modern contact center

Best Practices for Building a Modern Contact Center

The world seems to be moving at breakneck speed. Case in point: I had an interesting conversation with a couple of millennials where I reflected on the tech I used in college (I am a “boomer”) — technologies like the first IBM PC, the DOS operating system, Lotus 123, “brick” cell phones, RPN calculators and the like.

I was met with a mix of giggles and gasps. To these millennials, I might as well have been talking about stone knives.

Now, just for fun, think of the time when we saw the demise of the Blackberry phone; Google launching its Facebook “killer,” Google+; the time when companies began to embrace mobile devices; and the introduction of group texting.

Seems like a long time ago, right? Would you believe all of this happened only seven short years ago! A lot can happen in a very short time.

What does this have to do with contact centers? Most IT systems have a lifespan of about seven years and call center systems are no different.

Contact center software and hardware is replaced every couple of years because it either wears out or because it no longer provides needed functionality.

As we have seen, technology moves fast and what was once considered “state of the art” will inevitably become functionally obsolete. That’s why you are functionally working with the equivalent of stone knives if your call center tech is more than seven years old!

Sure, maybe the hardware still works. But how often does it go down? How long does it take to repair? How well does your system support omnichannel chat or email access? How much work does it take to build a decent report? What direction are your key KPIs trending?

Modernizing your contact center software may seem like a big job. But chances are your next upgrade will be much easier and affordable than your last one when you have a plan.

Sheila McGee Smith, the founder and principal analyst at McGee-Smith Analytics, a leading customer experience industry analyst and strategic consultant, has developed a decision framework to help contact center leaders navigate this process with confidence.

This process asks the contact center leader to create their game plan by considering the following:

  • Upgrading your existing system vs. purchasing a new one
  • Going “cloud” or continuing with an on-premise system
  • Going with dedicated contact center technology or a hybrid phone/contact center solution
  • What to consider beyond the basics of ACD, IVR and reporting
  • Whether CRM and integration with other business systems make sense for you

By considering these factors, a contact center leader can make a smart, well informed decision that will minimize disruption while also saving time and money.

Learn more and hear firsthand from Sheila as she discusses this framework by viewing her webinar Best Practices for Building a Modern Contact Center or by reading her white paper Navigating the Contact Center Purchase Decision.