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U.S. Enterprises Turn to Contact Center-as-a-Service Providers to Meet New Consumer Expectations

ISG Provider Lens™ report sees many benefits from the CCaaS model, including the ability to engage with customers by chat, social media, messaging and other methods

Enterprises in the U.S. are looking to contact center-as-a-service providers to improve customer experiences, build brand loyalty and increase retention, according to a new report published by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

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“During the pandemic, companies have been challenged to deliver the best customer experience with more personalization”

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center as a Service – CX Report for the U.S. sees companies seeking a seamless and efficient omnichannel service model, infused with the latest technology, to engage with customers, as more and more turn to digital channels for shopping, communication and purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the pandemic, companies have been challenged to deliver the best customer experience with more personalization,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Many enterprises have realized that turning to as-a-service offerings is one of the few routes open to them to be able to address their customers’ expectations, while managing costs and handling remote workforces.”

Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) solutions deliver several benefits, the report says. They are easy to deploy and integrate with other applications and systems, and they offer high scalability and pricing flexibility. In addition, CCaaS solutions support multiple channels of communication, including voice, chat, email, social media, video and messaging apps, and they come with built-in AI, analytics and workforce management capabilities.

With all these functionalities in one solution, CCaaS is highly suitable for enterprises that want to deliver a high-quality customer experience with advanced technologies and the ability to integrate seamlessly with existing systems, the report says. It also makes remote working easier than legacy stack solutions with private network connectivity.

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CCaaS providers have embraced several technological advancements to change the way customer service is delivered, the report adds. Cloud contact center solutions offer analytics and single-screen management functionalities, even when agents are working from home, enabling them to deliver highly personalized services that help increase customer satisfaction.

With the range of benefits that cloud contact centers bring to enterprises, more companies are moving to cloud platforms and are taking full advantage of the available technology stack, including AI and machine learning for redefining personalization, the report says.

These solutions also come with a suite of workforce management capabilities that provide supervisors with real-time insights about team performance. Features and tools include automated coaching, sentiment scoring, analytics for performance improvement, and gamifi­cation that provides performance comparisons and customized avatars to keep agents motivated and focused, even in remote settings.

The report also notes that the contact center industry in the U.S. has turned its attention toward the transition to remote and hybrid working models, typically cloud-based, with enhanced security requirements. The move toward remote or hybrid working has many providers rethinking their geographic or facility expansion strategies. A mix of brick-and-mortar and remote working models is expected to emerge as a new de-facto standard operating practice.

At the same time, CCaaS providers and customers have concerns over connectivity, background noise and security issues for remote agents. Providers have made significant investments to address these challenges.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center as a Service – CX Report for the U.S. evaluates the capabilities of 20 providers in one quadrant: Contact Center as a Service.

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The report names 8×8, Amazon Connect, Avaya, Five9, Genesys, NICE inContact and Talkdesk as Leaders in the quadrant. In addition, Odigo was named a Rising Star—a company with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in the quadrant.

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