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CXM Guide

What is Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?

Learn all about CCaaS — its benefits, capabilities, modules, and best practices — and how Sprinklr’s Modern Care Lite disrupts the CCaaS space with its future-ready features.

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What is CCaaS?

Contact center as a service (CCaaS) is a public, cloud-hosted alternative to on-premise contact centers. By accessing contact center software that is hosted in the cloud, companies can leverage a cost-effective and scalable solution to support customers across multiple channels — including live chat, phone, email, SMS, and social media. A typical CaaS platform offers call queueing, interactive voice response (IVR), call recording, and analytics.

How CCaaS differs from an on-premise contact center?

CCaaS is a digital-first solution for customer experience that differs from a traditional on-premise contact center in many ways. Unlike an onsite contact center solution, CCaaS is:

  • Faster to set up, maintain, and scale 

  • More affordable with lower cost of ownership, operation, and maintenance

  • Less dependent on the client’s IT and network experts 

  • Contract-bound to meet compliance, uptime service level agreements (SLAs), and data security

  • More reliable for business continuity and disaster planning

CCaaS vs UCaaS vs CPaaS

CCaaS has a lot of common ground in terms of functionality with unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and communication platform as a service (CPaaS) solutions – but the key differences are in the audience they cater to, and how they do it.

Here is a quick summary of what these individual solutions do, and how they are different from each other.

CCaaS vs UCaaS vs CPaaS

Top benefits of CCaaS

By adopting CCaaS, your business can enjoy multiple benefits.

  • Reduce infrastructure cost: hosting and managing support infrastructure on premise is costly, requiring a dedicated workforce and frequent maintenance activities. By moving your contact center to the cloud, you can lower costs and maximize your profit margin.

  • Maintain guaranteed uptime: reliable CCaaS providers deliver guaranteed uptime to customers without charging a premium for it. Additionally, they cover for unplanned contingencies such as bad weather, power outages, and equipment failures to ensure maximum business continuity.

  • Scale operations on demand: you can add or remove agent seats and functionalities as needed and pay only for what you consume — giving you the option to scale your operations up and down easily to account for seasonal fluctuations in volume. 

  • Track agent performance from the platform: CCaaS platforms are designed to capture agent interactions and use them to generate performance analytics that can be leveraged to detect skill gaps in your agents and shape their training strategy.

  • Faster response times:  a CCaaS platform centralizes all your customer interactions from phone, chat, email, tickets, or social media so your agents can respond quickly — without switching between multiple, disconnected tools/apps.

  • Personalize support with conversation history: with customer data housed in the cloud, CCaaS gives a 360-degree customer view to agents and empowers them to respond to customers with context wherever, whenever.

Introducing Sprinklr Voice: A Radically Different Contact Center Solution

Basic modules and functioning of CCaaS

CCaaS solutions consist of several interlinked modules that help contact centers provide maximum value through their support, continually monitor and improve their quality of service, and maintain a high level of efficiency in their processes. Listed below are some of the key components of CCaaS solutions:

1. Call recording and management

Call recording is one of the basic requirements for any contact center since it is a key element in quality assurance. It helps track and monitor customer interactions with your company enabling you to analyze these conversations in-depth, and aiding in improving customer retention and engagement. 

2. Call routing 

Call routing keeps your call queues in constant movement while ensuring your agents are allotted a proper amount of workload based on their skill set and capacity. Multiple routing tools and technologies are involved in this process such as

  • Computer Telephony Integration: the CTI is the basic block of the entire voice process, where your contact center’s phone lines are connected to the system/software, enabling you to make and receive calls from your computer.

  • Interactive Voice Response: the IVR technology allows your customers to navigate through your voice support menu through keypad presses or voice commands (speech recognition), helping them to directly get in touch with a suitable customer service agent without any manual assistance.

  • Automated Call Distribution: implementing ACD in your contact center streamlines the inbound call reception and routing workflow, reducing call wait times for your customers. ACD also primarily handles call-allocation mechanisms such as fixed order assignment, round robin, and uniform distribution.

  • Routing mechanisms: routing mechanisms are an integral part of contact center operations to keep the call queues moving and your agents busy while also maintaining operational efficiency. Here are a few routing concepts that are widely used in the CCaaS space:

    • Automated routing: automated routing can be considered the umbrella term when it comes to call routing mechanisms, transferring and distributing calls between your agents based on algorithms or logic. Most modern CCaaS solutions allow you to extensively configure your automated routing mechanisms.

    • Direct routing: with direct routing, you can configure your calls to be sent to particular agents based on your caller information such as location and previous interactions. This kind of routing helps when you have customers asking for the same agent every time they call your support so they don’t have to waste time waiting in the call queue.

    • AI-based routing: this involves deploying advanced AI algorithms to determine the best routing scenarios, to maximize efficiency while also ensuring uniform distribution. With AI based routing, multiple criteria are analyzed before assignment to ensure high productivity among agents.

