What is Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?

Traditional call centers typically host all of its hardware and software on-site. This meant necessary hardware such as computers, servers, and all the infrastructure needs had to be stored and used at a central location. Agents would come into work and sit at a workstation to address support issues.

Having all support hardware and software in one location was fine when the number of support channels was limited. Upgrading servers and software installations could be completed with limited downtime.

However, as the internet’s popularity grew, smartphones became more common, and the emphasis on customer experience became more important, it was clear that using an on-site solution wasn’t scalable. 

Hosting servers requires a large physical space and as a contact center grows, it needs more space for new agents and technology. New agents need areas to work and computers to resolve support issues. There are also dangers of having everything in one place. Contact center hardware can fail or some kind of emergency can happen which disables the center’s ability to provide support.

This is why contact centers transitioned to using cloud platforms. Instead of relying on in-house hardware, support centers could use cloud computing options to increase reliability, allow for remote access, and add more security and compliance options.

Contact Center as a Service, or CCaaS, platforms are also less expensive to maintain because all a company needs is access to the internet through a browser. It doesn’t have to maintain servers or workstations with multiple applications. This also means that new features and updates can be implemented faster.

Instead of in-house IT manually updating software, the CCaaS provider pushes these updates where they are available the next time an agent logs into their account.

What is CCaaS?

CCaaS is a cloud-native platform that agents and managers can access from a web browser. As opposed to requiring a desktop app, agents access the platform through a web login and are able to access tools through a single tab.

While there are companies that offer cloud CCaaS, many of them were originally built for on-site contact centers and the software was ported to be cloud compatible. This means that bugs and redundancies could still exist in the code.

The benefits of a cloud-native CCaaS solution are scalability, security, easier maintenance, streamlined updates, and service reliability. Instead of needing a new app installation, 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. 

Cloud platforms provide improved security by implementing the latest security certifications and compliance rules. Since data is stored in the cloud, the threat of local intrusion is smaller. To maintain data security, agents have to follow company guidelines and ensure they’re following company security standards. 

Maintenance and updates are simple with a cloud-native platform. Maintenance can be implemented to the platform as a whole instead of individual workstations. This reduces any service downtime, especially if the platform performs maintenance during low engagement hours. If the platform needs a hotfix, these can also be pushed quickly without disrupting the support team.

The biggest benefit of a cloud platform is service reliability. As companies expand their digital footprint to make themselves and their products more accessible, agents have to communicate with customers across multiple channels like voice, chat, text, and in-app support.

This means that the platform has to have multiple channel options and always be available. It doesn’t mean that a company needs to staff agents 24-hours a day, but they need to enable tools, like chatbots, to respond to support requests. The last thing a company wants is for support to have downtime during peak hours. 

CCaaS is modern customer support

Customer support teams looking to improve customer experience quality have to embrace CCaaS. Along with traditional voice calls, support requests are becoming more frequent across smartphone channels such as text, chat, and in-app. Cloud-native platforms provide more options and can integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) software with less work.

Since cloud-native platforms are built for modern support, they can address current and future issues rather than force customers into negative support experiences that come with old local solutions. Millennials and Generation Z are going to be the biggest demographic with influential buying power.

These two groups expect companies to offer channels that they use with family and friends. In order to evolve, scale, and meet customers on their preferred channels, companies must first lay the right foundation.

A Contact Center as a Service solution empowers support organizations to deliver a consistent support experience while meeting their customers on their channel of choice.