Building a Successful CX Transformation Framework

Customer experience (CX) has become a major differentiator for brands to be competitive and build customer loyalty. Moving to an all-in-one cloud contact center platform is an essential element in orchestrating the end-to-end customer journeys that build that trust, loyalty, and customer and employee satisfaction. While the right contact center technology leads the way to change, it’s only part of the story. To fully impact change, you need to assess your entire team’s needs and processes to ensure a smooth cloud contact center transformation.

Let’s take a look at some key elements to consider before moving your contact center to the cloud.

Understanding Your Customer Experience Strategy

Your contact center is the face of your brand; it’s the first point of contact with customers. One poor experience and your customers will look elsewhere. In fact, “The State of Customer Experience” report from Genesys found that 77% of consumers will leave a brand after five or fewer poor customer service interactions. So, to prepare for a cloud transformation, you need to take stock of your current strategy and your pain points, both within your organization and for your customers. This allows you to know where to make improvements that will boost your overall CX.

Here are some key questions to ask when understanding and establishing your strategy for a cloud transformation.

  • Can we differentiate the brand using customer experiences?
  • Do we have the ability to orchestrate interactions to other systems seamlessly and consistently?
  • How can contact center agents personalize the customer experience and show empathy?
  • What business outcomes do we want to improve with CX? What are those KPIs?

Understanding Your Need to Modernize

Customer expectations are higher than ever. To keep up, companies must be adaptable — and they need the ability to innovate on demand as customer and market needs change. Legacy, on-premises contact center solutions often stifle a company’s ability to innovate. On-premises solutions can also lead to a higher cost of operations and pose a greater risk to the business with increased chances for hardware failures, outages and data corruption.

Here are some key questions to ask when understanding how your teams are functioning prior to a cloud transformation so you can improve efficiencies.

  • Does IT act as a barrier to introducing new technology given your technical debt?
  • Do my IT teams spend the majority of their time just trying to maintain legacy on-premises systems?
  • Do my contact center agents have to toggle between various, disparate systems that don’t integrate with one another to help customers?

A strategic cloud transformation positively affects all staff — not just those using the new cloud technologies but also those maintaining them.

Introducing key technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and bots can free up contact center agents from repetitive and manual tasks. And IT teams are no longer saddled with the costs and efforts of maintaining systems and fixing codebase. This means they can more strategically align to the business unit and business needs. Productivity, efficiency and system performance improve across teams.

Understanding Employee Engagement and Skillsets

Contact center employees have stressful jobs. Burdening them with tedious, manual tasks only adds to the frustration. Forcing agents to toggle between systems to support customers hinders productivity. And that erodes morale — degrading the overall customer experience.

According to the MIT Technology Review Insights report “Customer Experience and the Future of Work,” 75% of CX leaders say there’s low morale in the contact center. However, nearly half (48%) say their organization does little or nothing at all to make contact center jobs easier.

Transforming to an all-in-one cloud contact center platform built with native AI and workforce engagement management tools can alleviate the burden on contact center employees. And that will ultimately improve employee satisfaction and reduce attrition.

Here are some key questions to ask when understanding how your contact center agents are operating, what their issues are and where you can make improvements with a CX transformation.

  • Is your workforce optimized with the right tools and training to deliver a great customer experience?
  • How do employees engage with customers — and each other?
  • Does your current contact center technology allow for better discovery and delivery on customer requests?

Typical barriers for any new technology is in training and preparation. It’s vital to determine your team’s specific strengths and areas for improvement to be sure they’re equipped and ready to take full advantage of new tools and methodologies. Gamification tools can help inspire and uplift employees. When agents have access to leaderboards to track their performance and even how they compare to their peers, they stay motivated. This also encourages collaboration — and helps improve the overall employee satisfaction.

Understanding What to Automate and Why

A cloud transformation strategy should also take into account which capabilities would benefit from automation now and in the future. Migrating to a cloud contact center gives companies the ability to leverage analytics, AI and automation to meet new use cases. Additionally, the cloud gives companies the agility to innovate quickly to introduce new product capabilities customers want — on demand. This allows for a more comprehensive approach to the business — instead of simply a “like for like” cloud migration.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you have omnichannel capabilities across your channels that facilitate a consistent experience?
  • Would customers say self-service is as effective as it could be? Does it defray calls to the contact center or cause frustration?
  • Does your bot strategy offer insights into the intent of questions so customers get their questions answered or issues resolved the first time?
  • Do contact center agents have insight into the full customer journey?
  • Is workflow and task routing a normative part of the agent’s role?

Empowering your users and customers to make informed decisions adds excellent customer service. However, existing knowledge management systems can be overwhelming to deal with. At times, systems can provide multiple responses back that are not relevant to customer needs. Key technologies like AI-powered knowledge management in the contact center help to empower users with access to diversified information in a single place — making it simple for users and agents alike to find information — the first time. Additionally, key solutions like agent assist  can listen to customer calls in real time and automatically identify recommendations to guide next-best actions to ensure better outcomes for your customers.

Four Planning Stages in Your Customer Experience Transformation

Cloud contact center technology holds the promises of increased agility and flexibility, faster ways to innovate, and reduced costs for hardware and maintenance. And a successful cloud contact center transformation is only possible when companies are fully prepared and committed to sustain change across the entire organization.

1. The first step in ensuring success in the transformation is to get commitment, buy-in and sponsorship from top management. Cloud contact center transformation must be treated as a top priority that demonstrates stakeholder engagement and focus. There must be commitment in both sponsorship and budget.

The communication shouldn’t stop once the cloud migration project begins. Keep the lines of communication open across business units. And meet regularly to discuss milestones, successes and blockers. Include standing meetings and check-ins as well as site visits from upper management in the process. And be sure to get feedback from your customer service agents. They’ll be a direct line to understanding current business successes and where you can take the contact center next.

2. Companies need to quantify value and manage it using value realization milestones. Most transformation projects achieve their best results within the first six to eight months after deployment. Measuring and reporting on the expected time to value is fundamental for executive sponsorship, as well as the health of the project at large.

3. To achieve the best results, it’s important to assign a diversity of talent across the business on transformation projects — top to bottom. For example, top talent across the business will be more aware of the potential risks and pitfalls of how a project can backslide. They will also be transparent about how best to mitigate issues to avoid reverting to the status quo.

But the best ideas don’t necessarily come from the top. Be sure to connect with your agents to better understand their needs and the deficiencies of your current environment.

4. Any transformation of the contact center needs to follow a proven methodology that includes bottom-up details. Any transformation plan must address several questions about the program to be successful, including why is the project happening, what the key deliverables are, who is involved and major processes involved in the project.

A comprehensive change management plan not only discusses the “what” but also the “how.” And it includes milestones and measurable outcomes.

Evolve from legacy tech to the cloud

When your contact center is a complex web of point solutions on a shaky on-premises foundation, customer experience suffers. Take the steps to transform your customer experience.

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