Shedding Light on Seven Customer Experience Migration Secrets

Guest Blog by Stephen Leaden, Founder and President of Leaden Associates, Inc. 

Customer experience migration secrets aren’t always secret. The recent CX Migration Secrets blog series revealed some major dynamics, trends and misconceptions occurring in the contact center industry. They also serve as a baseline for considerations when planning your next-gen contact center. In this blog, we’ll review these seven secrets and provide insights into each.

The Genesys webinar on the seven migration secrets unveiled the truth behind these seven contact center migration myths.

7. Modernize Sooner or Risk Falling Behind: Outdated technology is a competitive disadvantage; changes in the last several years have brought the contact center a long way. Tools like multichannel, appointment reminders, callbacks, speech and text analytics are now mainstream — and the cost of retaining customers continues to rise. The breath of features and functions today far exceed those of contact centers implemented just over 60 months ago. Tools in the contact center can be used to facilitate a better customer experience, which is on the minds and part of the conversation of all customer executives that I speak with today.

You should also consider modernizing current legacy systems that are at, or nearing, end of support. Disparate systems from mergers and acquisitions can drive consideration for modernizing. When evaluating for an upgrade or even replacing a system, features and functions — as well as the pricing components (including both capex and opex — should be considered.

6. Life Gets Easier: A cloud solution can make life easier. The vendor is now responsible for building, maintaining, regularly updating and upgrading the system. These are no longer just a customer requirement. Rather than taking months to implement, your new contact center infrastructure takes only weeks. You can add features and functions and pay as you go as you migrate to a more robust platform.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot topic for simplifying the customer experience, expediting first call resolution and managing the number of FTEs — and it can be delivered today. When working with a cloud provider, ensure that the SLAs and service commitments they provide meet or exceed your expectations.

5. Getting Internal Support Is Easier Than You Think: With customer experience on the minds of every executive, it’s easier than you think to get support for modernizing your infrastructure. Ask the following questions for buy-in from you executive management:

  • Where does customer experience stand as a priority?
  • What does senior management want to measure?
  • How existential is your organization’s competitive environment based on industry shifts in your vertical, e.g., retail and brick and mortar, higher education and online learning.
  • What is the value of the average transaction?
  • Where is the compelling ROI based on contact center optimization and centralization?

4. Same-Vendor Contact Center Upgrades Are Like Icebergs: Many system upgrades contain hidden costs that, at first, aren’t apparent. Some require a system replacement, as opposed to an upgrade, with pricing incentives by staying with the same vendor. Ask yourself what the real costs are for an upgrade versus a replacement. Then determine what steps are required and how this will impact your business. It’s important to determine how different the upgraded or replacement system is. Sometimes, the migration isn’t as simple as it first seemed.

3. Not All Cloud Contact Centers Are Created Omnichannel: Omnichannel is different than multichannel. Multichannel provides the ability to connect customers via multiple channels — voice, chat, video, email, fax and social media. Omnichannel goes a step further, unifying inbound/outbound communications to deliver proactive, contextual interactions to customers — seamlessly. Omnichannel provides one routing engine for all channels, modes and media — and it transfers context with the conversation. It provides a single-agent desktop/workspace. And that common, intuitive agent desktop empowers agents. Having everything on the same platform provides a single source of data for reliable reporting, dashboards and analytics. It ultimately provides a better customer experience, which is the central motivation for most organizations today.

2. Same-Vendor Cloud Solutions Aren’t Risk-Free: Due diligence is a necessary part of a major upgrade or replacement. Consider these factors during the process:

  • Features and functions — Know what’s necessary to run your new contact center
  • Redundancy and reliability — Look for a high reliability 99.99% – 99.999% model
  • SLAs — Be sure they support a high-reliability model
  • Omnichannel — Check that the experience supports all channels offered by the vendor
  • Price performance — Evaluate if the vendor’s offer is competitive for a four-year, cloud-based TCO

Key questions to ask:

  • Is the vendor new to the cloud?
  • Is the platform public (shared) or private (single source)?
  • Is there flexibility to offer a hybrid (cloud/on-premises) solution?
  • What SLAs, guarantees and availability does the vendor offer?
  • What redundancy does the platform offer?
  • Which features and functions does the new cloud system offer?
  • Is a contact center as a service solution native or through a partner?
  • What level of security does the vendor offer?

1. Your Contact Center Migration Isn’t a Project: When migrating to any new platform, keep in mind that this likely will be a 7-10-year relationship. Look for add-ons and areas that differentiate one vendor from another. Consider which post-implementation tools are available, read use cases, familiarize yourself with third-party apps integrations and look for knowledge libraries from the vendor. Ask yourself the following key questions:

  • How will the vendor mitigate risk?
  • What ongoing services does the vendor offer (in and out of scope)?
  • What ongoing training does the vendor offer?
  • Does the vendor help with change management?
  • Does the vendor facilitate pre- and post-migration value realization/outcomes?

The Contact Center Evolution
Many of the changes that have taken place in the contact center in the last year reflect these seven migration secrets. Here’s a look at key shifts my clients have undergone.

  • Customer experience has gone mainstream. In my experience with our many clients, we find that the idea of customer experience, patient experience and member experience are part of the organization’s DNA. The focus on customer experience is now front and center — embedded into every organization’s culture at high levels.
  • Customer experience is recognized by many as existential long-term. Everyone I talk to can relate to the idea of becoming the next Netflix — not the next Blockbuster.
  • Tools are required to support the customer experience. The full suite of tools in the contact center must be seriously considered as part of any organization’s strategy going forward. If you’re not considering it, your competitors will be at some point.
  • Throughout all of IT, customer experience is driving digital transformation. If you can tie customer experience back to tools you need, you can leverage digital transformation elements, such as the contact center suite, artificial intelligence (AI), workstream communications, internet of things, blockchain, SD-WAN, 5G, unified communications, unified communications as a service, communications platform as a service, video, big data and biometrics. These all become part of the customer experience at large.
  • Customer experience focus areas include terms like solutions, outcomes, KPIs, tools, integrations, applications, competitive edge, ROI and SLAs — among others.

It’s a Customer Experience-Centric World
Beyond the robust, game-changing features and functions now available, reliability and consistency are key. Any vendor who cannot deliver on a high-reliability model (99.99% – 99.999% uptime) or provide a consistent quality of voice and video experience (QoS) shouldn’t be seriously considered. Leverage the secrets identified in the series and take a holistic look at your current contact center infrastructure. The world is changing; it’s now customer experience-centric. And the contact center tools of today must fully support that customer engagement model.

Time is critical when it comes to engaging the customer experience at a deeper level. A cloud solution can meet these demands. To learn more about the migration process, download our customer experience migration checklist today.