What Is CCaaS?
CCaaS stands for Contact Center as a Service, and essentially it’s a cloud-based version of traditional call center technology. Here is how it can help your call center and your business as a whole.
Doesn’t it feel like there’s even more jargon out there today than ever before?
CCaaS, UCaaS, SaaS, PaaS, BPaaS… With more and more acronyms flying around, it can feel like you’re never going to manage to cut through the noise.
It’s certainly true that the advent of cloud computing has led to more and more services moving online, each offering slightly different variations of products previously deployed in the analog sphere.
That’s left businesses with a seemingly endless array of tools offering to help them better serve their customers. But with so much jargon flying around, how are you meant to understand what you need?
If you run a customer service operation as part of your business, this blog post will peel the layers and give you a clear idea of what’s going on inside there.
In this blog, we’ll take a deeper look at:
- What CCaaS is
- The benefits it offers
- How it can help call center agents
- The critical differences between CCaaS and UCaaS
But first, let’s unpick what it is.
So, what is CCaaS?
CCaaS stands for Contact Center as a Service, and essentially it’s a cloud-based version of traditional call center technology.
To break it down even further, this means it’s a communications system built as a piece of software (i.e., a computer program) rather than hardware. The software is hosted on an internet-connected remote server allowing it to be entirely operated and managed over a simple data connection.
CCaaS marks a significant shift from traditional telephony operations. Call centers used to rely on hard-wired systems, which required a physical PBX (Private Branch Exchange). These consisted of potentially thousands of yards of copper cabling, PSTN cables, Network carrier connections, and of course, desk phones and the associated hardware.
All this equipment required manual installation as an on-premise solution, with many upgrades, extensions, and troubleshooting that complicated everyday handling.
In contrast, cloud-based software can be accessed by any internet-enabled computer or mobile device. It also allows for extensive and seamless integration with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software or other helpdesk software to create a comprehensive omnichannel support system. As you can imagine, these advancements offer huge scope for increased efficiency, flexibility, and more advanced functionality.
The benefits of CCaaS
A cloud-served contact center opens up a wide range of possibilities for enhanced customer service provision. Moving operations online brings a wealth of benefits to the speed and seamlessness of operations, as well as opening up advanced management and tracking features. So it’s no surprise to see organizations all over the world embracing the technology.
Here are just a few of the most significant benefits of CCaaS:
- Quick setup
As a service accessed over the internet, installation is quite literally as simple as the click of a few buttons. That allows your business to get straight back to work at the earliest opportunity.
- Inexpensive setup
Without the need to install cabling and with most contact centers already in possession of the computer equipment required, making the switch to CCaaS is an easily affordable transition. Gone are the days of significant initial capital investment in telephony hardware and its installation before you can get the ball rolling.
Charged on a subscription model, a cloud-based service enables easier forecasting of costs, and scaling up or down your operation has never been easier. Whether you need to add extensions to a shared contact list to accommodate a growing workforce, add more advanced features as your business develops, or deal with rising call volumes, CCaaS is exceptionally scalable.
- Immediate upgrades
Unlike on-premise versions, which require site visits and manual upgrading, online call center software receives regular updates pushed directly from the cloud, minimizing downtime.
- Lower maintenance costs
CCaaS has lower maintenance costs primarily because there’s less equipment to go wrong. Without as much cabling and hardware to keep in operation, and with all server maintenance the responsibility of your CCaaS provider, you can rest easy there won’t be any nasty surprises.
- Advanced telephony features
CCaaS provides easy integrations with advanced features such as call routing, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), automatic call distribution, and new AI and Machine Learning-driven analytics that allow managers to more effectively track productivity performance. All in all that means you can offer a better customer service experience.
- Virtual phone numbers
You can locate your call center anywhere in the world without the need for a physical office, thanks to virtual phone numbers. You don’t need a SIM, a dedicated phone, or a desk phone to avail the benefits of virtual phone numbers.
How does CCaaS help call center agents?
CCaaS brings to the table several benefits that no business can turn a blind eye to. It is the perfect technology to keep call center operations running smoothly, especially during these times of mandated remote working.
Cloud-based software is an ideal fit for this new reality, offering a range of benefits for call center agents:
- Ease of use
With intuitive, self-explanatory interfaces, and designed to be simple, CCaaS cuts down on the amount of time needed to train staff and get them up to speed.
Cloud-based services can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, opening up the possibility of call center staff working together across a wide geographic area. Access across different computer systems and mobile devices has made things more flexible than ever.
- Information-led customer service
Integrations with CRM software allow customer service agents to more easily keep detailed customer records and work simultaneously across internal systems. Taken together, this means a cleaner, faster service for callers, with more issues solved by their first point of contact and handovers that are smooth and seamless.
- Easy access to assistance
Functions such as call monitoring and call barging allow for easy service quality tracking and ensure agents can escalate issues as and when needed.
- Custom agent status
Agents can create and configure custom status messages. Call forwarding and number sharing systems automatically redirect calls to available agents based on these statuses.
- Voicemail transcripts
Agents can keep up with missed messages and voicemails thanks to the automated transcription of voicemails.
What is the difference between CCaaS and UCaaS?
Here comes our last acronym of the day.
UCaaS stands for Unified Communications as a Service. Essentially this means that all your communications are brought together into one cloud-based service platform.
It follows the trend for call centers to integrate omnichannel support as customers turn to alternative forms of communication. In a UCaaS setup, voice calling, video conferencing, email, instant messaging, and social media all sit side by side in one piece of software.
This certainly changes the nature of a customer service agent’s role, as they help customers across an increasingly diverse range of channels. But it enables you to adapt based on individual customers’ preferred means of communication and potentially allows for a deeper connection between the sales and marketing strands of your business and the customer service team.
Not only that, but UCaaS can help provide a seamless, unified experience for customers across all the devices they might own. All while helping to maintain the integrity of your brand identity.
Note: Freshcaller is currently offering only call center capabilities. Freshcaller can be integrated with Freshdesk – the helpdesk software from Freshworks to create a full-fledged contact center.
In a nutshell
It’s clear then that the adoption of cloud-based services is not going to slow down anytime soon. The market forecast is optimistic, and it is evident that on-premise systems are soon to become defunct and outdated.
CCaaS provides significant improvements compared to traditional hardwired PBX-based setups, without mentioning the cost savings, scalability, and flexibility it facilitates.
Not only that, but it presents call centers with the opportunity to take significant strides forwards in their operations. It helps identify workforce efficiencies, trends in caller behavior, and, most importantly, provides customers with a smoother, quicker, and more satisfying experience.
Ultimately, CCaaS empowers businesses to build a system that works for them and can adapt at short notice to changing demands.
Now, the next time you hear someone discussing theirs, you’ll be the one in the know.
Illustrations by Mahalakshmi Anantharaman
Animation by Vinoth Krishnan
Freshcaller is a modern-day cloud phone system that can be used to set up a SaaS call center for customer support and sales. With its cloud-based architecture, Freshcaller brings together the best of legacy features like IVR and advanced call routing capabilities like Smart Escalations, Customizable Performance Reporting to help you set up state-of-the-art call center operations. Freshcaller offers phone numbers in 90+ countries, requires zero phone hardware, and is extremely easy to use.
Visit the Freshcaller website for more information.
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