Updated July 2023

Welcome to the industry’s most popular definitive guide to CCaaS. This guide provides a wealth of best practices, examples, reports, and online resources that you can use to take your customer engagement and experience to the next level. Consider this your go-to resource as you implement and deploy an effective CCaaS solution, as well as your customer engagement programme.

The latest research from [1] Frost & Sullivan reveals that the European CCaaS market revenue reached €1.4 billion in 2022 and is forecasted to reach €1.6 billion in 2023. Revenue grew 21% in 2022, with increased sales in every region. This industry guide serves as a comprehensive resource for understanding CCaaS and the invaluable impact a quality CCaaS solution can have on your customer engagement strategy.

In addition, it offers valuable practices and effective strategies to enhance your team’s capacity to deliver exceptional customer service.

We will start by answering these six basic questions:

This is just the beginning. For even more CCaaS tools and guidance, please click through to the other chapters.

What is CCaaS?

CCaaS stands for Contact Centre as a Service. It refers to cloud-based solutions that provide organisations with a comprehensive set of tools and functionalities to manage their customer interactions and deliver efficient customer service.

In a traditional contact centre setup, companies would typically invest in their own on-premises infrastructure, including hardware, software, and telephony systems. CCaaS, on the other hand, offers a subscription-based model where the contact centre functionality is hosted in the cloud and accessed over the internet.

CCaaS platforms provide a wide range of features to support customer interactions across multiple channels, such as voice calls, email, chat, social media, and SMS. These platforms often integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enabling agents to access relevant customer information and provide personalised assistance.

Implementing a CCaaS solution helps businesses drive:

  • Customer loyalty: By implementing a CCaaS solution, businesses can foster stronger customer loyalty, leading to repeat business, higher customer retention rates, and increased customer lifetime value.
  • Scalability: CCaaS allows businesses to scale their contact centre operations up or down based on demand. Whether there are seasonal spikes in customer interactions or the need to quickly expand or reduce agent capacity, CCaaS provides the flexibility to adjust resources as required without the constraints of physical infrastructure.
  • Cost savings: CCaaS eliminates the need for extensive on-premises infrastructure investments and maintenance. Instead, businesses pay a subscription-based fee for the cloud-based service, reducing capital expenditures. This model also helps to lower operational costs, as organisations can easily add or remove agents and adjust resource allocation as needed.
  • Quick deployment: Implementing a CCaaS solution is generally faster and less complex compared to traditional on-premises contact centre systems. With cloud-based deployment, there’s no need to procure and set up hardware or software, resulting in faster implementation times and quicker time-to-value for organisations.
  • Flexibility and accessibility: CCaaS solutions offer greater accessibility as agents can work from anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility allows for remote and distributed teams, enabling businesses to tap into talent from various locations. Additionally, agents can access the contact centre platform from multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.
  • Omnichannel customer engagement: CCaaS platforms support a wide range of communication channels, including voice calls, email, chat, social media, and SMS. This omnichannel approach enables businesses to provide consistent and seamless customer experiences across multiple touchpoints, enhancing customer satisfaction and engagement.
  • Integration capabilities: CCaaS solutions often integrate with other business systems such as CRM platforms, help desk software, or workforce management tools. These integrations enable a unified view of customer data, streamline workflows, and provide agents with access to relevant information, leading to more personalised and efficient interactions.
  • Advanced analytics and insights: CCaaS platforms provide powerful analytics and reporting capabilities. These tools allow organisations to gain valuable insights into customer interactions, agent performance, and contact centre efficiency. By analysing data and metrics, businesses can identify areas for improvement, make data-driven decisions, and optimise their operations.
  • Enhanced customer experience: With features like intelligent routing, personalised interactions, and omnichannel support, CCaaS solutions help deliver exceptional customer experiences. Businesses can provide faster response times, personalised assistance, and consistent service across channels, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Let’s break this definition down further and go over three defining principles of CCaaS.