    • Skill-based routing: it is an advanced routing mechanism that helps assign tickets to your agents based on their listed skills. These “skills” can be anything ranging from expertise in a particular module or domain in your product to proficiency in a different language.

3. Self-serve capabilities

With the evolving customer support ecosystem, companies have realized that it also important to have a sound self-service setup in place. It helps in enabling customers to solve simple issues by themselves and rather quickly, instead of having to contact customer service every time.

Two important facets of self-service that companies majorly focus on are:

  • FAQ bots: FAQ bots help users to resolve common issues in a conversational tone. These bots/bot flows can be deployed in your existing chatbot platforms, or even on IVR to enable easy and quick resolution for simple issues.

  • Knowledge Portal: knowledge portals contain extensive help information on a certain topic or issue, especially the ones that might be difficult for users to understand over a call or chat. These are highly useful even with agent-assisted resolutions since your agents can send these articles to your customer to provide better context and understanding.

4. Voice assistants and AI

AI-based customer service is lately on the rise since it allows companies to provide a much faster and smoother customer service experience with AI assistance. Primarily, AI-based customer service is widely implemented on two modes of support – voice and chat.

  • Voicebot: it is the latest development in AI-powered voice-based customer service, where customers can engage with conversational bots through voice commands and get their questions/issues answered.

  • Chatbot: powered by conversational AI, chatbots can help you easily answer multiple customers’ queries with zero agent intervention, thereby reducing your inbound case volume and helping agents focus on tickets of higher priority.

  • Conversational AI: conversational AI helps brands to have natural, engaging customer support interactions. With the help of technologies like machine learning and natural language processing, voice and chatbots can now understand your customers better, and also have better support conversations.

5. Call analytics and CX tracking

Call analytics is primarily used in customer service to identify issues and improve performance. Call analytics is deeply interconnected with call recording and management modules to thoroughly analyze customer conversations and help improve the quality of resolutions.

  • Speech analytics: speech analytics software measures critical call metrics like the length of time a person speaks, the number of words they use, and the tones they use.

  • Conversation analytics: conversation analytics focuses on deriving insights from more complex factors such as sentiment analysis, dialogue analysis, emotional intensity analysis, etc.

  • Surveys: surveys are a great way to collect feedback directly from your customers in order to improve the quality of your customer service. Popular survey types like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) help understand the impact of your service on the customer life cycle.

6. Contact center management

This involves overseeing all aspects of the work being done in the contact center, to provide a personalized experience for customers and ensure all the processes are running at the maximum possible efficiency.

  • Quality management: it involves setting up and managing processes to ensure that customer service is delivered efficiently and in accordance with the organization’s standards. Quality planning, control, and improvement are the three main pillars of quality management.

  • Workforce management: an optimized workforce management plan helps to ensure that there are enough agents for the center’s inbound call volume so that customers do not have to wait for long periods or disconnect their call due to agent unavailability.

7. Outbound call management

Outbound call automation and management is an important avenue for contact centers to execute critical functions such as market research, tele-calling for sales/support, and even collecting customer feedback through surveys. Outbound call automation is primarily fueled by two automated dialing technologies:

  • Auto-dialer: auto-dialers are designed to automatically make outbound calls to pre-selected numbers from a database of contacts. It helps companies reduce manual effort on dialing when reaching out to a large number of customers.

  • Predictive dialer: a predictive dialer is a step up from a traditional auto-dialer since it can analyze metrics such as call answering rate and answering delay, and intelligently dial numbers at the right time and frequency to keep your agents constantly engaged.

Advanced CCaaS capabilities

Today’s CCaaS systems help companies do so much more in addition to bringing them and their customers closer – they enable everyone involved in the process to function more efficiently and improve the resolution experience for both customers and agents alike. 

Along with the existing features that modern CCaaS solutions offer, there are a few highly advanced ones that provide a lot of value to your contact center operations:

  • Agent assist: agent assist is usually powered by AI, and it augments your agent’s capacity in assigning, answering and resolving incoming tickets.  Agent assist capabilities include

    • Smart Pairing: assigning tickets to a particular agent/team based on their previous case experience

    • Smart Comprehend: understanding the intent behind a ticket and suggesting previous cases to an agent that had a similar intent, to aid in quicker resolution

    • Smart Responses and Smart Compose: providing one-click editable responses that you can send to any customer with ease, reducing the time to respond

  • Call automation: this primarily pertains to outbound calls, where your agents can extensively automate call dialing and answering. You can bulk-call contacts without any manual intervention, helping reach a bigger audience in the same duration and also enabling your agents to focus on cases of higher priority.

