There’s nothing better than realizing new tech’s full potential, whether that’s at home or in business. (Personally speaking, the day my smart fridge warned me not to eat that leftover pizza hammered this concept home in a profound way.)
However, when it comes to the AI powering your Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) integration, there are probably customer and agent benefits you’ve yet to unpack fully.
Let’s go ahead and fix that.
What Is CCaaS?
You will understand the core concept behind CCaaS and the benefits of having your customer experience software solution in the cloud.
Typically, CCaaS features artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies that understand, track and monitor customer support journeys and agent interactions across your full complement of connected communications resources, to streamline your operations.
Understanding that CCaaS covers everything plays a role in fully understanding its full potential.
Before we get to that, it’s worth highlighting why we took things to the cloud in the first place.
Back in the days when your on-premises infrastructure could handle a few channels and the occasional voice assistance software, it was worth the money (arguably) spent on all the servers, switches, networks, storage, and other resources you needed to run your business.
Your IT team was likely exhausted, continuously monitoring threats and updating software, but you were up and running.
Once cloud-based architectures became available, managing contacts across multiple channels that customers have access to became easier.
As the surface of communications increased, cloud migration allowed your business to scale and handle more contacts from more contact points. Your IT team stopped worrying about where to store your exponentially growing customer data.
Why CCaaS Instead of CPaaS and UCaaS?
Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) offers a backend communication solution to cloud-based contact centres.
By adding applications to your existing software, you can integrate features like video chat and two-factor authentication into your systems. In addition, since your infrastructure already exists, CPaaS gets you live faster and allows you to customize your communications to suit your tried-and-true apps.
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) handles communication tools and APIs to integrate your phone, chat, messaging, and video meetings.
Once considered a small-business solution, large organizations have begun to use UCaaS, mainly due to the rise of remote work and bring-your-own-carrier (BYOC) integration.
BYOC enables organizations to separate call control from their UCaaS platform and maintain legacy infrastructure, Session Initiation Protocol trunks, and existing carrier contracts.
Contact centre as a Service (CCaaS) offers an out-of-the-box solution that is ready to go, with little development work required.
CCaaS generally provides automatic call distribution and interactive voice response features and helps support contact centre teams communicating with customers across various channels.
While the software may not have the customization options of a CPaaS or UCaaS architecture, its potential is realized by the sheer amount of integration it can achieve.
Your CCaaS provider will take care of the creation and maintenance of your software, leaving your IT teams free to focus on features that enhance CX.
The Benefits Cloud-Based Contact Centre Software Creates
Before we unpack how you can augment your CCaaS, let’s cover some universal benefits.
- Transparent Costs. Usage-based software allows you to see where your spending lies.
- No Expensive Hardware Maintenance. Your IT teams will thank you for this one.
- Improved Efficiency. Get to customers faster and with more information at your fingertips.
- Modern Code/infrastructure.
- Designed to integrate with your existing internal systems easily.
- Easier to add new software and communication channels.
- Faster deployment of new tools.
Faster response times and a seamless transition infrastructure aren’t the only advantages of a CCaaS platform. Here are five of the most significant benefits your customers and agents alike will experience:
- Detailed reporting and analytics help outline the areas your agents can focus on to improve their success. You can enhance your live agents’ training and development by creating a database of best practices and use cases. The data can also be used to develop workforce management KPIs highlighting examples or situations that led to customer satisfaction and successful outcomes.
- Streamlined customer assistance across multiple channels and agents thanks to omnichannel transition software. You’ll create a consistent user experience and retain the context of conversations across all required channels. You’ll be able to switch back and forth effortlessly between live agents and bots on platforms as diverse as Meta and Zoom, should the need arise.
- Automated post-call tracking eliminates the need for manual processes. As a result of automated recordings and transcripts, your agents will no longer struggle to remember detailed conversations or data points. The effortless post-call reporting of this contact centre software will contribute to agent retention by removing the cumbersome and tedious processes that negatively affect their success. Your customers will appreciate the precision with which all aspects of their interactions are catalogued for future reference.
- Instant access to contact history, escalation reports, and relevant data via a streamlined interface that sources information throughout a call. Your live agents will feel like all the relevant information needed to achieve a resolution is being hand-selected.
- Live agent augmentation thanks to the instant translation capabilities of CCaaS voice recognition applications. Your agents can engage in any requested language or dialect, helping your customers feel at ease. Whether your contact centre is a small business or a multinational conglomerate, your customers will know their previous interactions are remembered and valued. A connected database will retrieve all their call history data the moment they connect with a live agent to ensure the engagement is informed.
