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What is Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?

by UJET Team

Can a Contact Center as a Service platform benefit your business? Absolutely. On-premises contact centers are outdated, costly, unreliable, and hard to maintain. In addition, they just don’t scale very well.

Picture this: Your business needs more customer service reps. You don’t have room in your current building, so you buy a new office and convert one floor to your contact center. Months later, your business is booming, and you need more of everything.

However, you still have just that one floor to work within. Outside of buying (yet another) new building, you have no options… or do you? Smart businesses are using contact center as a service (CCaaS) platforms to improve their customer experience, boost customer satisfaction, and resolve any issues that can come about with on-site call centers, including staffing and IT challenges.

That’s why a cloud contact center service is the modern customer service solution for forward-thinking businesses. You need a CCaaS platform because it delivers higher customer satisfaction by creating elasticity, better customer service, higher security, and more reliability.

What Is Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?

A contact center as a service—or CCaaS—platform is a cloud-native platform that agents and managers access from a web browser to provide customer service. Agents access CCaaS platforms through a web login and are able to access tools through a single tab—from virtually anywhere they have internet access.

CCaaS platforms enable companies to save money by allowing you to downsize offices and utilize remote customer support agents. These agents don’t have to be in an office to have all the knowledge they need to help a customer and represent the company with success, thanks to their secure virtual connection to your cloud contact center service.

In addition, CCaaS platforms encompass multiple modes or systems of communication, including voice calls, video chat, text messaging, and email. Now, your customers can do more than just call you for help. They can make a voice call over the phone, email from a tablet, chat on a smartphone app, and so much more.

The Evolution of Call Centers to CCaaS

Call centers have become obsolete as contact center technology has advanced. Now, on-site contact centers are following the same path for the same reason.

How Contact Center as a Service started

The first real call center was established in 1965 by the Birmingham Press and Mail due to the invention of the Private Automated Business Exchange—a long name for an automated operator. Before this, routing calls entailed a person sitting at a phone, receiving inbound calls, and routing them by hand—something largely unscalable. With the advent of the automated operator, call centers could grow larger and help more people. However, just as technology brought about the call center, so, too, did technology bring about the call center’s downfall.

Smartphones revolutionized the way consumers interact with friends and family, and thus, the way they expected to interact with brands. Now, when a customer has an issue, they don’t necessarily pick up the phone and call; they often first look in the company’s app to see if there’s a support feature.

Believe it or not, the utilization of app-based support has been brewing since smartphones were first invented in 1992. With all these new avenues of support and automation levels, the next technological evolution is moving contact centers to the cloud (CCaaS). Using a CCaaS provider gives more functionality to an agent’s role in issue resolution. It enables them to assist the customer wherever they are now and wherever technology enables them to be in the future.

How it’s going

Modern Contact Center as a Service platforms offer multimodal omnichannel communication for both agents and customers. By utilizing cloud technology, companies are free to leverage multiple channels and modes of communication wherever their employees are at any time. Breaking it down, what does a CCaaS platform with multimodal omnichannel communication mean?

  • CCaaS: Contact center as a service—removing in-person call centers and contact centers and replacing them with a cloud. Specifically, going from a building where employees work to a website where they log in to work—no matter where they are.
  • Multimodal: Empowering the customer and agent with the same experience and options for resolving issues regardless of the device they are on. This is an entirely new approach to customer journey design and orchestration from those that were designed for the analog phone and desktop eras.
  • Omnichannel communication: Enabling the same agent to work through the entire issue resolution with a customer while pivoting across channels without loss of context or continuity. For example, starting on text-based chat and moving to video-based chat or voice call with the same agent.

Who can benefit from Contact Center as a Service technology?

This new omnichannel experience enables companies to utilize all the different communication channels that modern customers want and desire. From millennials who love live chat support to boomers who might still prefer voice calls, your customers will be taken care of right away.

In fact, according to HubSpot Research, the world of customer service is way more than the phone lines of the past—with email even overtaking the phone in terms of popularity. Going further, this infographic shows the eight different channels where customers are looking for you based on their needs.

