Your contact center should offer more than simple answers. It’s the mothership of your customer experience, but its processes require integrations for optimal performance. A unified communication platform can empower collaboration between your contact center and the organization to provide a more seamless customer experience. But why?
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) can be combined with a contact center as a service(CCaaS) to improve the customer experience at large. Before diving into exactly how these improvements occur, it’s important to understand exactly what UCaaS and CCaaS are in your organization.
UCaaS and Contact Center as a Service: The Basics
While both UCaaS and CCaaS provide essential functions for your operation, they have distinct differences in how they accomplish results.
- UCaaS: a cloud-based business collaboration solution that consolidates various communication channels such as video, voice, messaging, and presence on a unified platform.
- CCaaS: an advanced cloud-based call center tool for empowering a business’s omnichannel customer communication, whether it be by phone, SMS, online chat, or email.
At a glance, you can think of UCaaS as an internal resource for improving communication and CCaaS as a way to bolster external communication with the customer.
The emergence of online resources for call centers revolutionized contact centers — creating contact centers as services to benefit the entirety of the customer journey. This prompted companies to adopt new ways to communicate externally and internally — but all too often, businesses are lagging behind in one of these departments.
Better Together: Why Unify UCaaS and CCaaS?
Combining your UCaaS and CCaaS offers a plethora of unique benefits.
Besides the avoidance of integration headaches when working with multiple companies, there are also cost advantages. Minimizing administrative burden frees up IT staff to focus on core competencies and strategic opportunities. Additionally, you can avoid weighty upfront capital outlays because a contact center as a service is a more predictable cost structure that centers around regular recurring operating expenditures.
1. Access to Information
Contact center employees gain seamless access to contextual information regarding a customer, allowing them to spend more time addressing the problem rather than familiarizing themselves with a customer’s situation or past interactions with the business.
As a customer, this is a huge plus in the customer experience department. Nothing is more frustrating than contacting a contact center for the second or third time and being forced to re-explain the predicament.
2. Meet Customers on Preferred Platforms
Another benefit of combining UCaaS and CCaaS is the ability to readily access and communicate engagement data with these platforms. This data provides valuable insights to where and when a customer engages with your company — whether it be on their phone, SMS, chat, email, and beyond.
Your contact center agents can leverage this data to easily communicate with customers on their preferred platform or device to better the customer experience and provide satisfying services faster.
3. Less Stress on Your Team
Learning new systems can inevitably slow operations and create workflow issues — especially when there are more multiple platforms to familiarize oneself with. Employees have enough on their plate when juggling multiple contact center customers — and keeping mental tabs on platform differences can inevitably affect performance.
Mitigating frustrations with your team is difficult to measure, but it can have an immense effect on the customer experience. Making the lives of your employees simpler and less confusing with combined UCaaS and CCaaS systems will certainly improve work satisfaction and in turn — customer satisfaction.
4. Seamless Coordination
Contact center agents can leverage collaboration tools within the UCaaS to harness rapid answers to inquiries that provide a fast and reliable resolution. Even on their own, contact centers as a service offer incredible business benefits. But, combining these external communication systems with your internal contact center as a service platform allows seamless coordination to handle problems efficiently and quickly.
5. Combined Analytics
Contact center data is a treasure-trove of vital information that can help to improve the customer experience and create advocates for your company. Unified analytics offer a comprehensive view of your business communications along with vital customer engagement systems.
As a business leader, you can highlight ways to adjust the customer experience in meaningful ways — creating a more valuable omnichannel approach.
Enhance Communication Stack By Combining UCaaS and CCaaS
Today, moving communication to the cloud is a must. It’s a flexible environment capable of pushing companies forward and creating new opportunities for collaboration, productivity, and an enhanced customer experience.
- Strengthen Your Data Access: Gain visibility on the entire spectrum of your customer journey along with your business process in a unified platform. Improve decision-making, give employees more accessibility, and enhance your analytics across the board.
