The Evolution of Call Centers.
Like business telephony, the call center has also moved to the cloud. We call this Contact Center as a Service CCaaS. What does this mean?
In the legacy call center environment, the call center management system, is an application that runs parallel to the enterprise PBX. It is used primarily to managed call distribution to agents. They use an application either on their desktop or on the desk-phone to accept and manage calls.
These systems have evolved over the years. They now give supervisors and managers the ability to manage their call center environment more efficiently. This came through advanced reporting, call flow management, agent management and coaching. All this functionality, has added to the cost and complexity of running a call center management application.
The advent of cloud technology and cloud telephony has enabled the shift of such call center applications to the cloud. Similarly to cloud telephony, the central management system know resides in the cloud enabling access to the applications from wherever there is a reliable internet connection.
Contact Center as a Service has opened a world of possibilities for the call center or as it is now referred to as the contact center. Here are some of the major advantages:
Similar to UCaaS, CCaaS is sold on a per user basis. This means that the business only pays for what it needs, so if a contact center has 50 agents in December it pays for 50 seats. If, in January, the number of agents is reduced to 30, they only pay for 30.
There are no capital costs since the service is sold as a monthly recurring charge with little or no upfront costs. This means that the business does not need to use precious capital to finance such a project.
In the old days, a call center agent only took calls. In todays complex contact center environment, the same agent can take calls, handles emails, text messages and social media inquiries. This is all possible using the same application offered by today’s modern CCaaS service providers.
Most CCaaS services come with integrations to CRMs, Email etc This makes the gathering and sharing of information for better serving customers much easier. Most providers also offer custom development to integrate with non-standard applications that a business may be using. These integrations are typically much less costly than for on-premise call center systems.
Since the application is accessed over the internet, an agent can be sitting anywhere in the world. They just need an internet connection. This is tremendously useful for large contact centers who need to provide round-the-clock service to their customers. This is also valuable for any business who has difficulty in attracting local talent for their contact center.
Modern CCaaS service providers have evolved their applications to provide analytics as an option or part of their service. They use state of the art data analytics systems, some even with Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities to offer significant value to their customers. The insights that come out of these systems, their omni-channel capabilities and their multiple application integrations are completely changing how businesses understand and interact with their customers enabling significant improvement in the level of customer service.