement, your contact center has been the face and voice of your company. Your representatives manage your company’s first impressions and directly impact client satisfaction. However, even if your company offers superior services if your contact center experience is subpar, your customer satisfaction, referrals, and retention suffer. Fortunately, the advent of cloud data platforms and the evolution of CCaaS has provided organizations the opportunity to increase flexibility by leveraging innovative technologies, such as AI, and Chatbots, more rapidly than ever before. This inherent capability allows the adopters of CCaaS to reduce costs while increasing customer satisfaction, thereby boosting brand & reputation.
What is CCaaS?
An organization with a traditional contact center deals with dedicated hardware, expensive software, high maintenance costs, and up-front capital investments for endless upgrades. CCaaS enables a company to move off the traditional contact center to a cloud-based solution. With CCaaS, an organization utilizes third-party software managed by a CCaaS provider. The CCaaS provider collects the base platform, including platform support, upgrades, and ongoing maintenance. In addition, the provider’s expert support teams are seamlessly connected to their development teams to ensure uptime and availability are uncompromised. This is often consumed by a per-seat license, allowing the organization to match cost to size with ample room to expand.
The future of CCaaS in the Contact Centre transformation space is promising, considering market growth and adoption trends, such as::
- The global contact center software market is expected to grow to USD 50 billion by 2025 and almost USD 150Billion by 2030 (Grand View Research Report)
- Only 36% of global call centers are currently using cloud technology (as of January 2022 as per Aberdeen Strategy Research)
The key takeaway is that by 2025, most major contact centers will be transforming or have already transformed using cloud technology into digital omnichannel experience hubs.
The Demands of the Modern Customer
Today’s customer is exposed to a variety of experiences and channels. From contacting a bank and querying utility bills to seeking confirmation of parcel delivery times, the modern customer is experiencing varying levels of service and has formed powerful expectations of what good service looks and feels like. It is a commonplace for customers to want:
- Always-on service when it suits me – I want real-time interaction over chat, voice, and all channels at all times of the day and night. I want someone to resolve my queries at any time across all digital channels.
- Ease of interaction – I want to share files and obtain clarification with an agent at any time of the day across all channels.
- You to know my history and reason for calling – I only need to explain my reasoning for contacting you once, and you can easily access my history and relevant information.
- Faster response times – I don’t need to wait in queues for extended periods. However, if there are delays and I cannot wait, there are options for you to get back to me through call-back options.
- To be in control through self-service – self-service options allow me to provision for myself so that I can determine what I want/need
- Timely resolution with minimal transfers – my interactions with the Contact Centre ensures I am routed to the best agent who understands my issue and can resolve the issue the first time.
The CCaaS Advantage
A Happy customer is your best sales team. With CCaaS, you can rapidly uplift your channel experiences, address the modern customer’s expectations, and improve your customer experience & service delivery outcomes. A well-planned move to CCaaS allows you to:
- Build your brand reputation by being present for your customers when they need to talk to you. Allow customer interaction seamlessly via Voice, SMS, Live Chat, and Social media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) Channels. Become a leader in customer service on all channels.
- Build Brand Affinity by allowing 2-way sharing of files, and helpful links between agent and customer in a secure medium
- Build personalization when servicing the customer by implementing Speech recognition on the Voice channel to allow better customer self-service. Then store and record all interactions with the customer to obtain a 360-degree view of the customer, and use these data insights to better service the customer for the next interaction.
- Build Customer Satisfaction by allowing call-back options rather than waiting in a queue or deflect from Voice to other channels such as Live Chat or SMS Chat, so the customer does not have to wait. The customer will feel their voice is essential, and their questions will be addressed, while customer wait times are decreased.
- Decrease servicing costs while increasing the total volume of customers serviced. This is enabled by reducing the time taken to service a customer request as well as reducing wait times. Self-service options across all channels also reduce the need to talk to agents. For example, using Intelligent routing of customer interactions across all channels lowers wait times. Further, data analytics and machine Learning/AI using speech biometrics can help continuously improve customer self-service experience. For example, creating a 360-degree view of the customer in one platform can enable agents to quickly identify the customer and their context without navigating multiple systems/applications. This reduces the agent’s time to service the customer and unlocks the capacity to service a higher volume of customers.
Understanding how you want to use CCaaS to support your customer journey and underlying technology platforms is key when crafting a target solution for your organization and selecting a CCaaS partner. Our next blog will cover the full range of criteria you need to use to make this decision, including your current landscape and requirements across people, process, technology, and data aspects. In future posts, we will also look at the service partner and ecosystem capabilities you need to succeed on this journey.
Arjun Karnik, Principal from the IC SURE Practice has more than two decades of experience in project management. He is passionate about helping businesses realize the benefits of using a Contact Centre as a Service.
Prenaven Naidoo is a digital enthusiast focused on co-creating outcomes with Infosys Services, Utilities, Resources and Energy clients on their digital journey, by leveraging his extensive experience in Leadership, Digital Strategy, Operating Model Design & Execution of digital initiatives.