Keeping Cadence When Buying a Contact Centre
Finding a list of great contact centre suppliers is easy. Finding the right contact centre for your business is not. All too often, a contact centre is perceived as just technology. Voice, email, chat and other bells and whistles that are simply cogs in a system. More often that not, this means the choice of a new system lands with the IT manager. Despite their decision, which could be spot on, they still need buy-in from the rest of the business. Even though the person tasked with buying the contact centre has made their decision, the buying process is really only just beginning.
More effective is an approach where stakeholders in the contact centre, from all parts of the business, participate in building a strong business case that satisfies all requirements. By prioritising business alignment over functionality, the contact centre proceeds more smoothly and employee engagement with the system is more enthusiastic.
For the sales team, the contact centre underpins sales pipeline and provides invaluable reporting and feedback on customer demand. Your Head of Sales will want to know how the contact centre will impact revenue growth and customer churn. In turn, these targets will provide feedback on the number of agents required, the scalability of the system over time and the return on investment required to justify the system acquisition.
The Marketing Manager is interested in resources for inbound and outbound calling, omnichannel communication and the ability to make rapid changes to configuration of call plans, routing and messaging-on-hold. If you can be reactive to demand and the market, you can put yourself one step ahead of your customer.
Buying a new contact centre comes with a cost. Your Accountant will need to understand the overheads, as well as the licence and pricing model. Typically, cloud solutions reduce total cost of ownership and employ simple, per-user pricing. This should all bring a smile to your Accountant’s face so long as pricing is transparent with no surprises.
Governance issues are increasingly important for contact centre operations. This means you need to keep your Compliance Manager in the loop. Regulatory requirements for PCI-DSS, GDPR and a whole host of other regulations will shape your needs for call recording, data storage and CRM integration.
Taking a higher-level view of your system’s purpose, your CEO will have a vested interest in its ability to protect and enhance the brand that has been developed, grown and cherished over the years. A poor contact centre and a tweet from an angry client can destroy all that in seconds.
Contact centres dealing with artificial intelligence, skills-based routing and self-service will impact headcount and the way your people work. Both your Operations Manager and your Head of Human Resources will want to understand how they can achieve this. Business processes, recruitment plans and job descriptions all go hand in hand with the contact centre specification.
Real time and historical analytics are the lifeblood of the Contact Centre Manager’s day. Here, we must also consider the interests of the Agent. Audio IVR and web-based FAQs are examples of features that create time for the agent to fulfil more complex tasks.
Your contact centre touches virtually every part of your business, integrating with processes, people and applications. That’s where your IT Manager plays the leading role. CRM integration, APIs, micro services architecture, open source software, hosting, cloud connectivity, voice services, porting, SIP, WAN service levels…the to-do list for the IT manager is never ending but not necessarily central to the contact centre design.
By consulting all parties, the resulting requirements will provide better business fit and a higher level of engagement between the system and users.
For an in-depth guide to alignment of your new system with your business operations, see Foehn’s Buyer’s Guide to Creating a Business Case for a New Contact Centre.