Principle 1: Commit to a customer service strategy

Committing to a customer service strategy involves adopting a comprehensive approach to ensure consistent and exceptional customer experiences. It begins by defining clear goals and objectives that align with your organisation’s overall vision. This includes identifying key customer touchpoints (such as voice, email, webchat, etc.), understanding customer expectations, and establishing service standards.

Next, it entails developing and implementing processes, policies, and training programmes to empower employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver exceptional service. This may involve creating customer-centric workflows, providing ongoing training and development opportunities, and fostering a culture of customer-centricity within the organisation.

Additionally, a customer service strategy requires regular measurement and analysis of key performance indicators to assess effectiveness and identify areas for improvement. It is an iterative process that involves continuous feedback, adjustment, and refinement to ensure the strategy remains aligned with changing customer needs and market dynamics. By committing to a customer service strategy, organisations can differentiate themselves, build customer loyalty, and drive long-term success.

Principle 2: Involve the right people within your business

When purchasing a CCaaS solution, it is essential to involve key stakeholders within your business to ensure a successful implementation. The first step is to identify the stakeholders who will be impacted by the CCaaS solution, such as contact centre managers, IT teams, customer service representatives, and senior executives. By involving these stakeholders from the beginning, you can gather their input, understand their specific requirements, and address any concerns or challenges they may have.

This collaborative approach allows for a comprehensive evaluation of the organisation’s needs and goals, ensuring that the selected CCaaS solution aligns with the overall business strategy. Key stakeholders can contribute valuable insights regarding the desired features and functionalities, integration requirements, scalability, and security considerations. Their involvement also fosters a sense of ownership and engagement, making it more likely that the CCaaS solution will be embraced and effectively utilised by the organisation.

Additionally, involving stakeholders throughout the purchasing process promotes effective change management and paves the way for smooth implementation and adoption of your new CCaaS solution.

Principle 3: Engagement equals happy customers  

When utilising a CCaaS solution, several best practices can help maximise its effectiveness and deliver exceptional customer experiences. First and foremost, it is crucial to align technology with your business goals and customer service strategy. This involves identifying the specific features and functionalities required to support your contact centre operations and meet customer expectations.

Additionally, investing in user-friendly interfaces and intuitive workflows can enhance agent productivity and efficiency. Regularly monitoring and analysing key performance indicators (KPIs) enables you to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions. Furthermore, integrating contact centre technology with other business systems, such as CRM platforms, helps provide a unified view of customer interactions and streamline processes.

Adequate training and ongoing support for agents and supervisors are also essential to ensure they can fully leverage the capabilities of the technology. Finally, staying informed about emerging trends and innovations in contact centre technology enables you to continuously evolve and adapt your approach, staying ahead of customer needs and market demands. By following these best practices, organisations can optimise their contact centre operations, deliver exceptional customer service, and drive business success.

IN SHORT: A CCaaS solution helps customer service agents do their jobs better by giving them the tools they need to deliver great customer service. To create a high-performing customer service strategy, businesses need to invest in a great CCaaS solution, prioritise processes, involve their customer-facing teams, and, most importantly, put the customer first.

What are analysts saying about CCaaS solutions?

Leading analyst firms have taken note of the growth of CCaaS. We’ve rounded up some key takeaways and definitions here.

Forrester: “CCaaS can provide many cost savings for businesses. Organisations can achieve cost savings of up to 30% by implementing a cloud-based contact centre solution instead of a traditional on-premises solution.”

Frost & Sullivan: “The European CCaaS market revenue reached €1.4 billion in 2022 and is forecasted to reach €1.6 billion in 2023. Revenue grew 21% in 2022, with increased sales in every region. The United Kingdom and France are the most important markets in terms of revenue, bringing in a combined 38% of the 2022 total.”

Gartner: “The adoption of CCaaS solutions has been on the rise. By 2023, 70% of customer interactions in contact centres will involve emerging technologies such as chatbots, machine learning, and mobile messaging, enabled by CCaaS platforms.”

The above definitions are more similar than different, reflecting the growing maturity of the CCaaS space. Foundational to all of these CCaaS definitions is ensuring that sales teams have the right content and knowledge to have effective conversations with customers.

Why are CCaaS solutions and contact centres important?

