The benefits of SaaS for Customer Care
Since a few years, SaaS (Software as a Service) software is becoming more adopted in all industries. 73% of companies say nearly all their apps will be SaaS by 2020.
This change is visible in all departments of companies, including customer service. This department is using several tools: CRM, call solutions, digital customer interactions platforms, analytics tools… Installing each of them on-premise require a lot of time and effort and limits their interconnectivity.
We are now observing that customer service departments are massively moving to cloud solutions.
If you wonder why to choose SaaS, read this article to learn the main advantages of SaaS solutions for Customer Care:
Before going further, let’s remind what a SaaS solution is:
Gartner defines SaaS as software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that are consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at anytime on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics.
One of the main advantages of SaaS compared to on-premise is that it can be accessed anywhere, without prior installation.
On-premise systems have to be installed on the user’s computer to be used. On the contrary, SaaS software can be accessed from any web browser. To start using the software, users just have to log in from the provider’s page. This is a real advantage for agents to access the tool anywhere.
This is a also a major benefit for global companies having to deploy their customer service in new markets. The deployment is much faster and involves fewer costs than on-premise systems. There is no need to invest in IT infrastructures to install it. The company can very easily add more users, who will be able to instantly use the software.
"Our contact centers are deployed among several partners and in different countries, the use of a SaaS Digital Customer Care tool imposed itself, by its ease of deployment and flexibility to scale.”
Head of Digital Relations at Direct Energie
Flexibility is another major benefit of SaaS for Customer Care, which helps to adapt to the company’s existing organization and tools.
Thanks to their cloud nature, this software can be integrated with other cloud systems. When choosing a SaaS customer service software, it is essential to choose an Open Platform. By using open APIs, an Open Platform allows the interconnection of tools, meaning they are able to communicate and exchange data. Any tool offering APIs can be connected to an open platform.
For Customer Service, an Open Platform can integrate with other tools such as CRM, chatbots and voice solutions. That way, the customer information is shared across tools, providing agents with a 360° view to help them answer more efficiently.
The software also adapts to the activity variations. If the company needs more agents during peak periods, it can easily open new accounts. The company does not need to worry about the server capacity, the SaaS provider manages it.
"As more and more companies drop Taylorism and sequential work to become more agile, IT infrastructure needs to follow the same path. An agile infrastructure should be flexible to variations of use or size over time, always up to date, and deployable anywhere very fast. It’s highly important if you want to scale fast and internationally, it’s equally important if you want to try a solution first before deploying it to the whole team. SaaS is the way to go if you want IT teams to focus on features rather than on infrastructure and hardware.”
Certified Customer Experience Professional
The flexibility of SaaS also means that you can adapt to new trends. Technologies are evolving quickly and the customer care landscape next year may be very different from now. Customer’s behaviors and innovations from actors such as GAFAs can have huge impacts on the customer care channels used.
To keep up with customers' expectations and adapt to their habits, companies need to regularly adopt new channels. In 2016, Messenger for Business was rolled out. This year, Apple launched Business Chat, enabling customers to talk with business via the Messages app. We can expect more new channels to come, and if companies want to adopt it easily and reactively, they need to rely on flexible tools.
The SaaS implementation is much easier and faster than on-premise. Rather than having to take care of the infrastructure and mobilizing their IT teams, companies implementing SaaS can rely on the provider for the implementation.
Unlike on-premise systems, which require manual updates, SaaS software is automatically updated. The software is hosted by the service provider, which have the responsibility for maintenance. There is no need to download updates, the software accessed online is the latest version. For companies with a large number of users, this means that updates are rolled out to everyone at the same time.
As Forrester outlines:
"SaaS solutions usually offer automatic, frequent, and transparent updates as part of the current subscription. As these upgrades are more frequent and therefore more progressive than on-premise solutions, they generally have the effect of significantly reducing the costs of testing, end-user acceptance and training. Companies rarely need to rehire third-party consultants as they would with a major on-site upgrade."
Security is one of the major concerns about moving to the Cloud. This concern is mainly linked to the fact that Cloud is associated with “public cloud", making it fear that all data is potentially not secure.
But the most secure SaaS software actually rely on private cloud systems. Unlike public clouds, which deliver services to multiple organizations, a private cloud is dedicated to the needs and goals of a single organization. For Customer Service, this means that the cloud is only used by the SaaS provider. Sensitive data, especially the ones about customers, is then totally secure and not shared with third parties.
A sign that SaaS can meet the highest security standards is that banks are more massively adopting it. One of the main perceived barriers in this vertical was the lack of data security, which is now overcome. According to the IDC, banking was one of the top three global industries which were investing the most in cloud infrastructures in 2018.
We have covered some of the main benefits of SaaS for Customer Care compared to on-premise systems. For global companies wanting to adapt to the fast-changing expectations of their customers, SaaS becomes essential. By being flexible and open, a SaaS customer Care software can accompany the growth of the customer service department and integrate into the tools ecosystem.
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