CCaaS Trends Every Business Should Know

CCaaS Trends Every Business Should Know

Contact Centre as a Service, or “CCaaS”, has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. Part of the overwhelming shift of businesses towards the cloud, CCaaS promises companies the flexibility they need to evolve with their customers.

Through CCaaS solutions, business leaders can unlock new functionality quickly and seamlessly, through the cloud. CCaaS also gives companies the scope to add or remove numbers from their strategy whenever they choose.

If you’re keen to take part in the CCaaS revolution, then you’re in the right place. Here are some CCaaS trends ready to influence your business in the years to come.

1. A Cloud-Flexible Model

Migrating to the cloud is a growing trend in all parts of the technology landscape. For years, the cloud has offered companies the perfect combination of flexibility, scale, and cost-savings. As of 2020, cloud technology also became the go-to solution for business continuity. Before the pandemic, 53% of contact centres were planning on moving at least partially to the cloud.

Part of the benefit of CCaaS is its adaptability. Companies can choose cloud strategies that suit their needs. You can take some of your contact centre processes to the cloud, and keep others offline, for compliance and security reasons.

The rise of the cloud model for contact centres will also further enhance the trend for a hybrid model of work. Companies are increasingly employing a combination of both in-office and remote agents to man the contact centre environment. Moving forward, maintaining this hybrid flexibility will be essential to attracting and retaining talent.

2. More than Just Audio

Over the last ten years, the number of avenues available for customer contact has increased. In the past, the only way to reach out to a company was to call their business line. Now, consumers are expecting omnichannel environments where they can discuss issues through a range of platforms.

Live chat, for instance, is one excellent example of a new communication strategy gaining a lot of attention. Over 40% of customers choose live chat over social media and email to connect with companies today. Thanks to an impressive satisfaction rate of 73%, live chat also has the highest customer contact channel satisfaction rate, with calls achieving around 44% in comparison.

Live chat delivers answers to customers faster than a standard call. Plus, chat opportunities also pave the way for things like automated chatbots and assistants for self-service.

Aside from audio and chat, the fully featured omnichannel contact centre may also include access to video meetings, SMS conversations, web chat opportunities, and social media inquiries.

3. Real-time AI and Assistants

Artificial Intelligence is growing increasingly sophisticated, making it one of the most compelling CCaaS trends today. AI is making it easier for companies to deal with huge volumes of calls, as well as various customer needs. With artificial intelligence chatbots, companies can give clients the option to serve and support themselves, rather than waiting for an agent.

For common issues that are easy to solve, chatbots can offer a valuable alternative to many customers, to the extent that Gartner even predicted 85% of customer service interactions would one day be handled by chatbots.

Although the number isn’t quite this high, chatbots do reduce the number of repetitive issues most companies need to deal with on a regular basis. Companies should remember that human beings need to remain a part of the conversation, however. Around 78% of UK customers in a PWC study said they want more human interaction going forward.

AI also has the potential to support agents in their workflow too. For instance, a virtual assistant in a CCaaS software solution can help agents by collecting information about a customer on their behalf and providing it before a conversation begins. AI bots can also automatically record conversations for compliance purposes.

Sentiment analysis in AI even gives companies a way to maintain customer loyalty when issues with CX may arise. A word or phrase in a sentence could be all it takes for an AI to notify a business leader or supervisor that an agent needs help.

4. Going Mobile

As the omnichannel CCaaS environment becomes more of a reality, and employees work from locations all around the world, the rise of mobile is gaining steam too. As of 2018, around 58% of web traffic in the UK came from mobiles, showing that mobile now outshines desktop browsing for many modern consumers.

Future call centres will need to ensure that customers have just as much of an intuitive experience via mobile as they do when calling your company from a desk phone. SMS-based support may be an option for some companies, along with click-to-call applications that users can access on their phone. Even video systems will need to be compatible with mobile.

The increasing demand for live chat will also mean that companies need to ensure customers can multi-task when talking to an agent through a website. The ability to search for other information on different tabs while maintaining a constant conversation will be essential to consumers.

As well as the rise of mobile use for consumers, companies will also need to prepare for the rise of mobile usage in the contact centre too. Remote and hybrid agents may begin to use their own smartphones more often as softphone technology for the business. In this case, companies will need to ensure the right endpoint protection is in place, and that the correct tools are available.

5. New Demands for Data Security

Security, privacy, and compliance have always been crucial considerations in the contact centre. The demands to maintain the right quality of protection in this landscape will only continue to increase in a new era of digital-first customers.

Companies of all sizes will need to rethink their security properties in an age where more interactions are being handled over the cloud and by remote agents. CCaaS providers that can offer options for data sovereignty will be crucial for companies that need to keep their data in a specific location for compliance reasons.