CCaaS (Contact Centre as a Service) and contact centres play a crucial role in modern business environments for several reasons.

Firstly, contact centres are essential for providing effective customer service and support, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience. They serve as centralised hubs where customers can interact with businesses through various channels like phone, email, chat, and social media. By leveraging CCaaS solutions, organisations can deliver seamless and personalised customer experiences, leading to improved satisfaction and loyalty.

Secondly, CCaaS platforms enable businesses to offer omnichannel customer engagement. Customers can choose their preferred communication channels and seamlessly switch between them while interacting with the contact centre. This ensures consistent and cohesive experiences across different touchpoints, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and retention.

Moreover, CCaaS solutions provide scalability and flexibility to contact centres. Being cloud-based, these solutions allow organisations to easily scale their operations up or down based on demand. They can add or remove agents and resources as needed, enabling them to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and effectively handle fluctuations in customer inquiries.

Another advantage of CCaaS is cost efficiency. Implementing a CCaaS model eliminates the need for businesses to invest in and maintain costly on-premises contact centre infrastructure. Cloud-based solutions offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing organisations to optimise their operational costs by paying only for the resources they use. Additionally, centralised management and automation features in CCaaS platforms can help improve operational efficiency and reduce staffing requirements.

CCaaS platforms also provide robust analytics and reporting capabilities. They capture and analyse data related to customer interactions, agent performance, and operational metrics. These insights enable businesses to identify trends, monitor key performance indicators, and make data-driven decisions to improve processes, optimise resource allocation, and enhance overall contact centre performance.

CCaaS solutions also offer built-in redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities. In the event of a localised disruption, such as a power outage or natural disaster, contact centre operations can quickly switch to alternative locations or remote setups, ensuring minimal downtime and uninterrupted customer support.

CCaaS and contact centres are important because they help organisations deliver exceptional customer experiences, improve operational efficiency, and drive business growth. By effectively managing customer interactions across various channels, businesses can establish strong customer relationships, increase customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive edge in the market.

Who is the decision maker for a CCaaS solution?

The decision-making process for CCaaS (Contact Centre as a Service) solutions typically involves multiple stakeholders within an organisation. The specific decision maker(s) can vary depending on the organisation’s size, structure, and industry. Here are some key stakeholders who are commonly involved in the decision-making process for CCaaS:

  • Contact Centre Management: Contact centre managers or directors have direct responsibility for the contact centre operations. They provide valuable input in terms of the features and functionalities required to improve agent productivity, enhance customer experiences, and optimise contact centre performance. They consider factors such as call routing capabilities, real-time monitoring, reporting and analytics, and integration with existing CRM systems.
  • Customer Experience (CX) Team: The CX team focuses on ensuring positive customer interactions and experiences. They contribute to the decision-making process by providing insights into customer expectations, feedback, and pain points. Their input is crucial in evaluating how a CCaaS solution can enhance customer satisfaction, enable omnichannel engagement, and improve overall customer journey.
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO) or IT Department: The CIO or IT department plays a significant role in evaluating and selecting CCaaS solutions. They assess the technical requirements and compatibility with existing systems and ensure that the chosen CCaaS platform aligns with the organisation’s IT strategy and infrastructure.
  • Procurement Team: The procurement team is responsible for vendor selection, contract negotiation, and ensuring compliance with procurement policies. They evaluate CCaaS vendors based on criteria such as reputation, reliability, service-level agreements (SLAs), data security, and scalability. They also collaborate with legal teams to review and finalise contracts with CCaaS providers.
  • Executive Management: Executives, including the CEO and other senior leaders, are often involved in the final decision-making process. They provide strategic direction, align the CCaaS implementation with broader business objectives, and ensure that the investment in CCaaS supports the organisation’s growth and customer-centric initiatives.

It’s important to note that the level of involvement and influence of each stakeholder can vary based on the organisation’s structure and decision-making processes. In some cases, a dedicated project team or steering committee may be formed to oversee the evaluation, selection, and implementation of a CCaaS solution.

