There are thousands of offerings in the contact center ecosystem, with each company claiming to be some version of “AI-powered, next-generation technology”. We have a lot of partners who make this claim, and we can say they are 100% correct. They are leveraging AI and machine learning to transform the contact center and customer experience.
However, in a landscape with thousands of possible AI-powered contact center solutions and tens of thousands of combinations of those solutions, how can you possibly know if you are making the right decision?
The answer is it is almost impossible without help. You can’t be making the decision on your own because the research would take months or even years. By the time you get done, solutions will have evolved several times or added additional features.
If you were to go to one of the manufacturers or software providers directly you will receive a one-sided overview of the industry, with their solution being the best. That will leave you with CCaaS FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) because another company’s plug-in could be a better fit.
An Almost 100% Unbiased Contact Center Roadmap
Let’s face it, this is our blog so there is no way you would believe us when we say that we are completely unbiased on how you should navigate the contact center landscape. Although, we do take a different approach than most. We start with your business first and then introduce solutions that fit your culture, processes, industry, and so much more.
There are a lot of companies we partner with who are the best at what they do, however, are they the best for your business? That is the most important question, and why we have outlined the contact center roadmap below:
1. Involving The Key Stakeholders Invested in Your Contact Center Success
In a perfect world, everyone would be available and focus solely on finding the right solution. That wish will never come true because business comes first, but breaking this into several categories can help.
- Stakeholders: These are the people who have a vested direct interest in the success of the contact center and will drive the decision-making process.
- Contributors: Good resources whose opinion matters and will weigh in on important topics like testing and positioning statements.
- Advocates: People who are advocating for the change and championing the need for the change.
Having the right people involved who know their roles and what is expected of them is a critical first step. This establishes their level of involvement, what they are responsible for, and just as importantly, what they are not responsible for.
2. Contact Center Assessment
This is the discovery phase and is critical to uncovering the key drivers for your business. One scorecard should never be used for all businesses, even in the same industry. What is most important to your business? What is the weight you would place behind each of those areas?
Having an outside third party conduct the assessment of your contact center can be beneficial for many reasons. The biggest benefit would be their broad view of your industry and cumulative knowledge from other industries as well. Knowing what best in class looks like helps create a clear vision for all to follow.
3. Scorecarding Contact Center Solutions
Stakeholders are involved in establishing the scorecard and distributing it to those who should be involved as well as seeking the right level of input from other advocates and contributors. This creates buy-in from everyone involved on the business objectives your company is working to achieve.
The scorecard needs to be unique to your business because only you fully understand the needs of your contact center. If you are more customer service oriented, then inbound call volume and solutions related to that matter. If you are telemarketing heavy, then outbound calls matter. Omnichannel solutions are rapidly becoming the norm, however, only your team can assess this properly.
4. Scheduling Demonstrations of Contact Center Solutions
Now that you have established the scorecard it is time to line up the right vendors for your business. Oftentimes, you can narrow it down to a few vendors for certain areas. Again, having a contact center consultant can help bring clarity to this process.
This is where a scorecard comes in handy as it is important to score the solution based on how it can help your company accomplish your goals. This helps everyone stay honest based on the substance and not the sizzle.
5. Compiling And Understanding Contact Center Scorecarding Data
When considering all the data, here are a few questions for the stakeholders to get the ball rolling:
- How do they interpret the data?
- What are the trends?
- What is most important to the company according to the scorecard?
- Are there outliers we should dive into?
- Is anything surprising?
6. The Scorecard Makes the Contact Center Vendor Selection Easier
When the information is all compiled, and a vendor consensus has been reached, it is time to move forward with the contract proposal. Some important topics to cover, other than the solution itself, would be:
- Implementation timeframe
- Ongoing maintenance
- Development hours
The ongoing support is where partnerships are solidified or become strained. Defining clear expectations so that each party is held accountable to those expectations is critical to the ongoing success of that relationship.
Financial Modeling Can Help Justify the Expense of a Contact Center Investment
Looking at what you are trying to accomplish through a financial lens can cause frustration or elation depending on how you approach the subject. For instance, if you are looking to reduce average handling time and know that a twelve-second reduction company-wide will bring cost-neutral savings, focus on that.
If your call abandonment rate is at 3% and you have a solution in mind that can decrease that by ½ of a percentage point, quantify what that means to your business. Knowing the financial considerations goes a long way to producing an ROI and knowing the expected timeline of that ROI.
Our Contact Center Specialists Come from The Contact Center
We live and breathe contact centers because that is where we come from! Partnering with InflowCX is just a phone call away. We have had the same approach for decades because it starts with what is important in your contact center, YOU. Contact us today to help clear the path and bring clarity to your CCaaS journey!