Customer Service Glossary

What Is Contact Center as a Service?

A contact center as a service (CcaaS) is a cloud-based software model that allows companies to purchase the customer service technology they need to boost customer engagement, scale inbound and outbound communication channels, and increase satisfaction rates.

System vendors often fully manage their contact center as a service platform to help businesses reduce implementation and software maintenance costs. This easily accessible, cloud-hosted technology includes all the functions that a company needs to route and assign inbound customer support requests to available agents, including:

Automatic Contact Distributor (ACD)

ACD is a type of routing technology that funnels voice calls, artificial intelligence-powered chatbot messages, social media comments, and live chat requests to a single, omnichannel support dashboard.

The dashboard includes customizable drag-and-drop tools that agents use to create communication flows. It may also feature customer notes or context to enhance support. Further, ACD technology reroutes customer support requests to qualified agents who have the training and expertise to resolve concerns quickly and effectively.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

IVR is a voice-controlled menu that enables customers to choose the support they need by pressing a number on their telephone keypad or speaking an option aloud. Companies can combine IVR systems with ACD technology to improve efficiency, share customer data, and transfer calls to agents when necessary.

Outbound Software

Also known as a predictive dialer, outbound software helps agents reach out to customers proactively. Predictive dialers may result in better connection rates and streamlined customer service operations.

Why Is a Contact Center as a Service Important for Customer Service?

A contact center as a service is essential to customer service departments for several reasons, including:

1. Streamlined Omnichannel Customer Experience

The modern customer demands easy access to retailers. In fact, a study by Hubspot noted that consumers often engage with brands across 13 different communication channels. CCaaS software empowers companies to meet their customers wherever they are. The omnichannel approach to customer support provides customers with a convenient touchpoint through every communication channel, including social media, website chats, inbound voice calls, and outbound communications.

As a result, businesses can improve the customer experience and make themselves available to their consumers through formerly disconnected channels.

2. Reduced Costs

When businesses transition to CCaaS technology, they typically pay a monthly vendor fee to use the cloud-based software. However, even premium plans cost thousands less than an on-site call center, with monthly subscription fees landing between $50 and $100 per user, on average.

Further, CCaaS software doesn’t depreciate and provides effortless scalability without the costs and logistics involved in an on-site center.

3. Consistent Customer Support

On-site contact centers often offer customer support during a single shift. In addition, power outages, severe weather, or office moves can impact agent availability, resulting in inconsistent customer engagement and frustrating delays. CCaaS technology has an uptime of nearly 100% and ensures that customers can receive the assistance they need when they need it.

What’s the Difference Between UCaaS and CCaaS?

Many companies believe that Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and CCaaS are similar, if not interchangeable, software. While the technologies share some similarities, companies use the software for different goals.

CCaaS software works as a virtual call center for customer service departments and sales teams. The technology is well-suited to companies with a moderate to high volume of inbound calls, emails, and live chat messages from outside sources. The software also manages, categorizes, and assigns support tickets from various channels.

On the other hand, UCaaS combines – or unifies – all organizational communications. The internally focused software combines communication channels with multimedia tools and collaboration features.

Contact Centers as a Service for Customer Support Departments

Contact centers as a service offer a type of software that streamlines customer service requests. This model allows qualified agents to address consumer questions, resolve issues, and manage inbound and outbound communications.

While businesses use UCaaS software to help manage internal communications, CCaaS software helps companies scale their customer service departments, improve customer experience, and engage with shoppers at every available touchpoint.

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