Over the past year, most large companies have made some significant changes to their day-to-day workforce operations. Many businesses transitioned their employees to different schedules, remote locations, or telework situations to accommodate quarantine restrictions and support public health. To facilitate the new teleworking arrangements, companies turned to remote, cloud-based communications services, both for intra-organization communication and as a platform to engage with their customers.
Now in-person business operations are resuming, and it's an opportune time to evaluate your organization’s communications systems. Many companies quickly adopted tools and processes to help them limp through crisis situations during shutdowns. However, keeping these band-aid solutions in place for the long term may not be the best solution for your company's communication needs. Now could be the time to change how your company thinks about internal communication, customer communication, and how those systems interact. Take a big-picture overview of your communications needs, and determine the best possible overall communications strategy and the right services to implement it.
UCaaS + CCaaS: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Organizations that depended on large premises-based workforces had to move quickly to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on their operations and comply with local regulations. Now that the public health risks are getting under control, companies must make choices about their communications systems going forward. Rather than simply returning to their pre-pandemic systems, savvy businesses will use this opportunity to optimize both their knowledge worker communication systems and their contact center communications.
Using a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) system of cloud-based telecommunications services can allow businesses to easily and inexpensively utilize a wide variety of communication and collaboration applications and services. UCaaS enables users to customize a package of services for internal and external employee communication, including telephony services, data sharing, and video conferencing.
Contact center as a service (CCaaS) is a similar communication system framework that manages communications with clients, vendors, and other external contacts. Users access cloud-based contact center providers’ software, data storage, and infrastructure on an as-needed, customized basis. The service providers manage and operate all IT investments, infrastructure, and hardware, including data centers and cybersecurity measures. Like UCaaS, CCaaS offers business users access to a nearly infinite menu of services, data storage, and user support—without significant capital expenditures on technology or ongoing internal IT support resources.
What Services Can CCaaS Provide?
CCaaS is an affordable way to offer customers more options for communicating with your company in ways tailored to meet their needs and preferences. Even before the 2020 pandemic, the popularity of cloud-based contact centers was soaring. Businesses adopted CCaaS services because customizing a package of services to the operational needs of their business is easy and affordable.
Businesses can use CCaaS to customize their communications tools to enable the best possible customer experience (“CX”). Offering a variety of ways to communicate, companies drive customer satisfaction by enabling clients to interact with them in any way they choose. CCaaS is an economical, manageable way to achieve omnichannel marketing: “seamless, effortless, high-quality customer experiences that occur within and between contact channels.”
In addition to improving the customer service experience from the customer perspective, CCaaS’s strategy of weaving together a variety of software tools also improves the customer support experience for companies and their employees. WEM (Workforce Engagement Management) is a set of contact center software applications that work together seamlessly to improve agent engagement. These tools include call recording software, performance and quality management software, and workforce optimization software (helping to maintain appropriate staffing levels and reduce customer wait times). More engaged agents help improve the customer experience, better meet the customer’s needs, and nurture ongoing customer relationships.
Best of all, CCaaS offers truly flexible scalability as those demands change and your business grows or contracts. It also allows you to adapt to unpredictable market conditions—a distinct advantage over less-adaptable competitors. The software and services operate entirely in the cloud, which means there is no need to purchase or manage on-premises hardware. Since users pay for only the technology they need, UCaaS keeps costs in check without sacrificing customer service capabilities.
Most modern UCaaS and CCaaS platforms can be integrated with advanced customer data management tools and CRM applications like Salesforce. This integration across platforms allows your team to quickly access a customer's complete profile, including purchasing data and previous interactions with your service and customer care teams. Having this information easily and immediately available allows your team to seamlessly, knowledgeably implement solutions and deliver top-quality customer care.
CCaaS allows users to access a wide variety of software services that manage inbound customer interactions and connect customers with team resources. These include
- Automatic call routing
- Automatic contact distributor (ACD)
- Easy-to-use call forwarding and directory search
- Call whispering
- Call recording
- Interactive voice response (IVR)
- Analytics with KPI tracking
- Outbound software/predictive dialer
- Open software integrations and open API
- Analytics and optimization tools
- Automation and artificial intelligence tools (AI)
Most crucially, CCaaS isn't just about software solutions. Instead, effective CCaaS solutions augment your human resources with digital tools that enhance and optimize the entire customer care process.
Now Is the Time for Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is raising the bar for customer service across all industries. Using data-driven insights enables you to more quickly make the best decisions for your customers and communicate better results. As more and more companies shift their call centers, contact centers, and customer service delivery systems to cloud-based, digitally integrated systems, customers expect the highest levels of performance in every interaction. An effective cloud migration strategy can help your company keep up with these expectations and provide outstanding customer experiences while improving performance and efficiency. If you’re ready to migrate your communications to UCaaS and CCaaS based systems, talk to a communications professional now.