CCaaS Success Toolkit
How to deploy a Cloud Contact Centre (and keep your job)
Opting for a Contact Centre as-a-Service solution for your business? Great start. Now, how do you keep momentum? How do you make sure it doesn’t fail? How do you ensure you achieve success with your CCaaS deployment instead of just providing new software to do the same thing on?
These are all extremely valid and extremely common questions. As an IT Manager, you are often tasked with sourcing, scoping and implementing your new solution. The answer to:
“How do I successfully deploy a cloud contact centre without losing my job?”
is simple. It’s not your job alone.
Use the processes highlighted in this post as your CCaaS Success Toolkit. And if you have any of your own to add, please leave a comment or reach out on social media.
When rolling out a new cloud contact centre, its often viewed as the sole responsibility of the IT Team. How many projects have you started with an “executive sponsor” who is “responsible for the project”?
A little catty? Perhaps. A little too frequent? Definitely.
Enterprises often have teams dedicated to their contact centre, to their IT infrastructure and to their customer success or customer experience teams. Small businesses do not have this luxury and often rely on their chosen provider. This is commonly their phone system supplier or a managed servicer provider that houses everything.
Whether your organisation is large or small, there will be a lot of internal stakeholders that want to have their say in what happens with your CCaaS deployment. My advice? Let them. More than that – make them.
Schedule an interview with every stakeholder that has a say or can be impacted by your contact centre. Some example stakeholders include the following:
- Contact Centre Manager
- Customer Account Managers
- Technical Support
- IT and Infrastructure Managers
- Contact Centre Agents
- Sales Reps and Managers
- Customer Success Managers
- C – Level Executives (CxO)
- Billing and Accounts Teams
- Anyone else you can identify (and ask each person who you’ve missed)
Once you have scheduled an interview or a workshop with representatives, make sure you are armed with a stock list of questions about how they use the contact centre today and what they wish to achieve with your new CCaaS deployment.
Some examples questions are included below:
- What happens when you end a call with a customer?
- How often do you get repeat callers in the same day?
- What are you main day to day challenges?
- What functionality in your home life do you think our customers could benefit from?
- What are you really looking for in the contact centre reports?
- What one thing could save you the most time and increase productivity levels?
- What keeps you up at night?
The environment you conduct these sessions in is almost as important as the questions. Contact Centre agents shouldn’t be asked what could improve their job with their manager sat opposite them. However, a room full of department managers could provide different views on the same challenges and work as a powerful team to gather requirements. Choose meeting areas and audiences wisely.
Once you know what your employees want to improve their user experience – and in turn the customer’s – you must turn your attention to your customer. This is the hard part.
Staff members will have an idea of how customers want to contact you and things that haven’t worked. Maybe your IVR needs reviewing as all your customers say they have to press so many options for your most common query.
Despite this exercise being in the customer’s best interest, gathering responses directly from customers can be a real challenge. Here are a few suggestions to gain more and better insights from your customers:
- Include a link to a survey on their bill
- Offer an incentive for completing an online survey
- Advertise you’re enhancing your customer experience in your blogs and newsletters
- Enable post call survey so customers can answer questions at the end of a call they made
- Reward Account Managers and Customer Success Managers for gathering feedback
- Copy your competition (or at least review your competition)
Once you know as much as you can about your employee and customer requirements, these need to be formally documented. When you have a requirements catalogue or spreadsheet, this becomes your CCaaS bible.
Each vendor you review, meet with or demo must hit the minimum criteria to even be considered. The minimum criteria usually comprises stock functionality like intelligent routing, email and web chat. But, each business is unique. Don’t let what is “standard” for other businesses persuade you that you need certain functionality. If neither employee or customer requirements reflect this, it’s probably because you can live without it.
There will always be functionality that isn’t known to either employees or customers. This is where you need to review with management and directors that are steering your business. They can assist with making decisions on introducing chatbots for the first time or making identification and data protection processes automated.
What the industry says
I reached out to Chris Bauserman, VP, Segment and Product Marketing NICE inContact, for some advice from an industry pro. Here was the advice he shared.
“Look to a technology partner whose customer success model, product capabilities, and platform strategy align to your business goals today – and for the long haul. When you move to the cloud, you’re making a technology decision, but more importantly, you’re choosing a partner who will be your guide from planning, to go-live, to ongoing CX and operational improvements.
Is improved agent productivity and cost savings a priority? If so look for an all-in-one suite with integrated routing, WFO and analytics. Do you need to provide a differentiated CX? Then make sure to look for an open platform with programmable APIs and a partner ecosystem. How critical is reliability? Make sure to look beyond SLA claims and look for 3rd party certifications and verification.
Before flipping the switch, you will want to have mapped out with the implementation team what your first 90- and 180-day journey will be like. Envision the specific goals and metrics that you want to have achieved at each milestone so that a year later, you will demonstrate measurable results with improved customer experience metrics as well as bottom-line improvements in efficiency and savings”.
Plan for post-implementation
The next step is theoretically choosing a contact centre company, designing your solution and implementing. However, it is crucial that before you give whichever provider the greenlight, you agree certain milestones for review.
What happens when your business changes? Maybe a new technology advancement changes the way customers interact. You need to plan for the future before you start your “now”.
If nobody is using the channels you have made available, you should agree to turn this off after 3, 6 or 12 months. Just because you’ve introduced a CCaaS solution with all the bells and whistles doesn’t mean your customers are going to ring them. Capturing good requirements should minimise this risk. But you can’t capture every requirement. And those blue sky requirements that seemed a great idea may not represent where your customers are technologically.
Ensure you have a fallback or alternative strategy ready to implement post-implementation. This, along with the right stakeholders, requirements and functionality, should put you in the strongest position possible when it comes to deploying a cloud contact centre (and keeping your job).