GUIDECracking CCaaS: What you need to know about Contact Center as a Service

Whether you’re deep-diving into the world of customer support and sales, or just looking to sprinkle some magic into your business interactions, Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) stands as a versatile ally. Let’s explore how this revolutionary approach can transform your customer service into an unforgettable experience.

Demo LivePerson’s LP 360 approachExplore the guide below
illustration of a hand holding an agent, representing contact center as a service (ccaas) solutions

Welcome to the world of CCaaS, where customer interactions are not just conversations, but key opportunities to enhance your business’s engagement and service quality. CCaaS transcends traditional call center models, emerging as a cloud-based powerhouse that redefines the way businesses connect with their customers. This guide serves as your comprehensive introduction to the world of contact center managed services, offering insights into how it can transform your customer communication into memorable and impactful conversations. 

Dig deeper

What is Contact Center as a Service?

Contact Center as a Service is a cloud-based solution that empowers businesses to manage customer interactions seamlessly across various channels within a comprehensive platform. It’s the modern approach for businesses aiming to elevate their customer service game without the complexities of traditional call center infrastructure. CCaaS offers a range of functionalities, including call routing, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), multi-channel support (such as voice, email, and chat), CRM integration, analytics, and more.

In the broader landscape of cloud-based communication, CCaaS is complemented by UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and CPaaS (Communication Platform as a Service), each serving distinct purposes. While CCaaS is specifically designed for managing customer engagement in contact centers, UCaaS focuses on internal communication and collaboration tools for organizations, and CPaaS offers a developer-focused environment for crafting custom communication applications. These services collectively represent the diverse spectrum of modern cloud-based communication solutions, each playing a crucial role in today’s digital-first business environment.

CPaaS, UCaaS and CCaaS solutions at a glance comparison table

Contact center options, history, and trends

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) grew and blossomed from traditional, hardware-centric call centers, gradually integrating technological advancements and shifting toward cloud-based contact center solutions. Let’s take a brief journey through this transformation:

In their early days, call centers were equipped with basic telephony systems to handle inbound and outbound calls. These call centers relied on on-premises hardware and software, often facing challenges in scalability and flexibility.

As technology advanced, contact centers expanded beyond voice calls to incorporate emails, faxes, and later, web-based chats. Software solutions were developed to manage these multiple communication channels within a single, unified platform.

The advent of cloud computing marked a significant shift. Businesses began moving away from traditional on-premises hardware, adopting cloud-based contact center software instead. This pivotal transition allowed for increased scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

CCaaS emerged as a specialized service, offering a suite of contact center functionalities via cloud technology. Features such as IVR, call routing, analytics, CRM integration, and multi-channel support became more accessible with these cloud contact centers, enabling businesses to leverage advanced contact center capabilities without heavy investments in infrastructure.

In the modern era, CCaaS platforms have started incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics. The introduction of AI-driven technologies like chatbots, sentiment analysis, and predictive analytics marked a leap in enhancing customer interactions, boosting efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Another significant advancement has been the adoption of an omnichannel messaging platform and communication strategy. This approach allows customers to interact with businesses seamlessly across multiple channels — voice, email, chat, social media, and more — ensuring a cohesive and unified customer experience across all touchpoints.

example of on-premises contact centers using call center software and lots of contact center agents

How does Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) work?

Today, CCaaS stands at the forefront of customer engagement, harnessing emerging technologies to meet the dynamic needs of businesses and their customers. It’s basically a massive comms hub — it operates as a cloud-based solution that centralizes and streamlines customer interactions and operations across different communication channels.

Here’s a simplified breakdown of how CCaaS typically works:

Cloud-based infrastructure

CCaaS operates on cloud infrastructure, eliminating the need for businesses to manage and maintain on-premises hardware. Hosted and maintained by third-party providers, these services offer online accessibility, ensuring ease of use and flexibility.

Multi-channel communication

A key feature of CCaaS is its support for multiple communication channels. Whether it’s voice, email, chat, or social media, CCaaS integrates these diverse channels into a unified platform. This integration allows agents to manage customer inquiries across different mediums efficiently, all from a central interface.

Features & functionalities

CCaaS platforms offer a range of features, including interactive voice response (IVR), call routing, automatic call distribution (ACD), skill-based routing for directing calls to the most appropriate agents, CRM integration, analytics, reporting, and often AI-driven tools like chatbots for self-service.

Routing & distribution

One of the key features of CCaaS is the way it handles incoming customer interactions. Based on predefined criteria such as caller information, language preference, nature of inquiry, andagent skills, CCaaS ensures customers are connected to the most suitable agent or department for efficient resolution.

