It is no secret that the call center operation has always relied heavily on the IT department to help manage and maintain the technology and telephony infrastructure. Over the years, this close relationship between IT and the call center lead to a symbiotic relationship that allowed companies to solve customer service problems with a mix of technology and business process innovation.
With growing adoption of cloud, like inContact’s cloud contact center software, companies are experiencing significant savings from reduced IT involvement in call center infrastructure maintenance. While this cost reducing benefit is one of the key reasons companies are buying into the cloud, it is a mistake to completely divorce the IT team from the cloud call center.
I am offering three suggestions to IT management on how they can continue to provide technical expertise to the cloud call center.
Good IT teams are like the technical eyes and minds for the company. As they work on various technology initiatives, they are often exposed to key business initiatives across the enterprise. Many IT managers can attest to the key business innovations that have occurred as the IT team iterates and combines projects from disparate parts of the company.
In a like manner, IT teams that become familiar with the call center platform from a technical perspective begin to see new ways to solve business problems with the platform. It is truly a rewarding experience to watch the proverbial light bulb turn on as someone realizes they now have the means to solve a nagging business need.
When was the last time you, as the leader of IT, sat with a phone rep? When was the last time you watched how many button clicks it took for the rep to find the information they need or the right screen to enter an order?
If the answer is anything like, “Gee, I don’t remember,” then it is time get embedded. Sit with a few agents. Listen to their calls. Watch what they are doing in their CRM tool. Ask a few people what they wish they could change. (By the way, I’ve found that as helpful as some of the longer tenured reps can be, I get the best ideas for change from the newer employees who may have come from another call center).
Armed with the knowledge you know of the call center platform, you can create a plan that will help the call center be more efficient. A good place to start is looking at anything that will decrease the Average call Handle Time.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then thought power must be the father. Take time to daydream. It is easier said than done, but the job of a leader is to lead into the future, not just maintain the present. Schedule the time to think. Brainstorm with others.
This is the ideal way to bring about innovation. It has its time and place. But often times, innovation is more like copying. Do not be afraid to rub shoulders with those outside of your company. Events like inContact’s annual user’s conference, ICUC, provides a forum for companies to share solutions they have come up with tackle business and technical problems they have faced.
If you happen to hear a good idea, don’t be afraid to adapt it to your organization. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
By following these simple steps, the call center and the IT team will continue to have a healthy and synergistic relationship long into the future.
Check out the new Benchmark Assessment tool. Find out how your contact center’s IT resources and operational strategies stack up against your industry peers—and build your business case for the infrastructure you need to drive business growth. It’s well worth 5 minutes to get invaluable personalized feedback.