Five Things to Look For The pandemic was disruptive. Businesses around the globe were caught scrambling to find any viable Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) provider to handle their inbound and outbound communications. Because of this, two things happened: 1) the CCaaS industry exploded; and 2) a lot of businesses ended up with a hastily chosen provider that was NOT the right fit. Now what? If you’re new to this arena and exploring CCaaS options, or are ready to break up with your current provider, Bitwise Industries wants to share some of our expertise and give you five things to look for when considering a CCaaS provider. What Are You Looking For? There are several types of professional Contact Center-as-a-Service providers that enable organizations to manage their customer interactions through various channels of communication. Since the customer experience is critical at every stage, these daily interactions are a company’s lifeline to customers, and it needs to be treated as such. Their perception of your brand hinges on the outcome of these transactions. Typically, there are three different types of CCaaS providers to consider based on their communication capabilities. Basic: This tier offers inbound/outbound phone calls answered by live agents. Advanced: This tier provides omnichannel management of customer interactions through any channel of communication—voice, web, chat, SMS, or video. Next-gen: This tier includes all the omnichannel live-agent options with enhanced AI automation to create virtual agents (or chat bots) that pop up on the organization’s website. Finding a CCaaS provider that can appropriately reach and personalize the customer experience for your clients is the first step in finding a significant partner that can craft the positive results that your customers expect and deserve. What Do They Offer? The goal of any CCaaS provider should be exceptional customer service that resolves issues quickly and completely with every interaction they encounter. And it starts with you! As their customer, your organization should feel like a priority throughout the process. If you do, then you can expect that approach to trickle down throughout all of their agents because they’ve made customer service an intrinsic part of their operation. If not, move on. Taking the time to know your potential CCaaS provider is essential to creating a mutually beneficial relationship. Additionally, you need to find alignment with the technical features they have to offer so you can accurately assess the quality of their interactions with your customers. A few questions to lead this discussion are: How do they grade their agent interactions, queue levels, and management oversight? How do they distribute the contacts between agents based on your business process? Do they provide self-help options for the customers who prefer to navigate solutions independently? And how do they ensure customer security through authentication protocols? Knowing your needs is just as important as your CCaaS provider satisfying them. How Do You Mesh? When selecting a CCaaS provider, every aspect is important. But understanding how they integrate with your current business model can be the deciding factor. The last thing any organization wants is to bring on a new partner that completely bogs down a department or the org overall because your programs don’t play nice with each other. Part of your interview process should include the technical aspects of your current CRM and the CCaaS provider’s ability to interface with it. This one detail can be a potential deal breaker if that API integration is not open and available because this is how the CCaaS agents gain access to your customer data. Here’s a practical way of understanding not-so-great integration versus full integration. Your customer picks up the phone to call your company and hears: “Thank you for calling The Acme Co., how can I help you today?” VS. “Hello, Jeff! I hope your day is going great, how is that new widget you purchased on May 4th working out for you?” Finding the best experience for your customers should be the benchmark in any CCaaS provider decision you make. Certain providers will offer the tools to help your org clearly understand what the interactions look like so you can make course corrections to better personalize each point of contact. What is the Paired Potential for Growth? Every business expects to grow. You want to find a CCaaS provider that can scale with you. Ask your CCaaS candidate questions that center around your org’s growth projections over the next 5-10 years. What do you expect your capacity to be? How will they deal with increased demand for your goods and services? Are they capable of growing into a multilingual market? Other avenues to consider when looking at CCaaS providers is their ability to reinforce your org with auxiliary services like staff augmentation, training programs, and technical support. Many CCaaS providers deploy these added services as cost-effective solutions with predictable costs to minimize your downtime and drive improved business outcomes as you scale up. From sales and data management to social media analytics or Cloud-based services, more and more CCaaS providers are leaning into a suite of service offerings to maximize your business processes and enhance your customer engagement program. Do They Comply with Compliance? One way or another, your chosen CCaaS provider needs to excel in the compliance department. The CCaaS provider you consider should have a deep knowledge of any compliance requirements that your org adheres to. The most common are PCI–the Security Council standards used when taking credit card information–and HIPAA–the national standard to protect sensitive patient health information. No matter the situation, your CCaaS provider is an extension of your business and should be held to the highest standard that is reputable and trustworthy. Your clients, customers, or constituents expect nothing less. Neither should you. Meet with your provider’s compliance officers and don’t shy away from any in-depth compliance discussions. What’s the Bottom Line? When considering a CCaaS provider you need to look at the 1) types of communications they deploy, 2) what features they offer, 3) how they integrate with your current technology, 4) their scalability potential, and 5) how they prioritize compliance standards. These are all tangible items that should be quickly uncovered in their menu of service offerings. However, the less tangible item for consideration is the overall fit. Will this be a relationship that you will look forward to interfacing with on a regular basis? Will this CCaaS provider surpass our goals for customer retention and brand preference? Bitwise Industries understands the significance of excellent customer experience for our clients. That is why we tailor all of our offerings–including our CCaaS services–with a holistic approach that is personalized to your business and your customers. If you’re serious about providing the best opportunities for your customers, look no further than Bitwise. Let Us Help Bitwise Industries specializes in custom software development, Contact Center-as-a-Service, and Salesforce implementation and administration. Our technology professionals have deep experience applying cutting-edge technology solutions to help business entities of all sizes navigate the technology landscape to find solutions to optimize their operations. If you’re interested in uncovering the tech possibilities available to your organization, click this link to schedule some time with one of our experts. This post was written by Jeff Rickels, Technical Writer for Bitwise Industries. When he’s not writing, he’s trying to explain to his kids why a six-disc CD changer was mounted in the trunk of a car. (He still hasn’t found a good explanation for that one.) Did you love this blog? Subscribe here for new Bitwise blog notifications.