My favorite memory from years of upgrades, patches, hot cuts, office moves and installations was the final migration to a new contact center for our largest business unit. We began migrating seven business units in January and finished by moving over our global support team in April. After your typical migration weekend activities — test calls, junk food, and war rooms — we made it to Monday morning. Our network administrator called me to ask if we had canceled the cut because he hadn’t been called for help all weekend. This was the most satisfying call of the day; it meant we had planned for our war room weekend properly.
That migration was the culmination of months of planning with our IT teams, business partners and vendor. We tested, retested, came up with even more testing scenarios designed to break things and, finally, we were ready. We had a plan for everything. Of course, not everything went according to that plan. But how we dealt with the setbacks has shaped the way I approach changes now. Here are the four strategies I use to avoid disasters when migrating to a new contact center.
- Take a “no superheroes” approach. We want to be prepared enough that the superhero capes stay tucked inside the wardrobes. We don’t need any heroics because we won’t be surprised by last-minute changes. Having my team well-rested during these long weekends makes it easier to make sound decisions and stay calm when helping agents use the new system or troubleshooting something that’s different than expected.
- Keep everyone engaged. Your business partners and your technical team must work together to think of those test scenarios. Both sides will come up some interesting tests, but neither side will think of everything. Join forces early and have a lot of conversations about the “what if” scenarios. Consider what will happen if no one is logged in, but the lines are open; if there’s a holiday and the lines don’t close; if reports are blank; or if headsets don’t work with the new phones.
- Spend time with your end users before the go-live date. It’s valuable to have a few of them involved in testing. Agents are a great way for you to understand how the platform will be used — and how they’ll try to use it as efficiently as possible. Let them ask questions; hold some focus groups to learn what’s helpful to them. Have an easy way for them to reach the go-live support team, whether that’s a chat room, video conference, walking the floor where they sit or having them come visit your war room. Giving them quick access to the team for the first few days goes a long way toward adoption.
- Think about how you will manage contact center reports and distribution before the new solution is live. Plan how you’ll report on things and check out the reports during your testing phases so that there aren’t any surprises. You should also spend some time making sure everyone knows how to read the reports before the first day — when things will be busy enough without an in-depth reporting analysis. Knowing that your reporting strategy is all aligned in advance will be a relief to business partners — and it’ll be a valuable troubleshooting tool if you need it.
Migrations don’t have to be scary or be filled with talks of reverting back to the old system. Planning with your team means that the most heated conversations will be about having the proper snacks in your war room* — and everyone’s superhero identity can stay secret for a little while longer.
To learn more, check out the on-demand webinar “Make a call center technology move with confidence”.
*Twizzlers and Reese’s Pieces