For remote workers handling calls from home, there’ll be an increasing demand for virtual private networks that can preserve the security of any digital connection, whether it’s a voice call, or video chat. Private cloud systems and workstation machines that deliver a higher level of security to people working in a new environment will be essential.

The precise security systems that companies put in place will depend heavily on their approach to the hybrid contact centre, and the demands of the industry. As standard, most companies will need to take measures to ensure that the contact centre remains safe with end-to-end encryption, firewalls, and constant monitoring.

Some business leaders will also invest in artificial intelligence and forward-thinking technology to assist with security breaches. For instance, voice-printing is a kind of biometric technology emerging as a solution to preventing call fraud. Companies can now secure a person’s account based on the unique sound and elements of their voice.

6. The Rise of Big Data

Big Data has become a fundamental part of the contact centre over the last few years. We rely on data analytics to make crucial decisions about the future of a company, as well as to understand why certain strategies work better than others. Data in the security landscape can help us to prevent breaches from happening, by showing what kind of trends indicate a security lapse.

In a similar vein, data can also assist with predictive analytics in the rest of the company, helping business leaders to understand when they’re likely to get a peak in volume, so extra team members can be brought on board. Data on call performance and customer satisfaction can ensure companies are practicing the right strategies to improve customer satisfaction and offer insights for training.

When combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning, data can improve our chances of success in the future, while helping us to learn from our past.

Historical data isn’t the only valuable kind of information in the contact centre either. Increasing, real-time analytics are also gaining more attention. With real-time insights, companies can track what’s going on in their contact centre at any moment. This gives them the opportunity to jump in on calls that may be going south or see when a certain employee is behind schedule.

Real-time analytics also act as an excellent source of motivation for the remote or hybrid worker. By arranging metrics onto dashboards and wallboards, managers can give their agents an overview of their performance compared to their peers. This leads the way for gamification in the contact centre.

7. Systems, Software, and Integration

The flexibility and agility of CCaaS means that it’s easier for companies to embrace new trends and disruptive technology at a rapid pace. Companies in the current CCaaS landscape aren’t limited to basic contact centre functionality anymore. Instead, we can all build the perfect CC environment based on the unique needs of our employees, and customers.

CCaaS solutions are growing increasingly flexible, offering in-depth integrations with quality management systems that track phone calls, or CRM tools for customer management. CCaaS solutions are also becoming more deeply connected to other “as a service” offerings, like CPaaS, and UCaaS. Many companies are beginning to look for ways to connect all of their communication stacks on the back end, for better management potential.

When Unified Communication within the business environment grows more connected with contact centre solutions, companies benefit from a more aligned business environment. Agents can seek support from a back-end knowledge worker to address customer queries. Agents can also provide professionals in the wider business with insights into customer trends.

At the same time, a combined communication stack strengthens your analytics and data management, by ensuring you have a single point of truth for all data. You can get a complete view of the end-to-end customer journey, and the steps your company takes to support clients. All that, and you open the door for more connections between “things”, as well as people.

IoT solutions within the communication environment can allow devices and tools to connect just as well as your highly trained agents. This could mean that a data centre can immediately inform a CCaaS system when traffic is being throttled, making it easier for engineers to take action.

8. Evolving Contact Centre Agents

We touched on the evolution of the contact centre agent above with our discussion of AI assistants. While these intelligent tools can help agents to become more efficient in their work, they also serve another purpose. AI solutions open the door for the automation of various repetitive and monotonous tasks that take up excess agent time.

When your CCaaS environment can remove the repetitive tasks from your agent’s schedule, you open the door to a higher level of agent satisfaction and give agents more time to focus on complex challenges. This means that going forward, agents will need higher problem-solving skills, and a better knowledge of the product or service. To thrive in this new environment, companies will need to provide both extra training, and additional access to data.

Highly trained and skilled agents will continue to use AI solutions access information about their customers at speed. All the while, robotic process automation will remove the somewhat overwhelming tasks that have held us back in the past.

Crucially, AI will only be able to automate a part of the CX experience. In the future of CCaaS, the human agent will still play an essential part in creating empathetic experiences for customers. Customers are becoming increasingly demanding of personalized and relevant experiences. While data and AI tools will help agents to understand what their customers need, the right soft skills will ensure that team members maintain happy clients.

The Evolution of CCaaS

The above trends are just a handful of the major changes affecting the contact centre industry and CCaaS today. As we continue to move ahead in an environment where customer experience is the key to success, there’s no doubt that this technology will continue to evolve.

If you want to stay ahead of the curve in customer experience, it all starts with the right CCaaS.

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