Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) has opened the doors for any size business to put up their own Contact Centers, and many are doing just that.
So, what's the first step any Contact Center Manager and IT Director should begin with? As with any large systems implementation, you’ll have to first look at your requirements and then identify a solution-provider based on those requirements.
The Requirements Drive The Solution
The Journey to the Right CCaaS Solution begins understanding and documenting your company’s unique Contact Center requirements. Questions like “How many agents will the system have to support at a given time?” are easy to answer. But other questions that will determine how your system is designed, will take time and research to get answers for:
Will the site’s network infrastructure be enough to support the bandwidth requirements for a Contact Center?
What business applications will need to be integrated with your Contact Center system? Your CRM, ERP, other SaaS solution that is central to your business operations?
What teams will be represented at the Contact Center and how will customer sessions (calls, chat sessions, video sessions) need to be routed to best service your customers?
Despite the perceived simplicity of CCaaS, the technology does not come already integrated with your applications and configured to support your Contact Center requirements. It’s the behind-the-scenes evaluation of your system configuration and setup that makes a Cloud solution work the way it’s been proposed to work. And getting the configuration right depends greatly on accurately and comprehensively defining the requirements.
Right Implementation Is The Key Key To Successful CCaaS
Once you’ve clearly defined the business requirements for your Contact Center, it’s time to choose a partner to design and implement your CCaaS system. As any experienced IT Director knows, finding the right partner makes the difference between having a good experience and a poor one.
This is where having a comprehensive set of requirements helps because any provider that makes it to the short list has to be able to address those requirements. It might be relatively easy to find a provider that can implement a system with a base configuration. But when it comes to more involved tasks like integrating your business software with your Contact Center software – either through native integrations or custom integrations – there are fewer options.
Support Is What Ensures Your Continuity
It’s easy to make support an afterthought, but if you don’t know your support requirements – and implement them in an SLA with your provider – your first support call could be a rude awakening as you realize that what you consider absolutely necessary is not part of your support package.
So make sure to get beyond the basics with the providers on your short list and ask them about service-level requirements you want them to meet, such as:
Support staff headcount
Ticket turnaround time
A limit on the number of support calls
CCaaS has indeed made the power of the Contact Center available to everyone. But it’s definitely not Plug-and-Play. While the As-A-Service model for Contact Centre does take systems support off of the IT Director’s plate on the back end (enabling him/her to spend more time in the boardroom and less time in the server room), the old school rules of “put together solid requirements” and “partner with a solid provider” still apply.