Article | 7 min read

CCaas: The definitive guide to contact centre as a service (+ the five best providers)

Adopt a CCaaS solution and you’ll be ready to connect quickly with customers across all channels and leave your dated call centre technology in the dust.

By Patrick Cwiklinski

Last updated May 23, 2021

We get it. Running a call centre is hard.

Between the endless inbound calls and technical hiccups, managing a call centre tests your patience and persistence. The good news is that you can make things easier on yourself with a call centre software solution: CCaaS.

By 2022, contact-centre-as-a-service (CCaaS) software will account for roughly 50% of preferred adoption models in contact centres.

Learn all the ins and outs of this software now and you’ll be able to bring your call centre up to speed so that it’s ready for the future.

What is CCaaS?

Contact centre as a service (CCaaS) is a cloud-based software solution for company contact centres.

Over time, CCaaS has become a trusted alternative to traditional contact-centre solutions that focus on phone systems and call flows.

With an omni-channel approach, CCaaS software allows teams to service customers via:

  • Social media
  • Live chat
  • Email
  • Other communications channels

To understand the real story behind CCaaS, we have to rewind the clocks all the way back to 1995 – right around the time when TLC dropped ‘Waterfalls’. This was the year when CosmoCom became the first company to introduce and patent IP-based contact centre technology. It wasn’t the same CCaaS that we all know and love today, but it set the trend for what was to come later.

By the early 2000s, CCaaS as we now know it was born. Tech companies saw the limits of on-site call centre software that you could only access via certain computers. They turned that dated way of working on its head with contact centre software that only required an Internet connection.

Fast forward to today, and CCaaS is leading the charge for call centre innovation.

The four-point case for using a CCaaS solution

The main difference between CCaaS and on-premises contact centre solutions is pretty straightforward:

  • On-premises solutions refer to contact centre software and hardware that are located and maintained in one physical location
  • CCaaS, on the other hand, is completely cloud based and can be accessed from different locations

Both small businesses and large organisations have implemented CCaaS solutions at an accelerated pace since the pandemic hit. The upturn in the adoption of CCaaS solutions is a result of:

  • Increases in remote working and social-distancing measures 
  • Higher call volumes for companies with in-demand services, such as healthcare providers or government aid

The value of CCaaS goes beyond COVID-19, though. Organisations choose this technology because it creates an engaging customer experience, while helping with workforce management.

Here are four primary reasons why companies are moving away from traditional contact centres to CCaaS:

CCaaS is cost effective

It’s cost effective

As a cloud solution, CCaaS cuts many of the extra costs tied to traditional call centre systems. You’ll save on expensive hardware, inflated IT departments for support and overall energy costs.

Another big cost saving that comes with using a CCaaS solution is that it’s based on usage. Traditional call centre technology always costs the same, however often you use it. CCaaS often uses monthly or pay-as-you-go pricing, so your bill is tied to the value that you’re getting.

CCaaS offers multi-channel communication

It offers multi-channel communication

Phone calls are the preferred communication method for customers, but they shouldn’t be the only option. With more millennials and Gen Zers entering the scene, customer interactions are moving beyond the phone and into social media, online chat and email.

CCaaS software makes this multi-channel communication child’s play:

  • Real-time dashboards can help agents see which channels customers are using
  • You can run reports to measure performance across all of them

Offering multi-channel communication with CCaaS isn’t only convenient for customers – it’s also beneficial for your agents. They’ll be able to field customer queries more effectively via the preferred method of communication, so they’re always in sync with customer enquiries on each channel.

CCaaS order history

It shows product and order history

Let’s be honest: Call centre agents sometimes have a tough job. Not only are they trying to provide great customer experience, but they’re also scrambling to find information about customers in real time. It’s not an easy task. Customers can become impatient and, in some unfortunate cases, even aggressive.

That’s when you need a CCaaS solution to help you save the day.

A CCaaS solution can show a customer’s product and order history as you’re communicating with the client. Having specific customer-account information right in front of you can help agents answer personal questions more easily and guide the customer towards the right solution.

With instant access to product and order history, you’re ready to provide faster support for your customers.

CCaaS analytics

It provides insightful reports and analytics

If you’re spending all your time sifting through countless pages of data, you’ll have less time to resolve customers’ problems and keep them happy.

Using a CCaaS will give you access to automatic reporting and analytics. The software will track key call centre metrics, such as:

  • Uptime
  • Downtime
  • Missed and declined calls

These insights can boost operational performance across your call centre. If you’re seeing a big increase in missed calls, for example, you might need to evaluate whether you have enough agents during peak hours to keep up.

The five best CCaaS providers in 2020

A CCaaS solution is a major investment, so you don’t want to make the choice lightly. Find the best software for your business with our breakdown of different plans from the top five CCaaS providers today.

Zendesk Talk

In addition to offering four flexible plans, the Zendesk Talk Partner Edition also gives enterprise organisations the ability to integrate their call centre software of choice (including Amazon Connect, Five9 and Nice inContact) with Zendesk for an all-in-one solution.

You can contact us for Partner Edition pricing details, as well as giving our free trial a shot.

Plan type Price Features
Lite Free Limit of one phone number, automatic ticket creation, call recording and voicemail transcription.
Team $19/month Multiple phone numbers, warm transfer and text messaging.
Professional $49/month IVR phone trees, call monitoring and barging, conference calling, agent recording controls, reports and real-time dashboards.
Enterprise $89/month (available for teams of 100+) Monthly diagnostics, failover on demand, call-offering time limit and extended queue waiting time.

RingCentral

RingCentral offers three different contact centre plans. You can also sign up for access to a full product demo.

Plan type Price Features
Basic Contact Sales for pricing Standard IVR and ACD capabilities, integration with RingCentral Office, and collaboration using team message, video and phone.
Advanced Contact Sales for pricing Advanced IVR and ACD, omni-channel routing for chat and email, omni-channel real-time and historical reporting, and CRM integration.
Ultimate Contact Sales for pricing Advanced outbound dialling capabilities, preview, progressive and predictive diallers, advanced campaign management and agent scripting.

Aircall

Aircall offers three different pricing plans. They also offer a free seven-day trial.

Plan type Pricing Features
Essentials $30/month Unlimited calls within the US and Canada, CRM integration and IVR.
Professional $50/month Advanced analytics and reporting, live call monitoring and a dedicated account manager.
Custom Available upon request Custom analytics, custom onboarding and unlimited calls worldwide.

Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect has a pay-as-you-go pricing plan with no monthly fees or long-term commitment. The AWS Free Tier also gives you free access to Amazon Connect for 12 months.

  • Voice usage: $0.018 per minute
  • Chat usage: $0.004 per message
  • Features include natural-language chatbots using Amazon Lex, skills-based routing and an intuitive graphical contact flow builder.

NICE inContact

NICE inContact doesn’t share pricing for its CCaaS solution. You’ll need to request a quote from the company. Their features include:

  • Partner AI chatbots
  • Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) integration
  • Omni-channel analytics
  • Voice as a service

Use CCaaS to build a reliable, efficient call centre

CCaaS technology isn’t going away any time soon. By 2027, the global contact centre software market is expected to climb to .3 billion.

The software has only become more relevant with COVID-19. Physically staffing call centres is becoming an increasing challenge, and companies are looking for solutions that their agents can access from anywhere – easily and securely.

Keep your call centre ahead of the curve with a CCaaS software solution. Learn more about how our tool, Zendesk Talk, can benefit your team with a free trial.

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