Agent interface

Agents access the CCaaS platform through an intuitive, user-friendly interface that provides access to customer information, interaction history, scripts, guidance, and the right tools to assist customers effectively and efficiently.

Analytics & reporting

CCaaS platforms generate analytics and reports based on various metrics like call volumes, wait times, agent performance, customer satisfaction, and more. These insights are invaluable for monitoring operations, identifying trends, and making data-driven decisions to enhance performance and customer service.

Who uses CCaaS?

Businesses across different sectors leverage CCaaS to create tailored customer interactions and improve service delivery. Here’s just a handful of examples of how CCaaS works in some industries:

Retail & e-commerce

In the fast-paced world of retail, CCaaS serves as a vital tool for managing customer inquiries coming from multiple channels. The solution integrates these channels, empowering agents to efficiently respond to customer queries, provide personalized assistance, and manage real-time order tracking and seamless returns. This comprehensive approach fosters proactive customer engagement to keep customers happy.

providing exceptional customer service for exchanges via a messaging bot in retail

Telecommunications

For telecom companies, CCaaS streamlines the handling of billing inquiries, service activations, and technical support. Features like IVR, intelligent call routing, and integration with CRM systems enable a more personalized and effective customer interaction, tailored to individual histories and preferences.

cloud contact center software and AI makes it easy to answer outage and replacement questions for telecoms

Healthcare

Healthcare providers use CCaaS to manage patient interactions, appointment scheduling, and prescription refills. The platform’s ability to integrate with existing healthcare systems ensures secure communication channels for sensitive information and adherence to healthcare regulations, thereby supporting the delivery of high-quality care and patient support.

AI chatbot helping provide customer service for healthcare insurance policyholders

Travel & hospitality

The hospitality and travel industry employs CCaaS to streamline reservations, questions, and support services. This solution enables agents in hotels and travel agencies to efficiently manage booking changes, provide travel information, and assist customers through phone calls, email, live chat, and more, ensuring smooth communication throughout the traveler journey.

messaging example of how an AI-powered travel contact center streamlines a missed flight and rebooking

Financial services

For banks and financial institutions, CCaaS is a key component in managing customer inquiries related to account services, loan processes, fraud detection, and more. The CCaaS platform integrates with banking systems, providing secure authentication and offering prompt, multi-channel support, reinforcing trust and loyalty.

Banking chatbot providing mortgage quote via a messaging communication channel

Benefits of CCaaS

From a resourcing, customer service, and cost-effective perspective, CCaaS has incredible benefits. Let’s delve into some of its top advantages:

Enhanced customer experience

CCaaS provides tools for multi-channel communication, personalized interactions, and AI-driven features like chatbots. This combination ensures a seamless and satisfying customer experience across all touchpoints.

Scalability & flexibility

Cloud-based CCaaS solutions give businesses the freedom to scale operations up or down with ease, responding to fluctuating call volumes, seasonal trends, or phases of business growth without the need for major infrastructure changes.

Cost-efficiency

CCaaS significantly reduces capital expenditures by eliminating the need for upfront investments in hardware and opting for a subscription-based model. This shift not only lowers initial costs but also optimizes operational expenses through increased agent efficiency and minimized downtime.

Improved operational efficiency

Automation, intelligent routing, and analytics work in tandem within CCaaS platforms to enhance operational efficiency. This results in quicker call handling, increased first-call resolution rates, and a boost in agent productivity.

Remote work enablement

In today’s world, where remote work has become a norm, cloud-based CCaaS offers the perfect solution for agents and support staff.  It ensures business continuity, opens up broader talent acquisition opportunities, and provides adaptability to evolving work environments.

Data-driven insights

With CCaaS, brands can access rich sources of data, such as advanced analytics and reporting tools that yield valuable insights into customer behaviors, agent performance, and operational metrics. This data is crucial for informed decision-making and fosters a culture of continuous improvement.

Adaptability to trends

CCaaS solutions can easily integrate new communication channels, AI-driven technologies, and industry trends. This adaptability ensures that businesses can meet evolving customer expectations and maintain a competitive edge in an ever-changing market.

Types of CCaaS

Like most tech, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to Contact Center as a Service solutions — each business and use case is unique. The type you need will depend on things like the nature of your business, specific communication requirements, scalability needs, compliance considerations, integration capabilities, and the level of customization desired. Here’s a quick overview of the types of CCaaS available, including the integration of LP 360, LivePerson’s enterprise managed services offering:

Inbound CCaaS

This type primarily focuses on managing inbound calls and customer communications, offering features like IVR, call routing, and queue management. It’s ideal for handling incoming support calls and service requests.

