By Ann LaBara
Are you looking for a reliable and innovative solution for your contact center that can help you minimize expenses and, at the same time, improve the quality of your customer interactions? Understanding the economic balancing act that most contact centers are going through, especially during these tough economic times — such as cutting expenses and trying to squeeze life out of existing technology that is outdated – many are turning to what is known as Communications as a Service (CaaS) or hosted services. This pay-as-you-go approach allows you to upgrade the functionality and flexibility within your contact center without the large expense of purchasing a premise-based solution.
There are many advantages to CaaS, but there are three in particular that have helped executives and decision-makers evaluate the CaaS solution:
1) Minimized Start-up and Ongoing Costs: Premise-based contact center solutions can be costly when you consider software, hardware, implementation services, data center infrastructure requirements, system maintenance, and the list goes on. CaaS is a great option for businesses that seek advanced contact center technology without a huge financial investment up front.
2) Advanced Contact Center Applications: CaaS offerings provide for contact centers of any size. From a few agents to several hundred, CaaS can provide features for auto attendant, IVR, intelligent ACD routing, predictive dialer, blended inbound/outbound capability, recording, quality monitoring, automated customer satisfaction surveys, and workforce management.
3) Increased Flexibility for a Dynamic Business Environment: Are you concerned about having to “rip and replace” in order to move forward? With the CaaS model, you won’t need to worry about this. There are flexible deployment options to fit your needs that work within your existing network and telephony architecture.
It is the nature of the business within a contact center to be able to quickly respond to changes in call volume, revenue targets, and customer service levels without adding costly infrastructure. A major benefit of the CaaS model is the ability to scale up and down on a monthly basis based on need. Should your business demands change due to seasonality or a promotion, the model allows for rapid adjustments. An example of this would be adding an IVR and more agents to handle the increased volume. This model also allows you to try a new application or feature without making a large initial up-front investment. Another important benefit is the flexible option to move your CaaS-based solution to a premise-based solution when your business necessitates it.
During these times with communications being top-of-mind, businesses are researching technologies that can reduce costs while helping to improve customer service. In the contact center space, executives are more aware now of hosted solutions and the benefits such a solution can provide:
- The opportunity to save money on capital expenses and ongoing support
- The option to try new advanced applications without making a long-term commitment
- The increased flexibility to rapidly adjust to a changing business environment
Regardless of the need, CaaS solutions from a trusted vendor or partner can deliver improvements for contact centers of all sizes.
Ann LaBara is a veteran of the contact center. She has worked for several companies – including Nike, where she ran their contact center. Contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about CaaS.
[From Connection Magazine – June 2010]