You’ve probably heard the expression “You don’t know what you had until it’s gone.” While this may be true, I also believe “You don’t know what you’re missing until you have it!” Think back to the 90s. You were perfectly content with your VCR - it played your movies at home, and what more could you want? However, when you experienced your first DVD, you realized that all this time you had been missing out on films’ quality and detail, and participating in the silly and time-consuming process of rewinding the cassette before returning.
In many ways, the same could be said about implementing call center software. Unless they’ve had another experience or center to compare against, many contact center managers don’t realize that their processes and call center software are out of date and inefficient.
As a sales engineer, there is nothing more satisfying than when a contact center manager says, “Wow, I wish I’d had this all along,” or, “Oh my gosh, this would save me so much time,” upon seeing a demo of the inContact product suite. Having been a contact center manager, I’ve been in their shoes. I understand how drastically their center performance and their work life will improve.
For example, with a switch from manual, Excel-based scheduling to a workforce management (WFM) tool, I know they will now have time to actually spend coaching and supporting their agents – what probably attracted them to the role in the first place. And I know that with a robust and best-in-class automatic call distributor/interactive voice response (ACD/IVR), they will get reporting and performance insight in the click of a button, freeing up the full headcount dedicated to manually pulling and massaging reports, and empowering the manager with the meaningful, tangible evidence they need to advocate for the center’s needs to leadership.
In many cases, unless you have seen another solution in action, you don’t realize a process or system bandage IS a bandage until it gets pulled off. While completing manual processes, you may have a quiet voice in our heads whispering, “There HAS to be a better way to do this,” but be unaware of the solution. Well even if you’re not sure what that solution is, you should know that it’s out there and waiting for you, and with cloud technology, it is easier to finance and implement than ever.
Change starts with familiarizing yourself with contact center as a service (CCaaS) vendors and solutions on the market, leveraging industry analyst reports like Gartner and Forrester who have done the research and comparison for you. Next engage the vendors, have conversations, and participate in product demonstrations tailored to fit your contact center’s needs. That vendor should not only give you a tour of the product, but also bring tangible evidence as to how the solutions will quantitatively produce results.
Additionally, make sure you partner with a vendor who helps you create the strong value proposition and case that you need to request funding and endorsement from leadership. For example, a committed partner should help you understand the true time savings and impact of automating your processes. Then using your actual business data, help you calculate and communicate to leadership how much money is left on the table if they don’t invest in these improvements. Remember – you are looking for a long-term partner who stays present and committed to your goal-attainment post-go-live, not just a vendor to show up, implement, and leave you in the dust!
While the task of evaluating call center software vendors, and navigating your internal organizational dynamics to initiate change may sound daunting, know that it is so worth it. Focus not on the time commitment involved in the scoping and implementation process, but on the time savings you will reap once a more effective solution is in place. Eventually you will be one of the aforementioned contact center managers saying, “Wow, I wish I’d had this all along,” and relishing that you’re not missing out on anything.