  • Digital deflection: with digital deflection, you can divert incoming customer calls to other modern channels like chat or messaging platforms (WhatsApp / Messenger). This helps reduce your inbound call volume, and your agents can prioritize the most important calls first and ensure a better resolution experience.

  • Contact center analytics: analysis and reporting also has an equally important role in contact center operations, since customer service teams need to understand and optimize their processes constantly to ensure the best support experiences for their customers. A few advanced capabilities that are available today in the analytics front include:

    • Unified reporting: unified reporting allows you to view data and insights across teams, agents, or clients, helping you see the bigger picture of your customer service and how it can be delivered better.

    • Agent Quality Monitoring: this helps in understanding all the actions involved in a resolution by an agent, and gauges them based on the effectiveness of the resolution and also by the customer satisfaction rates obtained from the user.

    • Smart alerts: smart alerts can notify agents or supervisors when there is an abnormal pattern in your cases, such as a sudden spike. This will help them respond quickly and identify any crises before they escalate any further.

    • Early warning systems: early warning systems are very similar to smart alerts, except that they monitor your channels (social, review, messaging) in depth using AI, and intimate agents/supervisors when a potential crisis is detected. These systems use NLP and AI to understand the users’ sentiments and intent from their messages and provide timely warnings.

The future of CCaaS solutions

As CCaaS solutions become more flexible, powerful, and scalable, an increasing number of businesses wish to adopt them to move their customer service operations to the cloud. Here’s a gist of what might be headed our way in the CCaaS space in the coming years: 

  • AI will be the new normal: artificial intelligence will empower businesses to do a lot more in a relatively lesser duration, and they will also be able to do it at a larger scale. AI will power operations such as analyzing, optimizing and enabling every step along the way for customers and companies to have more meaningful relationships.

  • Self-service will be bigger than ever: with the digital era taking over, customers are getting smarter by the day, and that is why self-service needs will also keep growing over the coming years. More and more customers will want to experience and leverage self-service, thereby making it a priority item for companies to work on. As a bonus, inbound case volume in call centers might reduce significantly.

  • CCaaS products will be integrated into bigger ecosystems: contact center solutions will find their way into large-scale enterprise products and systems, and the focus will be more on improved customer experiences and internal collaboration. CCaaS products will become an integral part of unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) and experience communications as a service (XCaaS) product suites.

Sprinklr’s CCaaS solution delights users with a seamless, unified customer experience

Contact centers deploying point solutions for different customer touchpoints aren’t able to provide agents with a holistic customer view or managers with a unified performance dashboard. The result: A bumpy customer experience and inefficient quality management. Sprinklr’s contact center software is powered by a unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform that brings customer interactions and insights from 30+ channels together on one platform — empowering organizations to delight customers with a harmonious brand experience. Its standout features include:

  • Omnichannel Agent Desktop to help agents manage interactions across channels and  find the best resolution without clicking through tabs/windows

  • AI-driven agent productivity tools such as Knowledge Base recommendations, Smart Responses, and Guided Workflows for next best action

  • Performance analytics to measure historical and real-time metrics, improve service quality, shape training, and raise timely supervisor alerts

  • Contact Center Automation to provide real-time analytics of your contact center performance, processes, and products

  • Conversational AI and bots to resolve routine cases quickly, reduce your agents’ caseload, and improve your customer experience

With Sprinklr’s next generation CCaaS, your business can deliver a consistent customer experience across modern channels while balancing operational costs.

Start your free trial of Modern Care Lite

Find out how Sprinklr helps businesses deliver a premium experience on 13+ channels, using foundational AI so you can listen, route, resolve, and measure — across the customer experience.

FAQs

  1. What is meant by Contact Center as a Service?
    Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a category of solutions under the Software as a Service (SaaS) banner, that helps companies manage and execute customer service operations entirely from the cloud.

  2. What is the difference between UCaaS and CCaaS?
    Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is primarily used for communication and collaboration within the organization, while CCaaS solutions are used by customer-facing teams to handle customer conversations and interactions.

  3. What capabilities do CCaaS solutions bring with them?
    From basic features such as ticket creation/management and ticket assignment to AI-centric capabilities such as advanced chatbots and speech analytics, today’s CCaaS solutions have a wide scope of functionality designed to integrate all customer service functions into one place.

  4. Is Sprinklr a stand-alone CCaaS solution?
    Sprinklr Modern Care Lite has been designed to address all your customer support requirements without the aid of other solutions, but you can still choose to link it to your business-critical solutions such as CRM. Other than that, MCL can also be tightly integrated with Modern Research Lite, our social and digital listening solution.

  5. Do I need to pay to try out Modern Care Lite before purchasing it for my business?
    You can choose to opt for a 30-day, full-featured free trial of Sprinklr Modern Care Lite in order to experience our disruptive, enterprise-grade CCaaS solution for yourself. No credit card or payment details are required; you just can sign up with your work email to get started!

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