In this series we discuss the process of acquiring new technology for your contact centre, and provide some suggestions to ensure a successful project.
This article is the fifth in the series.
A successful implementation happens when the supplier works closely with the client company as a partnership, not as a vendor/purchaser. The client company also needs to be committed to the project at the highest level, and must have the right resources allocated. This includes a project manager who understands telephony and knows how to deal with the large carriers. The project team should also include someone capable of understanding the business needs and translating them into technical specifications, as well as taking technical capability and understanding its benefit to the company in business terms.
The implementation of a new customer contact system for a contact centre is an opportunity to make significant change to customer service levels. Many companies choose to replicate their current configuration directly in the new system to reduce risk – which is a perfectly valid approach. There is less training required, less testing required and implementation is usually quicker as there is less analysis and design required.
Problem is – once the implementation is complete, very few companies go back and make the changes required to fully leverage the capabilities that the new system provides, which results in a missed opportunity.
The implementation of a customer contact system should not stop at go-live. There needs to be a follow-up phase where the current operation and customer service offering is reviewed with a view to leveraging the capabilities of the new technology. Without this you are in danger of buying a sports car to only do the grocery shopping.
Customer requirements are constantly changing with different service channels and different expectations. Not so long ago, callers hated IVRs & wanted to speak directly to a person – now research shows that callers are much more tolerant of IVRs but expect to get their query resolved at first point of contact.
Technology is also changing, with vendors building in more and more functionality with every upgrade. Technology no longer caters only for voice, it caters for email, chat, social media and a variety of other channels too. Customers expect to be able to transfer from one channel to another at any time and have the entire history of the interaction transfer with them so they don’t need to repeat themselves.
With the constant change in customer expectation and technical capability, the gap between customer, service provided and technology will widen over time – and often over a very short time. There is a need to constantly review all aspects of the contact centre and make changes to ensure that this gap remains small and customers are provided with the service they expect. Reviews of this nature are best undertaken by an external organisation that specialises in this field (such as Contact Centre Action), and has visibility of the industry as a whole.
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This has been the last article in this series. All previous articles are available on our web site – www.ccaction.com.au.
The next series is entitled Common Mistakes Made By Contact Centre Managers