New entrants, M&A and other factors are reshaping contact center as a service (CCaaS), which is experiencing massive growth.
The global CCaaS software market is expected to reach $37.2 billion by 2027, up from $24.3 billion last year, according to Report Consultant.
Organizations’ (SMB and enterprise) demands for a CCaaS solution are growing because customer expectations have significantly changed over the past few years, said Corey Cohen, TBI‘s vice president of marketing.
TBI’s Corey Cohen
“Customers are expecting near real-time responses to questions, inquiries, suggestions and concerns,” she said. “As an example, if you put your customer hat on, when disgruntled with an airline, we all know the quickest way to a response is through Twitter. A customer wants you to know who they are before answering a question with very little info put in, and once a question is asked, purchase history or profiles you’ve set up with the company should be pulled automatically for greater context.”
Customers are driving the enhancements of features and benefits to CCaaS platforms in terms of reporting, employee onboarding and workforce optimization, Cohen said. These are critical value-adds for CCaaS providers, she said.
Within the CCaaS industry specifically, it isn’t so much M&A activity that’s shaking it up as new market entrants like AWS and Twilio, standalone CCaaS-type products including cloud collaboration and meeting products, she said.
“I read there are over 100 CCaaS providers currently, up 20% from last year,” Cohen said. “Gartner predicts that 15-20% of UCaaS providers will exit the market by 2021. What will that do to the CCaaS market and players as many UCaaS providers have contact center capabilities?”
AppSmart’s Vince Bradley
Acquisitions and integrated partnerships/offerings do hold significant value as often UCaaS is a door opener to contact center sales, she said.
Getting the omnichannel experience right so that it’s very easy to communicate by their channel of preference between voice, text, webchat and email is an ongoing challenge for providers, said Vince Bradley, AppSmart‘s co-CEO.
Anyone that has a CPaaS offering is who TBI considers top tier at this point, Cohen said.
Scroll through our gallery below for 10 of the latest trends shaping CCaaS.
The AI Explosion
is a trend that’s been talked about for the last few years but is finally taking hold in CCaaS, said Raul Castanon, 451 Research’s senior analyst of workforce collaboration.
"There are several ways in which this is happening; in the near term, the biggest influence will be in helping agents be more productive before, during and after their interaction with clients," he said. "For example, digital assistants are handling call volume, fielding requests that are typically the 80/20 of an agent’s workload. Rather than replacing, I see them as assisting the work agents perform so they can be more effective. Digital assistants are also helping agents during the call, with near real-time assistance to field a caller’s questions. What we are seeing is advanced speech technologies, digital assistants and conversational technologies replacing interactive voice response (IVR) with a more sophisticated approach that provides more engaging, natural interactions with customers."
Another key trend is the integration of UCaaS and CCaaS, Castanon said. This opens up opportunities to tackle many use cases that in the past had been in limbo.
"For example, use cases where the agent might need to escalate to a subject-matter expert or interact with the client and other personnel at the same time," he said. "There are several vendors looking at this, such as 8x8
as well as Cisco and Nextiva."
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process animation (RPA
) is likely to be a vital part of the contact center software market through 2025 as RPA reduces errors and improves work quality, according to Grand View Research. Organizations seek solutions that allow managers and agents in the customer-relationship management department to invest their time in analytical activities and decision-making for organizational development and rely on robots for routine tasks, it said.
More Training Needed
Technical advancements in communication and collaboration
have prompted increasing demand for training and consulting services, as professionals and customers are required to be trained to understand and get knowledge about new applications, according to Grand View Research. The segment is projected to grow at a CAGR of 19.3% through 2025.
In the outbound contact center space, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission are putting a lot of pressure on robocalls
to require carriers to block what they deem as “unwanted calls” and also implanting stir/shaken – which uses digital certificates, based on common public key cryptography techniques, to ensure the calling number of a telephone call is secure – to prevent someone from spoofing caller IDs
, Bradley said.
Social media capabilities and video chat are some of the biggest trends being capitalized on to improve the customer experience in CCaaS
, Cohen said. Social media integration creates a truly multichannel experience with dynamic response and interaction, she said. The goal is to be able to capture every element of a customer interaction regardless of how they engage.
Growing Dissatisfaction with IVR
New research from Vonage
reveals that more than one-half of consumers have abandoned a business altogether because they’ve reached IVR, losing that company $262 per customer every year. Sixty-one percent of consumers feel that IVR
technology makes for a poor customer experience, while just 13% believe it makes for a positive one. And on average, consumers abandoned more than one-quarter of calls they made to businesses in the last year because they reached an IVR, with 85 percent terminating at least one call.
Customers Want It All
Customers want a truly unified system that can do inbound, outbound and all the channels in one solution, Bradley said.
"They want it to integrate with all their systems as well," he said. "I would say that the majority of the market is still using premises-based software, so there is going to be a lot of demand as those systems reach end of life."
Cloud-based contact center services provide multiple customer point of contact, which allow access to the necessary data from anywhere and at any time across the globe, Grand View Research noted.
Gaining CCaaS Through M&A
Because of the demand to provide a truly unified communication experience for the customer, more M&A is likely on the horizon as the larger players will want to buy rather than build to round out their offering, Bradley said. For example, Intermedia
is adding omnichannel cloud contact center as a service (CCaaS
) to its UCaaS portfolio with the acquisition of Toronto-based Telax
. Michael Gold, Intermedia
‘s CEO, said the list of companies offering both is short, and it's even shorter for those that have them together in one technology stack with one source for support and control.
North America Poised for Strong Growth
According to Frost & Sullivan
, the North American cloud contact center market is expected to reach $4.2 billion by 2022, with CCaaS adoption predicted to grow exponentially in the coming years. Mobile-first strategies, automated self-service including bots, virtual assistants (VAs) and the modernization of agent/supervisor workspaces are keys to growth.