Contact Centre as a Service gaining traction among Kenyan SMEs
Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) is fast becoming the preferred solution for contact centre operators across the globe, as it offers scalability as and when the operational needs of an enterprise change and provides several advantages over traditional on-premise contact centres.
CCaaS is a cloud-based customer experience solution that allows companies to utilise a contact centre provider’s software, while also offering the flexibility to pay for only the technology needed. This means that upfront investment is low, and costs are significantly reduced, while the ability to better serve customers are enhanced.
According to Noah Amoke, Sales Executive for Kenya and Uganda at Infobip Africa, contact centres in the East African region are still mostly based on conventional on-premises models that require significant capex, as well as the purchase of software licences and additional fees based on the amount of agents using this software.
“Most of the contact centres are voice-based and some run small CRM systems to manage customer relationships. Some are scalable, but most are not and are unable to deliver the kind of Customer Experience (CX) that modern consumers expect,” says Amoke.
Therefore, Africa’s evolving contact centre industry is increasingly looking to migrate to the cloud, as this offers access to hosted, virtual and CCaaS solutions, which offer omnichannel functionality that improves CX by allowing agents to create personalised customer experiences.
Kenya, says Amoke, is showing an interest in the uptake of CCaaS, with a growing number of companies getting on board with the idea. This is especially the case among SMEs that employ a smaller number agents and do not want to make the significant investments that traditional contact centre infrastructure requires.
“CCaaS is cutting contact centre operating costs for SMMEs and also allows them to deploy the same solutions as bigger enterprises. At the same time, these businesses are becoming more nimble and adaptable and able to rapidly provide new services in response to market shifts,” he says.
Recent surveys found that the cloud technologies with the highest implementation rates in African SME contact centres are CRM (71.23%) and voice recording (64.38%). However, businesses are increasingly adopting cloud technologies for voice-based cloud phone systems (42.47%), speech and desktop analytics (38.36%), disaster recovery (38.36%), and campaign management (36.99%).
Another clear advantage of CCaaS is the analytics and reporting capabilities that it offers to contact centres operators, which allows for the monitoring of agent performance, as well as generating reports based on conversations that can be leveraged to form FAQs and help to better define the services required by customers.
This is according to George Muhia, Pre-sales Engineer at Infobip Africa, who says that by adding Artificial Intelligence and automation to CCaaS solutions, contact centres will be hand off repetitive and mundane queries to chatbots.
“As agents will only have to handle the queries that bots cannot, they will essentially be taking fewer calls. This will lower the operating costs of contact centres even further, as smaller teams of agents will be needed and will also free up agents to attend to issues that add value to the organisation,” he says.
However, Muhia claims that it will still take some time for CCaaS to fully blend into the Kenyan market, as many organisations still have traditional mindsets about having on-premise solutions.
“This will eventually change with time and I believe that this change has already started. Eventually, all companies will be forced to take up CCaaS solutions, simply due to the support and flexibility that it offers,” he says.
“So, it’s safe to say that traditional contact centres do not have much of a future. Some enterprises are deeply rooted in traditional on-premise solutions, so moving over would be a challenge for them. But eventually everything will move to the cloud and it’s just a matter of time.”