Regardless of the kind of business you operate, customer service through a contact center is going to be an integral part of your success. Allowing customers to contact you with questions and concerns ensures better engagement and can enhance the overall user experience.
For enterprise-level businesses, the best way to handle customer calls is through a call center. In the old days, this meant having a massive building with dozens of phone banks connected to proprietary computers. Companies had to manage tons of legacy software and infrastructure, which kept operating costs high.
Fortunately, we live in the modern era. Cloud technology has transformed the way we do business, and it has opened up the possibilities of managing a contact center. Now, instead of having to maintain a roster of employees in a single building, businesses can have a multifaceted network of reps located anywhere in the world.
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is enabling companies of all sizes to cater to their customers with the flexibility and service they want. Today, we want to discuss how this can all come together.
The Benefits of CCaaS
As you can imagine, building a new contact center from the ground up can be both time-consuming and expensive. Buying phones (and lines), computers, wireless routers, headsets, desks, chairs can all add up. On top of those elements, you need to manage internal software, including workplace chat, email, and customer relationship management (CRM) programming.
With CCaaS, companies can access all of these components online via the cloud. Now, customer service reps can log in from any computer (or potentially, a mobile device) and get access to everything they need. No more legacy systems, and no more costly infrastructure.
So, with this kind of flexibility, what can businesses expect from CCaaS? Let’s break down the top advantages that it can offer.
First and foremost, smaller companies can now develop contact centers for their customers without having to invest substantial capital. Rather than buying equipment and software outright, businesses can rent hardware from a supplier and pay a monthly subscription.
Not only are the upfront costs significantly less than they were in years past, but maintenance is also cheaper. With traditional contact centers, it was necessary to have an internal IT team that could upgrade and update each computer terminal manually. Now, the service provider handles all of that, which is included in the subscription price.
Also, think about how much power you would use by maintaining a legacy contact center. The electric and phone bills alone would be massive, which could curtail profitability. CCaaS ensures that businesses are maximizing their customer service value.
Finally, when you deploy CCaaS strategically, you can usually manage more calls with fewer agents. Thus, you can save tons of money by having lower labor costs than you would otherwise.
Contact centers used to be available only to enterprise-level companies. However, now that the service has adapted to the cloud, businesses that wouldn’t be able to compete can start using this software.
Best of all, these companies can scale up as needed. As the brand grows, they can expand to new markets. Not only that, but seasonal demand can shift so that customers aren’t left on hold during peak call times. Overall, you can scale up or down based on current needs.
Improved Customer Experience
For the most part, customers don’t like calling a contact center. All too often, they are placed on hold for a long time, and they can get bounced around between different representatives and managers. There’s a reason why hold music can feel so grating.
Thankfully, CCaaS software can improve this experience. There are a few different ways that it can do this.
- First, the software enables communication across a variety of channels. Some customers prefer to use social media or texting to reach a business, rather than calling.
- Second, you get access to different analytical tools that help you understand why your customers are calling. Being able to see this data in real-time ensures that you can adapt to user’s needs on the fly.
- Finally, the deployment of resources is much faster and more efficient with CCaaS. During peak call times, you can manage more customers by utilizing different components as needed. You can get a screenshot of user wait times and call details, which can be maintained more effectively from the back end.
Overall, when customers call your business, they want fast and efficient service. Traditional contact centers didn’t have easy ways to address inconsistencies and delays, but CCaaS does. When your users have a positive experience with your contact center, your brand’s reputation improves as well.
Better for Contact Center Agents
While making a better user experience adds value to your brand, it’s imperative that you take care of your employees too. Fortunately, CCaaS software has several tools to make your agent’s job easier, which can lead to better satisfaction.
With traditional contact centers, elements were typically spread out across different channels. If a rep needed to locate a customer’s account or information, it would take a while to find it because there were so many siloed systems. Now that everything can be in one program, it’s much faster to pull up user details.
No longer do agents have to log into different accounts on the same device. Now, they can get access to everything within one system, which ensures faster and more efficient service. Better yet, they can get even more details about customers (i.e., purchase history, demographic information, location, etc.) to allow for better engagement and sales opportunities.
When agents can do their jobs efficiently, that enables them to provide better service to the customer. When customers are handled with the right care and attention, the experience becomes more amicable for both parties. No longer will you have distraught users yelling at agents because of long wait times or confusing phone trees. Building a more positive work environment keeps your reps happy, which continues the cycle.
With legacy systems, maintaining the network would be time-consuming and inefficient. Because each terminal had to be updated manually, software patches or security upgrades could lead to significant downtime.
Now, because the software provider handles security, companies no longer have to worry about staying up-to-date. That being said, by deploying a flexible and mobile contact center, one issue that could arise is PCI compliance.
PCI stands for payment card industry, which comes with a data security standard (DSS). If part of your agent’s job is to handle transactions over the phone, PCI DSS is an integral part of your overall success.
Since your reps won’t necessarily be under one roof (or even active at the same time), one of the best ways to ensure compliance is by integrating this security into the CCaaS software. Fortunately, many providers can include payment options in the system, which helps protect your customers and your brand. Rather than having to train and monitor remote staff with payment processing, everything can be handled internally.
According to recent data, only about 36 percent of call centers are currently using cloud technology. You still hear horror stories of customers waiting on hold for an eternity with some companies, including those that should have better systems in place.
These days, customer service is one of the most crucial elements of success. With so much competition in every industry, small changes can have the most impact. Communication is one of the cornerstones of this process as it leads to stronger engagement.
With CCaaS, you can interact with customers on their terms. No longer do users have to call a 1-800 number to reach your company. Now, they can send SMS messages or utilize live chat functions to get their needs addressed. By implementing this technology, customers will feel more appreciated, which can lead to better customer loyalty.
Bottom Line: Deploy CCaaS Today
When you look at the advantages that a cloud-based contact center can provide, there is no reason not to upgrade. Best of all, because it’s so versatile and scalable, it doesn’t matter what size company you run. Even if you only have a handful of employees right now, you can benefit from reliable CCaaS software.