Guest Blog Post by Melanie Turek
Melanie is the VP of Research for Enterprise Communications & Collaboration at Frost & Sullivan. Melanie covers a broad range of markets, leveraging long-standing relationships with leading industry participants’ senior executives and customer organizations.
Supporting customers in today’s demanding business environment requires a new approach to customer engagement—one that goes beyond the traditional contact center and supports a complete view of all interaction channels. Technology can help you get there, but follow these steps first:
- Assess your needs. The only way to ensure that any new technology deployment will support your company’s customer contact needs is to know exactly what those needs are. Do a full analysis of “who, what, where and when.” Who are you trying to serve? What do you want to accomplish? Where do you want to take action? When do you want to implement these changes?
- Benchmark where you are today. Before you start evaluating and deploying new contact center tools, it’s important to have a good understanding of what applications and processes are already in place. Make a detailed list of all the contact center applications in use across the organization (including any brought in by employees). Then, look at the back-office software that might impact the customer experience. Finally, catalog the processes (both formal and ad-hoc) that your agents and their managers use to deliver customer support.
- Identify the technology gaps. Now it’s time to determine where you need to implement new capabilities and/or process changes to meet your goals. Consider what it will take to offer omnichannel support in a modern workplace: mobile, social and traditional channels; integration with back-office software; better workforce management; and a single platform that will ensure your agents have a 360-degree view of every customer, for every interaction.
- Make a plan for action. IT and business managers must work together to ensure the plan meets everyone’s expectations. Start with the technology you want to deploy. Then, make a parallel plan for changing the related business processes. Make sure your plan has numerous “checkpoints,” allowing you to track your progress as you go. And be sure to set clear metrics for success—then use them. Too many companies fail to actually measure their performance against goals, leaving them with no idea whether they met their return on investment.
In summary, contact center managers must work with IT staff to create a list of needs, linked to business processes and with clear, measurable metrics for success; and then identify the technology best suited to help you meet your goals. To learn more, download the new Frost & Sullivan white paper, “Update Your Contact Center Today or Risk Losing Business Tomorrow”.