- Unmatched Collaboration: Ease communication and collaboration between contact center agents and specialists, internal department heads, and vital sources for a more unified environment. Remove siloes to solve customer problems faster and create a landscape that facilitates sales opportunities.
- Quick Integrations: The cloud makes implementing new tools, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation easier than ever before.
- Boost Customer Experience: Combining UCaaS and CCaaS systems allows agents to work together more effectively, and engage with customers faster and smarter than ever. Additionally, agents can view the entire customer journey from a birds-eye view, easing pain points and providing solutions along the way.
- Cost Reduction: Unifying these systems means less maintenance and less hassle — allowing IT specialists more time to focus on improving processes.
Supercharge your company’s communication stack and improve customer experience across the board by combining your UCaaS and CCaaS systems. Give agents, IT leaders, and even customers the resources needed to grow your business and boost sales today. Cost Reduction:
As technology advances, the business world adapts to it. Things like video calling, content management systems, and fast fiber optic internet enhance business operations. Contact centers are another valuable modern service that improves the efficiency of your business.
Even though communication styles and mediums have changed over the years, reliable communication has always been essential for businesses. Today, Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is the most efficient way to communicate effectively with customers. Let’s take a look at what CCaaS is and how it came to be.
What is Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?
Contact Center as a Service is a cloud-based contact center. CCaaS programs were invented to function in the cloud, and they operate as an all-in-one service for customer interactions. They can route calls, track customer details, and allow customers to communicate through a variety of mediums, such as:
- Live chat rooms
- Social media
- Phone calls
The automated nature of CCaaS simplifies operations because it does not require expensive on-site software. Companies only have to purchase the technology they need, which saves a lot of money due to:
- Reduced IT staffing
- Streamlined billing
- Reduced employee downtime
- Lower operational costs
- No upfront investments
CCaaS is the most efficient way for contact centers to grow and scale as their operational needs change. Contact Centers as a Service easily allow businesses to add or subtract customer service agents depending on customer demands. Customers lose patience and interest when navigating long on-hold times and confusing routes to problem resolution. CCaaS software tracks customer wait times and high call-volume periods, which enables your business to adjust accordingly and provide a better customer support experience.
CCaaS is also ideal for employees because the software synthesizes all critical information onto a single screen. As a result, representatives have quick desktop access to all the tools they need, saving time and frustration for both parties.
Data is essential for business growth, and CCaaS can quickly gather customer data. Recording data such as abandoned calls, questionable language from agents, and caller queues helps businesses make ongoing improvements for customer and representative interactions.
The Origin: Call Centers
Before we had CCaaS, we had call centers. Call centers originated in the 1950s, and they were often referred to as “phone rooms.” Telephone operators answered inbound calls. Call centers existed for:
- Customer service
- Placing orders
- Calling the “operator” for phone call assistance
In the 1960s, technology continued to advance. For example, automatic call distributor (ACD) technology became popular to manage high volumes of calls. ACD technology developed an algorithm that automatically assigned agents different calls instead of relying on a human operator.
Shortly after, toll-free customer service numbers were introduced. You may remember calling in to vote for a contestant on a television show using a toll-free number. Technology developed further in the 1970s when customers could use Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to tell the business why they were calling based on voice recognition commands.
Once the internet took off in the 1990s, e-commerce companies needed a reliable way for non-local customers to contact them, inquire about products, and place orders. Call centers were the widespread solution for internet-based companies. Additionally, telemarketing was at an all-time high.
In 1991, customer backlash to telemarketing prompted Congress to pass the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA restricted telemarketing calls by setting a limit on when calls could be made. In addition, solicitors were required to honor the National Do Not Call Registry, and companies were no longer allowed to use pre-recorded messages for sales calls.
Eventually, many companies in the early 2000s realized that it was cheaper to outsource customer service calls outside of the United States. As a result, businesses outsourced their calls to call center companies overseas, which often caused frustration for customers and employees alike.