CCaaS vs. on-premise contact centre

As customer service evolves, businesses are faced with a critical choice: Should they opt for a Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solution or stick with traditional on-premise contact centres? This decision can significantly impact their ability to deliver exceptional customer experiences and stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape.

CCaaS offers numerous advantages over on-premise setups. With CCaaS, businesses can harness the power of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, chatbots, and omnichannel communication, without the burden of managing complex infrastructure. It allows for quick scalability, ensuring organisations can seamlessly handle customer interactions during peak periods and adapt to changing demands.

On the other hand, on-premise contact centres require substantial investments in hardware, software, and maintenance. They often lack the agility and flexibility needed to keep pace with customer expectations in the digital age. Additionally, on-premise solutions can be time-consuming to set up and lack the seamless integrations that CCaaS platforms provide.

By embracing CCaaS, businesses can unlock a world of possibilities. They can leverage innovative features like intelligent routing, workforce management, and real-time analytics to optimise agent productivity and enhance customer satisfaction. CCaaS empowers organisations to offer personalised, efficient, and consistent support across multiple channels, fostering customer loyalty and driving business growth.

Furthermore, CCaaS solutions offer enhanced security measures, including robust data encryption and compliance with industry regulations. Cloud-based contact centres ensure data protection and minimise the risks associated with data breaches, offering peace of mind to both businesses and their customers.

Making the switch to CCaaS is not just about embracing modern technology; it’s about future-proofing your customer service operations. With the ability to rapidly adapt to changing customer preferences and market dynamics, CCaaS allows businesses to stay agile and competitive.

While on-premise contact centres may have served their purpose in the past, the future belongs to CCaaS. The shift towards cloud-based solutions is undeniable, with businesses worldwide recognising the value and transformative potential of CCaaS for their customer service strategies.

The choice between CCaaS and on-premise contact centres is more than a technological decision; it’s a strategic one. By embracing CCaaS, businesses can unleash the full potential of their customer service operations, gain a competitive edge, and ensure they are ready for the future of customer experience.

Calculating the ROI of CCaaS

Organisations that implement a CCaaS solution can experience a significant return on investment (ROI) in their contact centre operations and customer engagement efforts.

Many businesses struggle with optimising customer engagement and the effectiveness of their contact centre operations. Studies consistently reveal that a significant portion of customer interactions may not yield the desired outcomes. In fact, a considerable percentage of customer inquiries go unresolved or are not efficiently addressed. This leads to missed opportunities and wasted resources, resulting in a suboptimal ROI on customer engagement efforts.

However, by leveraging CCaaS platforms equipped with advanced analytics and performance measurement tools, businesses can analyse and optimise their customer engagement strategies. They can identify areas for improvement, enhance response times, and ensure efficient and effective customer interactions that drive revenue and satisfaction.

The primary objective of CCaaS solutions is to enhance the efficiency of contact centre operations, empowering agents to close deals and generate revenue more effectively. The potential impact is substantial, as industry-leading companies achieve 50% higher quota attainment compared to average companies.

Moreover, these best-in-class organisations are twice as likely to adopt a CCaaS solution that addresses major obstacles to successful sales operations:

  1. Onboarding time for new sales representatives (typically averaging seven months).
  2. Seller turnover rates (often around 30%).
  3. Time wasted on searching for and creating selling materials (averaging 3-4 hours per week, per rep).

By implementing CCaaS, organisations can streamline their sales processes, reduce onboarding time, mitigate turnover, and optimise resource allocation. As a result, sales representatives can engage more effectively with customers, fostering successful interactions that drive revenue and overall sales performance.

In summary, by calculating the ROI of CCaaS, businesses can unlock the potential for improved customer engagement, streamlined contact centre operations, and enhanced sales performance. By leveraging the capabilities of CCaaS platforms, organisations can achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness, and revenue generation in their customer interactions and sales processes.

Definitive guide to CCaaS

This introduction to CCaaS is just the beginning. We’ve written a comprehensive guide for implementing a CCaaS solution in your business that provides a wealth of best practices, examples, reports, and online resources. Consider this your go-to resource as you design and deploy an effective solution for your team.

Go forth and optimise!