Communication is key to every relationship, including business. Successful businesses always seek different ways to integrate their channels and streamline their channels. This is not exclusive to external channels only. Internal communication is equally important for teams to stay informed.
At the forefront of the pandemic, communication was the biggest concern for teams working remotely. Executives had to make a rapid decision of switching over to the cloud, which is a monumental task. While cloud contact center solutions are known to have a positive impact on operations, the provider has to meet certain criteria before they are a right fit. Many companies struggled with a hasty installation, where certain things cost the company more revenue than expected. Due to poor arrangement, there was some friction in the process of cloud installation. Hence, it is important to choose the right cloud-based services.
There are two players in town and they are called CCaaS and UCaaS. While both are cloud-based solutions, both end up performing different tasks. UCaaS ends up improving the internal communication whereas CCaaS is more focused on external campaigns such as customer support or retention. Let's understand these two in more detail.
What is Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?
What is Unified Communication as Service (UCaaS)?
Tricks & Tips for Purchasing a Full UCaaS and CCaaS Solutions
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) can be defined as the software deployment framework. It combines cloud-based infrastructure and the hosting principles of contact center software. It is similar to the SaaS model where the software and applications reside in the cloud. It reduces the cost of ownership in a monthly subscription fee and provides the convenience of ramping up or down the licenses. Also, it supports new features as the provider pushes the updates, automatically.
As it is a call center solution, it encompasses all the tools and features that your customer-facing team might need. Here are some features that CCaaS holds:
These are some primary features that are expected from CCaaS. However, it can be configured as per the needs of the business.
UCaaS aka Unified Communications as Service is a cloud-based deployment method. It integrates various communication functions such as meetings, chats, calls, SMS, video, and social media. You can integrate UCaaS with many other business applications such as Zendesk, G-Suite, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and Oracle Netsuite. Users can use customizable application programming interfaces to leverage them by deploying video-on-demand, chatbots, and other customer-oriented communications improvements.
So it is obvious that CCaaS is the preferred solution for contact centers where they are managing high volume calls and interactions. UCaaS is the erstwhile hosted PBX and is now available in the cloud with all the office management tools, video conference, calendar, team collaboration, document sharing, etc. So, UCaaS is useful for all office-related communication and not for contact centers.
The pandemic has impacted contact centers badly. They have become overburdened. Covid has led to an exponential rise in call volumes across the globe. Plus, companies had to rely on remote working. In short, the recent pandemic has accelerated hybrid work culture for call agents and employees. According to Gartner, 90% of businesses are planning to allow their employees to work from home even after the pandemic subsided. In such scenarios, companies are looking to invest in new technologies to remain productive, efficient, and maintain costs.
So, if you are thinking to invest in UCaaS and CCaaS in near future, then first assess your needs. Here are some tips that can help you to do so:-
Before you invest in CCaaS and UCaaS, find out the objective of your project. For example, you can use CCaaS and UCaaS to improve customer service capabilities. So, be clear about your short-term and long-term IT and business objectives to be accomplished using these two. Take concrete decisions about the resources you wish to integrate into a CCaaS or UCaaS platform.
Think about the important feature and functionalities that you want with CCaaS and UCaaS. For example, you can include features like reporting, real-time management, screen recording, call recording, omnichannel, speech analytics, etc. It is important that you select the features that you require because the CCaaS vendors may have different tiers/plans. Also, some of the vendors would try to lock you for an annual or multi-year contract. It is important to do the cost/benefit analysis before signing up for a multi-year contract.
When you look into your business objectives, assess the scope for purchasing frameworks like CCaaS and UCaaS, webchat, AI/chatbots, texting solutions, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), etc. Besides, if you need a deadline or timeline to implement the framework, then think about it carefully. For example, you may need time to choose a vendor. Also, you may wish to implement the CCaaS and UCaaS solutions in phases.
Before you buy CCaaS and UCaaS, figure out if your provider can customize the solutions according to your business needs. Ask your CCaaS and UCaaS provider whether they offer to choose from public, hybrid, or private cloud models. What are third-party integrations they provide and APIs that are exposed by the vendors? It can be as simple as click-to-call so that call can be initiated from the CRM or lead push API, so that leads generated by Google Ads or social media ads are automatically pushed to the dialer. Also, ask if their tools are scalable to accommodate unexpected events or rapid growth. In short, flexibility and innovation should be an integral part of the CCaaS and UCaaS providers.
Nowadays, losing sensitive customer data to cybercriminals is the biggest threat to businesses. So, in this age of cybercrimes and data breaches, find out whether your CCaaS and UCaaS provider have the proper certifications proving what protocols they meet or have in place to safeguard your data. Apart from this, your CCaaS and UCaaS service providers must have a deep understanding of this technology. They should have solid expertise and must know about the latest and upcoming trends. Plus, they should be willing to provide training to your teams walking them through the ins and outs of the technology.
Reliability of the technology and network comes first when you choose a CCaaS or UCaaS vendor. Ask your vendor to present the documentation of the uptime record. The uptime record should be 99 percent or higher than this. Besides, find out how many clients your CCaaS and UCaaS providers have worked with in the past. Searching into their past experiences will help you to know about their success record. For example, find out whether your CCaaS and UCaaS providers have worked across a wide range of industries or not. And the most important is the quality of support and support level SLA that the vendor is ready to provide. What-if the SLAs are not maintained and ensure that the downside is covered up.
Today, almost all companies want to embrace a hybrid working model. They want to include it in their long-term strategies. Plus, businesses are continually working hard to improve communication both internally and externally. CCaaS and UCaaS frameworks deliver a comprehensive suite of tools that makes communication seamless and assist in achieving an incredible customer engagement rate.
Author Bio: Reshu Ojha is an enthusiastic technical writer. Beyond her work, she is an ardent animal lover and avid reader.