When implementing a new contact center, or transforming to a next generation one, the most critical piece of the puzzle is not the technologies implemented, but the vendor that does the implementing.
There can be little doubt than in the contact center space; technology is the great enabler. However, it can quite easily fall short in delivering its promised results, due to bad or ineffective implementation. Thus, whether an organization is looking to implement new technology or simply refreshing its existing systems, it is vital that it partners closely with an experienced technology vendor, to ensure that challenges are minimized, while benefits are maximized.
Perhaps the most important reason for such a partnership can be put down to the fact that modern contact center solutions are built on multiple platforms. These need to be intelligently connected to ensure that the focus remains on customer experience, while still giving the contact center the ability to expand and evolve with changing needs.
Partnering with an experienced vendor means that you will more easily be able to avoid the complexities that arise from working with multiple platforms. The right vendor will be able to effectively combine your existing infrastructure with the new technologies to be implemented, ensuring that customers get the service experience they deserve.
For starters, experienced vendors understand how to integrate new solutions seamlessly into legacy and back-end systems, as they have intimate knowledge of this, built on the back of a multitude of real-world deployments. Moreover, they understand how to combine processes and tools to ensure quality functionality, and should be able to deliver this effectively within budget.
It is vitally important to understand how new technologies fit within the contact center, while also taking into account processes, methodologies and tools. Choosing a vendor that will adopt such a holistic view across every phase of the project lifecycle should offer a solution that ties everything together to provide you with an end-to-end customer experience you can deliver proudly.
Choosing the right vendor is also of critical importance when you consider that, when implementing technology into a center, it is a long term investment. This is why it is necessary to carefully study your vendor of choice before putting pen to paper on any contract - make the right choice and you will have a solution that will enable you to deliver fantastic customer satisfaction for years to come. Choose wrong and you risk losing customers and brand equity.
First and foremost, your chosen partner should be able to assist you in developing a comprehensive plan for your contact center transformation. Failure to plan properly and take all aspects into account can, after all, easily end up derailing your contact center transformation.
Such a plan must take into account your company’s unique needs, while also considering future demands, so it is crucial to ensure flexibility and scalability in the design. The vendor must also be one that is capable of putting a proper ‘go-live’ strategy in place, they should have a strong migration plan, and must understand the importance of training, resource planning and experience.
Designing, upgrading or refreshing your contact center technologies needs to also take into consideration that the move to next-generation contact centers is happening now. Such centers are multichannel, and are designed to build more interactive and collaborative customer relationships. Having multiple channels also means you are able to engage with customers across the channels that they prefer, such as video, chat, mobile and social media.
Of course, implementing a multichannel technology solution is not only about the technology itself. It is just as vital to understand that your agents and supervisors need to be kept up-to-date in terms of training on how to handle these new channels. You need to ensure that they are fluent in how to handle social media, understand how to monitor online conversations and interactions, and are able to deliver real-time, proactive responses that will boost overall customer satisfaction.
In a similar way, if you are transitioning from a legacy contact center to a next-generation one, you need to understand that your veteran employees who have plenty of experience on older technologies may need help adapting to the new solutions.
This experience and skill deficit is another reason why it is important to choose the right vendor to assist you. After all, it will be up to them to help you overcome this skills gap. A vendor that can not only implement the latest technologies effectively, but can also guide you through the cultural, behavioral, and process changes required to make sure of successful adoption will be worth their weight in gold.
Ultimately, you want a partner who will bring to the table a range of best practices and proven methodologies; one that offers deep insights in respect of planning, building and managing a next-generation contact center; and one that will not underestimate the challenges involved in integration.
Another factor to take into consideration when choosing a vendor to work with is their approach to security and compliance. It is crucial to have a partner that understands your contact center’s unique security requirements and can ensure the integrity of the platform.
In the end, partnering with the right vendor will enable you to reap a multitude of rewards when it comes to the implementation of your next-generation contact center. These benefits include project cost savings, resulting from the faster deployment of new network services and the simple rollout of complex solutions; productivity savings from improved stability; cost avoidance savings from well-thought-out software and design recommendations; savings due to improved staff training and knowledge transfer; and labor savings from improved availability.
Moreover, your chosen vendor should be capable of implementing a solution that is designed not only for today but is also future-proofed; one that is able to support your unique customer base fully; and one that eliminates unnecessary costs. It should also be capable of being rapidly and effectively deployed, and the vendor must ensure a smooth rollout, in order to ensure there is no disruption to customer service.
In today’s accelerated global business environment, getting it right immediately is critical for success. And the single most crucial element to this success is the right vendor – one that can help you accelerate time-to-value for your next-generation contact center investment.
[About the author] Dylon Mills is the Director of Marketing Content Strategy & Development at Jacada. As such, Dylon’s main responsibilities are to strategize, create and deliver content for Jacada’s product portfolio that align with the global Go-To-Market strategy, corporate positioning, and marketing campaigns. Dylon’s prior work experience includes Product Management at one of the top Fortune 500 Technology companies, Symantec Corporation. Outside of work, Dylon enjoys problem-solving and any project that includes building/tinkering with tools. Dylon holds a BS Consumer Economics from the University of Georgia.