With internet improvements and the addition of social media, the call center landscape needed to adapt. Many younger customers wanted alternative ways to contact customer service representatives, while many older generations wished to keep the option of a traditional phone call. Eventually, Contact Center as a Service was born.
Adapting to CCaaS
As customer demands for internet-based service options increased, call centers had to adapt. In the 2000s, companies realized that there was an opportunity to create call center software and host it in the cloud. This change allowed representatives to access call center software from any internet browser, not just their specific computer in a call center.
While original CCaaS providers found success, there were still bugs and issues to fix. The original software was built during a transitional time of technology. Most codebases were still produced for on-site systems, not the cloud. The downtime was often significant, and the effort to make basic improvements would require long development cycles.
As technology and coding improved, CCaaS systems began to get built natively in the cloud. This improvement removed the time-consuming and confusing process of attempting to integrate two differently designed systems. As a result, CCaaS systems can now operate at a rapid pace with fewer errors and downtime.
Where We Are Now
Today, Contact Centers as a Service are the standard way for businesses to communicate with customers effectively. CCaaS benefits are endless, offering faster speeds, simpler processing, lower costs, and multiple avenues for customers to reach out.
Integrated Communications is honored to bring high-quality customer service to your company by partnering with the following contact center groups:
- Evolve IP
CCaaS Continues to Adapt
Improvements are constantly being made to existing CCaaS software. If we have learned one thing from the history of call centers, it is to continually change and shift to meet customers’ needs. Thankfully, modern CCaaS software has the capacity to adapt easily.
If your business needs a new or updated CCaaS system, contact us at Integrated Communications. We are here to help you save money and enhance productivity.
IT personnel are an integral part of businesses and are instrumental in making sure processes run smoothly by monitoring and ensuring the health of the company’s networks and applications. Until recently, IT professionals primarily performed an internal role, providing services to employees but having little to do with external, customer-facing assignments.
However, that dynamic is changing. As network functions become more integrated with customer-service functions, companies must ensure their IT teams are ready and able to provide customer-facing IT functions. Attracting and retaining IT personnel who can deliver both the critical internal IT service and the customer-facing services necessary in today’s environment can offer a competitive advantage.
Break Away From the Typical IT Mold
When looking for IT personnel who will work well in customer-facing processes, consider candidates who deviate from the typical IT stereotype. IT personnel tend to be introverted and more comfortable working with code than with people.
When identifying internal or external candidates for customer-focused IT roles, seek a different personality type than the typical IT employee. Consider candidates with different skills and personalities that can expand the IT team’s capabilities. Outgoing, passionate, socially focused people will typically function better in customer-centric roles than quiet, shy individuals.
To identify and attract such candidates, examine hiring processes and develop a strategy for meeting the company’s core customer-service requirements. It’s important to show candidates how their contributions will be valued and offer flexibility and opportunities to grow and advance.
Offer Customer-Focused Opportunities
Many IT departments have adopted systems that streamline interactions with the IT department but also tend to eliminate interpersonal interactions that are critical in customer-focused processes.
In order to regain customer-facing skills, companies can offer opportunities for internal IT employees to interact with customers. This might mean visiting customer operations or shadowing customer-facing employees. In addition to sharpening customer-service skills, such opportunities can help IT staff better understand customer needs, requirements, and the relation to the company’s IT systems.
Address Company Culture
While attracting and training customer-focused employees is important, making sure the company’s culture and reputation reflects strong customer-centric values is also critical. Potential candidates are likely to be attracted to companies that are stable, innovative, and willing to take risks. Clearly demonstrating how employee contributions affect customers can motivate candidates to become a part of the team.
Customer-service values should not just be presented to outside candidates but be embraced by internal IT teams, contractors, and business partners. Emphasize the value of both the internal and external customer as well as the critical role the IT team plays in both areas.
Finding, hiring, training, and retaining IT personnel capable of providing traditional internal IT services and customer-facing interactions is a likely key to success. For a successful and long-term fit, companies must not only find the right candidate for the job, but also demonstrate why they should want to be part of the company.