ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) - Global 2023
Advanced CCaaS platforms and solutions are becoming mainstream across geographies
The contact center industry is evolving at pace, driven by rapidly changing customer requirements driving intensive change. Evolving enterprise buying behavior, technological demands of new hybrid working models, need for greater efficiency in handling contacts, focus on enhancing CX and the growing complexity of business demands have increased focus on improving customer satisfaction. CX has become a key topic of discussion at the boardroom level.
The adoption of digital CX services has significantly increased during the last three years, with the emergence of the new hybrid working model. A large part of the contact center (and other) workforces continue to work at least part-time from home. Similarly, there is an increase in the use of contact center services and end-user demand for smooth, efficient and quick resolution of issues.
The expansion of throughput brings with it the specter of additional costs/staffing for enterprises operating the CX platform unless automation is deployed to increase the volume of contacts transacted per agent. Enterprises are now looking to adopt cloud contact centers to ensure that these key issues are addressed and are continuously adaptive and flexible.
Enterprises understand the benefits of the cloud contact center. During the last few years, the contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) solution has evolved significantly and offers more than basic channels of voice and text communication. The current cloud contact center solutions are designed with a vast array of features and functionalities, including workforce management, retention or optimization and embedded technologies such as AI, ML, automation, chatbots/personas and analytics. Offered as an as-a-service model, the current contact centers are an extremely attractive proposition for enterprises to achieve their business goals at low cost and with low risk while upgrading to state-of-theart technologies without significant capital investment.
Providers are investing in the continuous development of advanced CX solutions and CCaaS platforms that address the demands from enterprises for as-a-service solutions delivered in real time. They also offer enhanced features sets, including AI and chatbot/persona agent delivery; performance dashboards that create a direct connection between enterprise leadership and their agents; automated coaching, training, agent assistance, gamification, retention and social programs for agents; customer sentiment scoring; and customized avatars, keeping agents motivated and focused even in remote working or gigworker situations and enhancing the user experience (UX).
With the changing user and enterprise requirements, CCaaS solutions are evolving. Providers are also focusing on addressing some instances of perceived future needs in advance.
Some of the key trends influencing the CX industry include the following:
Enterprises and their leaders are now being reviewed and rated based on their CX scorings and customer satisfaction: CX and overall customer satisfaction via contact channels are now the major differentiating factors of enterprises. These factors have become the key business performance metrics among many industries and companies. They publish customer satisfaction figures, experience metrics, and actual customer stories. These metrics are used to determine the performance of businesses and their executives, especially the ones that are publicly traded. Ensuring rapid and smooth customer interactions intuitively and expertly has now become crucial for a business’ growth rather than designing shopfront transaction sites and engines.
AI is a major driver of advanced and effective CX: As AI continuously advances in capability and dependability, enterprises have gained significant confidence in the delivery and robustness of operations with humans. AI has become essential in delivering advanced and enhanced CX. AI systems can extract a large volume of data to augment human capabilities and provide the basis for virtual assistants or self-service information and ease of use. AI also allows a greater volume of transactions to be processed without increasing the number of employees than ever before. AI has, therefore, become critical to the industry and is expected to be integrated into all CCaaS offerings.
AI and chatbots/persona agents or virtual assistants (VA) redefine query resolution: AI goes far beyond just level-1 queries, playing a vital and significant role in query resolution. AI bots can determine the need for human intervention and the level/specialty of the human. Automation handles skill-based routing based on customer requirements, ensuring that the customer is connected only with a relevant and skilled human agent if required. AI bots can also resolve many simple contacts automatically and without human intervention while retaining a high level of customer satisfaction. This increases the number of transactions a center can service per hour enormously without increasing staffing levels and costs. Cloud contact center providers are implementing AI vigorously into their solutions. They are heavily investing in making contact centers highly AI-driven, with semi-autonomous VA and chatbots as standard offerings.
The use of multicloud migration and solutions is a major trend globally: Cloud migration and multicloud solutions are a top priority for most enterprises not only for various efficiency and capability reasons, but also, and not least, because the hybrid remote/office working model remains in place and is highly adopted in many countries. Ensuring business continuity while increasing security and agility are additional primary focus areas driving this cloudification trend. Generally, and not just related to the contact center area, we
are witnessing accelerated growth in cloud migrations and the adoption of anything-as-aservice (XaaS) platforms. This transformational growth is continuing at a high pace.
Workforce management and improved agent experience are key issues: Employee and agent experience and management are as important as CX to ensure high-quality outcomes. CCaaS platform and solution providers have invested heavily in most cases to expand their product capabilities to include extensive workforce management capabilities such as speech analytics, supervision features, real-time coaching functionality and gamification. CCaaS platforms with these features and the development of agent dashboards with built-in analytic functionalities and insights are highly effective as they enable agents to deliver smart and improved results and enhance agent satisfaction.
Advanced social media services have become imperative: Social media channels have rapidly gained traction and importance in the industry. Most industry verticals now have adopted social media as a channel of communication. Customer support and engagement services are being delivered effectively through social media channels. Most companies now employ content moderation services to ensure branding protection, trust and safety of clients’ information. With modern CCaaS platforms and their advanced AI and analytics, companies can predict customer sentiments, moderate content and manage their product portfolio to better market their brands.
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