The contact centre continues to be the central point of connection between businesses and their customers. With the right technology, companies can accelerate sales, deliver exceptional service, and support their target audience. In today’s agile and evolving world, the best contact centre platform is often also the most flexible one.
Choosing the right CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) platform is a crucial decision for any business. It’s important to choose a platform that can meet your specific needs and help you deliver exceptional customer experiences. Here is a guide to help you compare different CCaaS platforms:
Top Areas to Consider
Features: The first step is determining what features you need in a CCaaS platform. Look for features such as automatic call distribution, IVR, call recording, call monitoring, and reporting capabilities. Some platforms may offer additional features like social media monitoring, chatbots, and predictive analytics. Make a list of your must-have features before you begin your search.
Integrations: Consider the integrations available with the CCaaS platform. You’ll want to ensure it integrates with your current systems, such as CRM, ticketing, or chat platforms. Look for pre-built integrations or open APIs allowing easy integration with other systems.
Scalability: Another important factor to consider is the scalability of the platform. You want to choose a platform that can grow with your business and handle increases in call volume or agent headcount without any issues. Make sure the platform has the ability to add or remove agents as needed and adjust to changes in call volume.
Ease of use: Look for a platform that is easy to use and navigate. The platform should have a user-friendly interface, customizable workflows, and clear documentation. It should also be easy for agents to use and access the necessary information to assist customers.
Security: Ensure the platform offers robust security features, such as data encryption, access controls, and compliance with industry standards like GDPR or HIPAA. You want to ensure that your customer data is protected at all times.
Voice quality and reliability: Your contact centre platform vendor should be able to deliver a consistent level of excellent voice (and video) quality, as well as a strong guaranteed uptime. Look for a great SLA for peace of mind.
Geographic redundancy: Find out how your CCaaS solution will ensure you can continue to connect with your customers regardless of what might happen with certain connections. A high level of redundancy, as well as control over where data travels will be crucial for many companies in today’s flexible CX landscape.
Pricing: CCaaS platforms can vary widely in terms of pricing. Look for a platform that offers transparent pricing with no hidden fees. Some platforms may offer a pay-per-use model, while others may have a monthly subscription fee. Be sure to factor in any additional costs for features or integrations.
Customer support: Finally, look for a CCaaS platform that offers strong customer support. The platform should offer multiple channels for support, such as phone, email, or chat. The support team should be responsive and knowledgeable, and provide timely resolutions to any issues.
Consider your UCaaS/CCaaS Connection
As more of the tools and technology today’s team members rely on transitions into the cloud, we’re seeing a lot of overlap between “as a service” offerings. A number of platform providers in the CCaaS world also allow you to integrate your contact centre with your UCaaS environment.
While this connectivity might not be necessary for every business, it often helps to have your collaboration and communication tools in the same environment as your contact centre. Combining UCaaS and CCaaS can align more of your team members, particularly in a world of hybrid and remote work. It also provides you with an easier way to track crucial metrics, and better security, because you have fewer apps to monitor.
If you already have a UCaaS system, or you’re moving UC into the cloud at the same time as your contact centre, it’s worth looking for a platform that combines both worlds.
Consider Innovative Features
Once you’ve got the essential features of your contact centre nailed down and you’ve ensured the platform is easy to adopt for your entire team, the next step is comparing the availability of innovative, disruptive tools. For years now, customer experience has stood out as the best way for businesses to differentiate themselves from other brands.
With the right innovative tools, you can boost your chances of outshining the competition, empower your team, and even save money in the long term. For instance, some of the innovations you may want to ensure you can access include:
- AI: Artificial intelligence, in the form of automated bots to accompany your team and deliver self-service support to employees, can be extremely useful for the CCaaS environment. They help you to deliver faster results to customers and take pressure off your employees. AI can also help you to enhance your analytics with sentiment and predictive analysis.
- Automation: Automation can also boost team productivity by reducing the amount of time staff need to spend on repetitive tasks. Look for tools which allow you to automate everything from recording conversations, to transcribing discussions and routing calls. Automatic screen-pops with access to customer information can even lead to more contextual conversations.
- Workforce management tools: Workforce management tools and workforce engagement tools are growing increasingly essential in the CCaaS world, particularly with the rise of remote work. Consider looking for a platform with these tools already built-in.
- Self-service: Self-service is a way of providing customers with information and solutions without requiring human assistance. It can improve customer satisfaction by reducing wait times, providing consistent and accurate information, and empowering customers to solve their own problems.
- Generative AI: Generative AI is a branch of artificial intelligence thatt can create new content or data based on existing data. It can be used in the contact centre to enhance customer experience and agent productivity. For example, generative AI can create personalized customer responses, suggestions, or offers based on their preferences, history, or context. It can also generate scripts, summaries, or reports for agents based on customer conversations.
Don’t forget to consider reporting and analytical tools too, as these can help you with mapping customer journeys, and supporting your contact centre team.
Comparing CCaaS platforms in today’s competitive landscape might seem complex, but if you follow the four steps above, you should be able to make the right choice.