Outbound CCaaS

Designed for proactive customer outreach, outbound CCaaS supports sales, marketing, surveys, appointment reminders, and follow-ups. Features often include predictive dialers, automated messaging, campaign management, and compliance tools to enhance outbound calling efficiency while keeping compliant with regulations.

Blended CCaaS

Blended CCaaS combines both inbound and outbound functionalities within a single platform. It offers flexibility for contact centers to manage fluctuating call volumes by seamlessly switching between inbound customer support and outbound campaigns. Blended CCaaS solutions enable contact centers to optimize resources efficiently.

Cloud-based CCaaS

This type of CCaaS operates entirely in the cloud, offering scalability, flexibility, and accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection. Cloud-based contact center operations eliminate the need for on-premises hardware, allowing businesses to scale up or down based on demand and easily integrate with other cloud services.

Enterprise CCaaS

An enterprise-grade CCaaS provider is focused on larger organizations with complex needs. They typically offer advanced features such as multi-channel support, CRM integrations, analytics, customization options, and robust security measures. 

Explore LivePerson’s solution

lp 360

The LivePerson competitive advantage

LP 360 is an AI-driven, end-to-end contact center as a service offering where LivePerson provides the people, the platform, and the guaranteed performance outcomes that you define. Below, we delve into the features that define LP 360’s advantage in the market, underpinned by real-world successes that highlight its transformative impact:

LP 360 provides businesses with access to specialized personnel such as AI strategists and conversation designers, ensuring that conversational AI strategies are not only meticulously crafted but also continuously optimized. This bespoke approach is pivotal for brands that demand a nuanced and sophisticated engagement model.

The service streamlines the integration and management of conversational AI, offering everything from AI chatbot development to quality assurance. With LP 360, businesses can rest assured that every aspect of their conversational AI strategy is being handled by experts, leading to more refined and effective customer conversations.

LP 360’s impact on operational efficiency is evident in its success stories, such as that of a top North American telecom company that achieved a 30% reduction in OpEx and a significant increase in CSAT, demonstrating the tangible benefits. 

The platform’s agility in deployment enables businesses to quickly adapt to market demands, ensuring that the time-to-value is dramatically reduced from kickoff to launch. This swift go-to-market strategy has been a game-changer for businesses looking to lead in customer experience. 

With LP 360, the focus on data analytics means businesses have access to deep insights that drive strategic decisions, including use of LivePerson’s conversational intelligence suite. This analytical approach has led to outcomes like a 45% chatbot containment rate and a 33-point increase in NPS scores over nine months, as seen in the success with the North American telco.

This feature of LP 360 has transformed the dreaded wait times on IVR into a seamless transition to digital messaging channels, enhancing customer experience while ensuring cost-efficiency. By leveraging conversational shifting, businesses can significantly reduce the volume of costly phone calls.

The automation capabilities of LP 360 are designed to transform contact centers, not merely augment them. With a focus on scalability and the use of proprietary AI tools, businesses can automate a significant portion of their interactions, leading to increased efficiency and customer engagement. 

List of digital team included in the contact center as a service / infrastructure services solution

CCaaS in the wild: LP 360
examples and use cases

So now you’ve got a grasp on what CCaaS is and what it’s used for — but what does it look like in the real world? These use cases explain how such solutions work to help businesses in everyday life.

The RealReal logo for their case study on creating personalized digital customer experiences with LivePerson and their customer data

The realReal

Building luxury-level digital customer experiences with LP 360

The RealReal got ahead of hiring challenges by supplementing their team with LP 360 agents and shifted most of their call volume to messaging channels. The impact of LP 360? A 10% rise in their customer satisfaction score.

Read their story
Mindvalley background for their case study on leveraging a managed contact center solution, LP 360

Mindvalley

Transforming customer service with LP 360

Looking to better align their customer care program with their mission, Mindvalley enlisted the help of LP 360, LivePerson’s managed contact center solution, to deliver an experience as supportive as their programs resulting in a 91% CSAT.

Read their story

Ready to get started?

Implementation guide

Selecting a CCaaS provider and initiating their services is just the beginning of a journey that requires thoughtful planning and execution. Implementing managed cloud contact centers into your business takes time and effort — but the payoff is very much worth it. We’ve put together a guide to help you every step of the way.

Step 1: Assess your business needs & objectives

Identify requirements: Determine your business needs, including the volume of customer interactions, preferred communication channels, required features (IVR, CRM integration, analytics), and scalability requirements.

Define objectives: Outline specific goals, such as improving customer satisfaction, increasing efficiency, reducing costs, or enhancing contact center agents’ productivity.

