3 Critical Factors When Evaluating a CCaaS Solution

While it might feel like time is standing still during 2020, the opposite is actually true in the customer service market. Contact centers are under more pressure to move rapidly — at scale — to meet evolving customer and employee needs today and into the future.

To do this, they need to find a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solution that offers the agility to seamlessly roll out or test new services. But that’s not enough. You also must consider your agents’ performance, engagement, and safety from day to day. And you need to do all this while building and nurturing customer loyalty and satisfaction through personalization and a differentiating customer experience.

Evaluating CCaaS Traits

Moving to a cloud-based contact center solution requires an understanding of what your company needs and then matching those needs to the solution that can deliver. You also want a CCaaS solution that’s future-proof, allowing you to easily scale or add services as the market evolves.

According to the recent report “The Forrester Wave: Contact-Center-As-A-Service (CCaaS) Providers, Q3 2020,” companies should consider three critical factors when evaluating a CCaaS solution provider.

  1. Omnichannel. Customers want to engage with your company on their chosen channel — at a time that’s most convenient for them. You need to meet them there. Look for an all-in-one cloud contact center solution that lets agents seamlessly engage with customers across voice, email, chat, and bots. And be sure that solution has the ability to expand to new channels, if and when it’s necessary. Having a complete view of the customer journey — with context — across channels, means agents are prepared when they interact with customers from any channel.
  2. Native Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) Tools. It’s true that happy, engaged customer service representatives cultivate happy and loyal customers. Using a suite of workforce engagement management and workforce optimization tools that are built into your CCaaS gives you access to the data and insights needed for better forecasting and quality assurance. Utilizing WEM tools, contact center managers can assign the right employees with the right skills to the job. Optimizing scheduling in this way improves coverage and efficiency, which keeps employees happy and engaged — and customers satisfied.
  3. Cognitive Contact Center. There are three key elements in the circle of customer experience: retention – the likelihood customers keep existing business with a company; enrichment – finding ways to expand that customer relationship; and loyalty – the ability of the customer to say they’re happy and become a recommender of your business. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key element underpinning all three of these elements, noted Art Schoeller, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. A solution with native automation and AI tools that allows you to blend bots with human agents means you’ll be more predictive and prescriptive in personalizing interactions and experiences. This personalization means agents can respond to more complex customer issues with empathy and understanding. And a CCaaS solution that allows you to customize services through open APIs or easily add-on compatible third-party applications are important factors when evaluating a vendor, added Schoeller.

When Every Second Counts
Integral Care, the Local Mental Health and Intellectual Development Disability Authority, located in Austin, TX, needed a customer experience platform to support its 24/7 crisis helpline and growing services. The agency’s legacy on-premises contact center solution was unreliable, expensive to maintain and didn’t scale. And because Integral Care provides a 24-hour Crisis Helpline that’s often the first point of contact for people needing immediate emotional support, any downtime was unacceptable.

“That’s the necessity that drove us to modernization,” said Sunila Levi, CIO at Integral Care. “We wanted to transform; we looked at industry trends — what can make us future-ready to grow and to look ahead and be prepared?”

After reviewing various contact center solutions, Integral Care chose the Genesys CloudTM platform. The redundancy of a cloud-based contact center was attractive as was the ability to add capabilities like chat down the road. And Genesys Cloud open APIs meant less heavy-lifting for Integral Care IT staff. The agency has integrated its existing electronic health system with Genesys Cloud — and has integrated with Microsoft Teams for easy collaboration.

Since modernizing its infrastructure to the Genesys Cloud platform, Integral Care seen a 97% reduction in abandoned call rates and has experienced no downtime, despite other systems failing. The rapid deployment of the CCaaS solution also allowed the agency to add seats and capacity to extend services. This was especially important in 2020, when the volume of COVID-19-related calls increased by 12%, with monthly appointment bookings for individuals in Austin-Travis County rising from about 7,000 to 10,000.

A CCaaS Solution That’s Built for the Future
Customer demands continue to evolve and the pressure to differentiate on customer experience is becoming even more critical. When selecting the right cloud-based contact center platform, you need a flexible, all-in-one solution that will grow with your business.

Attend our on-demand analyst webinar “CCaaS in 2020: Trends informing the movement,” to get a better understanding of how the CCaaS landscape has changed — and what you should look for when moving your contact center to the cloud. You’ll also hear firsthand from Sunila Levi, CIO at Integral Care, about the agency’s path to a modern cloud-based contact center platform.