As you can see, there are several distinct and instantly beneficial reasons to take your contact centre to the cloud. But even without local hardware and fixed contracts, you can’t assume your out-of-the-box CCaaS solution will handle all of today’s CX requirements.
Brick by Brick CCaaS
It’s better to think of CCaaS as the starting point of your customer satisfaction journey and not the end of the road. Any of your chosen vendors will have a core competency, but they’ll never match the level that an expert vendor can bring.
Sure, your large providers can cover the bare minimum, but what happens after a year of deployment when you’re now covering ten different digital channels? How will you forecast which five channels will be obsolete in a few years and which will remain?
With CCaaS as your foundation, deploying a Conversational AI solution over the top, will not only open up a multitude of new opportunities to improve CX but enable you to get more out. This better-together strategy allows you to create a best-in-breed CCaaS solution that will enable you to scale.
How AI Is a Force Multiplier for Your Contact Centre
Here’s how our Conversational AI (CAI) platform can help you create a fully realized CCaaS solution.
When integrated with your contact centre solution (on-premises, hybrid, or cloud), CAI unlocks the next generation of customer experience by creating a conversational interface with your backend systems.
Simply put, customers use natural language to interact with your business via any digital voice or chat channel.
Specifically, adding CAI to your CCaaS environment will enable repetitive tasks and inquiries to be handled. Such inquiries may include requests for account details, amendments to bookings or purchases, cancellations, and the more usual change or reset my password, where’s my order, or update my details.
That means your customers can get more done – faster. The alternative is that a customer waits to speak or chat with an agent, who, without the benefit of CAI, will carry out the self-same inquiry with the backend systems, only this time, the agent will screen surf, opening up multiple apps to find the correct data.
CAI provides an open platform for integration and automation that tears down silos to let all of your key systems work together.
The Benefits of an Augmented CCaaS Include:
Intelligent routing, thanks to automatic call detection (ACD), distributes contacts based on the entire context of the customer interaction.
The CAI detects nuances like customer intent and tone and effortlessly transfers them to the appropriate resource.
Whether a live agent or self-service, the escalation process is seamlessly handled based on the customer’s needs.
While automatic call distribution isn’t new, intelligent routing knows how to find the right live agent and can direct high-value customers to senior agents or management should this be a requirement.
What Does This Mean for Customer Service?
Conversational AI enables you to build processes or flows that are channel agnostic. That means managing them in a single place while deploying them everywhere.
Your workflows may be channel independent, but you can still tweak each one individually to ensure they make the most out of each channel, such as using rich media or the ability to process audio messages in WhatsApp in addition to simple text.
In the same way that CAI makes a positive difference to the customer journey, it also turns the agent experience into a more fulfilling and valuable role.
Agent assistance powered by CAI helps agents deal with escalated or complex issues by instantly retrieving the information they need to resolve even the most complex customer inquiries.
By listening in on live chats and calls, you can detect caller intent and automatically fetch data and resources as the conversation progresses.
Smart Self-Service empowers customers by offering virtual agent (VA) support across all voice and digital channels. Not only are the VAs informational, but they’ll use Intelligent Voice Response (IVR) technology to help direct the conversation toward the appropriate resolution or escalation if further assistance is needed.
A warm handover is one of the most critical components of call centre resolution. A customer who supplies information to a VA, only to have the call transferred and answered with “How can I help you today?” signals the absolute death of a resolution outcome.
AI assistance and self-service means you’ll relieve agents of repetitive, low-value tasks, giving them more time to focus on high-value or complex issues.
These efforts help retention rates and keep your agents happier with their jobs. In addition, you’ll build a positive work culture that elevates your mission-critical staff by removing the need to race through first-level support topics and chase KPIs like average handle time (AHT).
An enterprise conversational AI platform adds new capabilities and improves your existing CCaaS. As a result, you’ll be able to deliver more consistent, accurate, and timely services across all channels, with the scale to instantly respond to increased volume without hiring more staff. What’s more, you’ll further the efforts of your existing agents while making them happier in the process.
We’ve successfully navigated several businesses’ cloud migration, and we would be proud to partner with your organizational leadership and IT professionals to provide the same level of service.
AI to Maximize the Value of Your CCaaS System
When it comes to contact centre CX, you can build upon your CCaaS foundation to deliver a truly best-in-class experience for your customers and agents alike.
Using AI and ML to improve self-service capabilities and arming your live agents with the information and resources they need to reach a resolution outcome is just the beginning.