Step 2: Research & choose a CCaaS provider

Market research: Explore various CCaaS providers, comparing their offerings, pricing models, scalability options, security measures, and customer support.

Vendor selection: Select a provider that aligns with your business needs, offers the required features, and has a reputation for reliability, security, and excellent customer service. 

Step 3: Plan implementation & integration

Integration analysis: Assess existing systems (CRM, ERP) to ensure smooth integration with the chosen solution. Plan the integration process to avoid disruptions.

Implementation strategy: Develop a timeline and strategy for the CCaaS deployment. Coordinate with the vendor for setup, configuration, and agent training.

Step 4: Customize & configure CCaaS platform

Customization: Tailor the platform to meet your specific business requirements. Set up IVR menus, call routing rules, agent scripts, and any other necessary configurations.

User training: Conduct comprehensive training sessions for agents and administrators to familiarize them with the platform’s features, functionalities, and best practices.

Step 5: Test & launch

Testing phase: Perform rigorous testing of the CCaaS setup to ensure functionality, integration, and user experience. Identify and resolve any issues or discrepancies.

Soft launch: Initiate a soft launch to test the service in a live environment with a limited set of interactions before full-scale implementation.

Step 6: Optimize & monitor performance

Performance analysis: Monitor key contact center performance metrics like call volumes, wait times, first-call resolution rates, customer satisfaction scores, and agent productivity.

Continuous improvement: Use the analytics and reporting tools provided to gather insights and make data-driven decisions. Implement optimizations and adjustments to enhance operations and customer experiences.

Step 7: Regular review & adaptation

Regular assessments: Conduct periodic reviews to assess the effectiveness of your contact center as a service solution in meeting business objectives. Gather feedback from agents and customers for ongoing improvements.

Adaptation and upgrades: Stay updated with new features, technological advancements, and industry trends. Adapt the CCaaS setup accordingly to remain competitive and aligned with evolving customer needs.

clipboard illustration representing a checklist to building the best AI chatbots

Best practices and pitfalls

As with most new tools and technology, there are some dos and don’ts when it comes to implementing CCaaS. We’ve put together a cheat sheet of some best practices and common pitfalls so you can hit the ground running.

What to doWhat to avoid

What to pursue

Tailored solutions

Identify your specific business requirements and objectives before choosing a CCaaS solution. Understanding your current and future needs will help you pick the right features and functionalities.

Agent training & onboarding

Invest in comprehensive training programs for agents to ensure they understand the platform thoroughly. Proper onboarding can significantly impact customer satisfaction and agent retention.

Scalability & flexibility

Choose a CCaaS solution that offers scalability and adapts to your business’s ebb and flow, providing the right amount of resources exactly when needed.

Omnichannel support

Consider a solution that supports multiple communication channels (voice, email, chat, social media) to provide customers with a seamless and consistent experience across channels.

Analytics & reporting

Leverage the analytics and reporting capabilities provided to gain insights into customers, agent performance, and overall contact center efficiency. Use these insights to make data-driven decisions for improvement.

Security & compliance

Make sure your CCaaS provider complies with industry standards for security and customer data protection. Implement measures to safeguard sensitive customer information and maintain regulatory compliance.

What to avoid

Poor integration

Failure to properly integrate the CCaaS platform with existing systems or CRM tools can lead to inefficiencies and disjointed customer experiences.

Ignoring customer feedback

Neglecting customer feedback and failing to adapt to changing customer needs can result in missed opportunities for improvement and reduced CSAT.

Overlooking agent experience

Focusing solely on customer experience without considering the agent experience may lead to lower morale and decreased productivity. A user-friendly interface and adequate, ongoing support are essential for agents.

Neglecting regular updates & maintenance

Failure to regularly update and maintain the contact center technology can result in security vulnerabilities, performance issues, and outdated functionalities.

Rigid solutions

Choosing a CCaaS solution that lacks flexibility can limit your ability to adapt to evolving business needs and technological advancements.

Ignoring data security

Compromising on data security can have far-reaching consequences, including legal ramifications and lasting damage to your brand’s reputation.

Taking the next steps

In today’s social and technological landscape, Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is more than just a trend; it’s a paradigm shift in customer service. With technologies like AI and cloud-based systems at the forefront, businesses can now offer seamless, personalized customer experiences that were once unattainable. With so many options out there, it can feel overwhelming to take the next step — but we’re here to help cut through the noise and find a CCaaS solution that works for your business.

The future of customer service is digital, automated, and deeply integrated with AI. By leveraging LP 360, businesses can tap into the true potential of AI-powered conversations, ensuring not just improved operational efficiency, but also elevated, seamless customer experiences. 

Ready for takeoff? Schedule your LP 360 demo today.