We often meet with clients who are at the beginning stages of trying to dig out from under an unsuccessful Contact Center/Customer Experience initiative. Unfortunately, these failed projects tend to leave a LARGE wake of job replacements, millions of dollars of wasted costs, and most detrimental to the organization, months or years of bad CX (customer experience). One of the most common misses we see is not considering and appropriately balancing the various goals of different departments and stakeholders.
Key Stakeholders and Divergent Priorities:
Without understanding and defining the business requirements of the Contact Center, the technical requirements of IT, the fiscal requirements of Finance/Accounting, and the overall direction from Executive Leadership, the CC/CX project will fail. Active representation and holistic decision-making with input from across the entire Enterprise is crucial for CC/CX projects to be successful.
The Contact Center Team’s primary focus and responsibility is driving a great customer experience. They are looking for technology to integrate and enhance their operational practices to help meet KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). Customer Satisfaction, First Contact Resolution, and the ability to evaluate Operations in real-time with quick course correction are all vital components required for them to bring value to the Enterprise.
IT Teams are tasked by the Organization to ensure any new Technology Platforms are secure & compliant (i.e. PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, HITRUST, Etc.), highly available, and can easily integrate with existing Enterprise Platforms (CRM, Incident Management, ERP, BI Tools, Collaboration Tools, Phone Systems, Etc.).
Finance and Accounting Teams will focus on budget impacts, ROI, and OPEX vs. CAPEX choices. Finance and Accounting have historically overseen the purchase of Contact Center Technology in 3 and 5-year CAPEX cycles, with large one-time expenditures followed by years of minimal maintenance costs. Things change dramatically when moving to CCaaS (as a Service) models where Contact Center technology is consumed as an Operational Cost in the form of a monthly service fee.
The Executive Team sets the vision for the Organization and balances the demands from Wall Street or Private Equity, the expectations of customers, and the near and long-term impact of decisions. Understanding overall organization goals such as digitalization , cloud first, improving overall financial results for investors, and anticipating the need to integrate acquisitions are important in ensuring the right solution is vetted and chosen.
Without shared knowledge and common vision for the project across the entire Organization, Contact Center Projects are unlikely to achieve a successful outcome.
Real-Life Anecdote: Upon meeting with a potential new client, the CIO and CTO announced they had recently completed a two-year technology consolidation project, in which the company had spent nearly $10M on new hardware, software, and professional services in an effort to bring technology & operations together across multiple acquired companies. A few hours later while meeting with the Global VP of Customer Experience at the same company, she reported that upon completion of the project, the new platform was able to effectively deliver less than 40% of the functionality described by her team as required to do their jobs.
So how do you avoid making the WRONG TECHNOLOGY CHOICE for your next Contact Center/Customer Experience project?
Do not rush the decision. Have the organizational patience to make a solid decision.
Build a cross-funcational team with representation from each stakeholder.
Fully understand and document the priorities of each stakeholder.
Appropriately weigh the priorities, understanding that some priorities will counter to others. This step will require collaboration and compromise.
Appropriately find Technology, Solution, and Provider that best meets the weighted priorities and overall Organization goals.
We strongly recommend that you engage a trusted, consultative partner who knows the current landscape of technology providers; has evaluation tools to effectively and impartially determine how a technology solution fits your business and meets your technical, financial, and organizational requirements; and has successfully led other Enterprises through similar evaluation and deployment processes.
Published on Thursday, September 10, 2020 @ 5:16 PM CDT