Make Contact Center Change Management Your Own

In a recent webinar on moving your call center from on-premises to the cloud, Lori Bocklund, president of Strategic Contact, talked about the change management initiative. “It’s a journey and you want to bring everyone along successfully to that target destination,” she said. “There are bumps and detours, but a change management plan helps everyone adjust, adapt and get the benefits of that change.”

Looking at a major transition as a journey also shifts the perspective so you set realistic expectations based on your unique needs.

Change management can play a powerful role in helping contact centers migrate to a cloud solution and take advantage of new capabilities. On the surface, this adventure might seem like it’s just a technology transformation, but it affects people and processes in IT — and on the frontlines of the contact center.

Get Buy-In From Stakeholders and Employees

For Koch Global Services, its change management initiative for the contact center move was part of a larger strategic shift. The company assigned “change network leads” across all divisions. These leads became change advocates who informed colleagues where the project was in terms of updates, which alleviated a lot of stress.

“Most importantly, these leads reinforced the new ways of working at the end of every phase,” said Dean Thames, Platform Architect at Koch. “We also had buy-in from technical staff in part  because of good project management. It freed them from having to deal with soft aspects, such as customers, during our migration.”

Make It Easy to Communicate

To reinforce adoption of the new cloud technology, Koch set up a team site for employees to ask questions and get answers quickly.

“We created global groups within the site to section it off and make it easier to find answers, which employees could do 24 hours a day,” said Julie Hopkins, Project Manager at the company. “We also have a Yammer group site that employees can subscribe to. We use it to communicate ongoing issues, as well as share tips and tricks.”

Having dedicated channels like this serves as a safe environment for stakeholders and customers to give feedback – during and after the change initiative.

The Urgency of Agile Cloud Is More Than COVID-19

Many businesses took their first big steps to the cloud due to the pandemic, but others had already begun the change. “The benefits of cloud were much more for us than just having all resources work from home,” said Thames. “My customers are IT and HR globally – including China, India and Poland. The cloud enabled my customers to serve their customers while dealing with big increases in volume and not having to worry about the tools.”

Bocklund says that there was already a lot of momentum around moving to cloud. But COVID-19 was a breakthrough for remaining resistance and for validating the impact of change management when moving contact centers to the cloud.

“Before COVID-19, business often didn’t invest in change management,” said Bocklund. “But it’s like insurance. We’ve all learned that we need it because we can’t foresee everything. By prioritizing resiliency planning with change management tools, you’ll help your company and customers no matter what lies ahead. You’ll learn from lessons and do things a little better next time, including helping people adapt.”

Although all change management initiatives share common components, there’s no perfect methodology. It’s what best fits your organization.

When Change Goes Well, Everyone Wins

Canadian bank ATB Financial realized it would never be able to differentiate its services from competitors with its aging on-premises solutions. With no capability to map customer journeys from end to end, there was no seamless experience. And, without the data to understand customer interactions, data-driven decisions were a challenge.

ATB chose to partner with Genesys to move its contact center to the cloud. But even with knowing the benefits of the move, the real concern was change management adoption.

“We were changing the entire way that agents did their jobs. So, we recruited our frontline team members to help,” said Erin Ramcoomar, Senior Leader of Technology Enablement at ATB.

Given early access to the new system, these team members became in-house “Genesys gurus.” By making test calls and having test interactions, agents proactively found gaps that gave ATB time to make changes before they affected any customers. One of the side benefits was the excitement at the agent level for how this new cloud solution improved their lives.

“That enthusiasm spread to their colleagues and helped with buy-in from the ground up, rather than top down,” said Ramcoomar.

You Decide the Best Practices for Your Business

If your stakeholders are feeling uncertain or overwhelmed with the prospect of moving to the cloud, they’re not the only ones. The good news is that there are experts who can guide you through the process of evolving your contact center — and expert research to shape and validate your plans.

Be flexible. Be creative. Expect a few fumbles and learn from them. Like thousands of businesses before you, make change management your own and then own the great results.

Download the Practical guide to change management and get more expert tips to smooth your move to a modern cloud contact center.