Image Source

UJET takes this a step further by offering a cloud contact center service that unifies all customer data within a company’s existing CRM tool. While traditional contact centers integrate with the CRM, they generally store a second set of customer data within their systems—unnaturally parsing the customer record and often creating redundant data and storage requirements while adding latency, complexity, and limitations to reporting. UJET’s CCaaS platform unifies CRM and contact center data for one single source of truth for your customer data.

Five Benefits of Using a Cloud Contact Center Service

Now that you know what CCaaS is, let’s dive deeper into its benefits.  Here’s why CCaaS platforms are better than any other CX solution, including those that market themselves as “cloud native."

1. Improved customer service

Previously, customers’ only option for service was by phone or in person. The internet enabled email and website communication, as well as new channels for connecting with your customers. As technology advanced, call centers became contact centers, and companies had to adapt to continue to provide even the same level of service.

Now, customer interactions can happen over traditional channels including Voice, as well as via text, social media, instant message, and even within your branded app. Smartphones have made it easier than ever for consumers to engage via multiple channels from one device. UJET offers the world’s first and only cloud contact center service designed to utilize the full power of your users' smartphones and enable your business to connect with your customers the same way they connect with their family and friends.

2. Increased customer service elasticity + scalability

As mentioned previously, in the early days of CX management, scaling up your customer support meant building or finding a new office. However, CCaaS solutions enable your business to scale your contact center up or down easily to meet demand by week, month, or holiday.

Managers can add agents to the platform, give them the necessary access rights, and have them onboarded in a single day. When support needs to scale for busier times, it’s easy to add agents because you don’t need to supply an entire hardware setup or new office space.

3. Better security

Cloud contact center service platforms are required to follow more stringent data security laws, and are inherently more secure than on-site call centers. Whereas on-site call centers can have paper trails and physical hard drives (which can be hacked), CCaaS platforms store data in the cloud, lowering the threat of local intrusion.

In fact, cloud-based contact center service providers are required to adhere to stringent privacy and security laws and standards like HIPAA, SOC, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS. Each of these laws gives CCaaS platforms a competitive edge over on-site legacy systems that aren’t required to follow the same protocols or laws. However, UJET is uniquely positioned above other CCaaS platforms as our CRM data unification significantly reduces the effort associated with keeping the contact center compliant with global data residency laws and data sovereignty requirements.

In addition, virtual agents can be leveraged to protect customer data: Instead of a customer having to give their personally identifiable information (PII) to an agent, they can give that information to an AI-powered virtual agent, further minimizing security risks.

Note: To maintain data security, your agents also have to follow company guidelines and ensure they’re following company security standards.

4. Easier maintenance

When you have a physical system, someone must come in, upgrade hardware, patch software, and replace malfunctioning systems. However, software updates are much easier to implement on a CCaaS system as they’re auto-updated—no hardware needed!

Maintenance can also be implemented on the platform as a whole instead of individual workstations. This reduces any service downtime, especially if the platform performs maintenance during low-engagement hours. Finally, if the platform needs a hotfix, these can also be pushed quickly without disrupting the support team.

5. Increased uptime

The last thing a company wants is for support to have downtime during peak hours. Cloud contact center service platforms provide better protection from downtimes when unexpected things occur (like a power outage). This is because the most modern cloud-based contact center software platforms leverage infrastructure as a service (IaaS) capabilities for failover and redundancy that enable very high resilience and reliability. And if localized agents are unable to answer the phone, for instance, you can have chatbots/virtual agents take over.

This means companies don’t have to fully staff agents 24/7 anymore. They can now switch to self-service and virtual agent options during low-call-volume times—reducing costs and creating reliance when they’d otherwise be “out for the night.”

See the UJET CCaaS Software Solution in Action

Schedule a demo, and see why UJET’s embedded experience and CRM-purpose-built CCaaS platform stands out as the way for companies to improve brand experience, retain customers, and simplify customer service. During your demo, you’ll get a tour of the customer service agent dashboard and a look at how our AI provides additional support.