The step-by-step approach to transforming your contact center

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Contact centers remain a vital cog in the customer experience machine, but many companies are still tied to legacy operations, systems and technologies. If you are considering upgrading your contact center operations to meet the needs of a more demanding, digitally-driven generation of customers, you will need the right tools and strategy in place.

The year 2019 is when digital channels are predicted to overtake traditional channels in terms of usage numbers, replacing the phone as the channel of choice for consumers born later than 1960. The shift towards digital channels has been dramatic, with consumers embracing them for their speed and convenience. Gartner has gone as far as predicting that by 2022, phone conversations with contact center agents will account for just 12% of customer service interactions, down from 41% in 2017. Gartner also predicts that the fastest-growing channels in 2019 will be chat and messaging services.

Migrating to a new contact center platform can be a challenge, but the shift to a new omnichannel platform shouldn’t be something you rush headlong into. Omnichannel communications puts the customer at its center and is about engaging with them via their mechanism of choice: voice, chat, text or social media, and is about carrying context onward throughout the customer journey. A step-by-step approach can help you reap the most dividends and minimize disruption to your overall business. Start with the basics, like building your inbound voice routing, and then you can transition in phases.

Put the right team in place

Getting your migration right requires having the correct team. The following are the key members:

1. Business sponsor to articulate the business vision and strategy. This person will choose the people needed and source the budget to undertake the migration project, while being in overall charge of the deployment and adoption of your omnichannel platform.

2. Project manager to lead the internal project scope and timeline and get all the people involved aligned.

3. Contact center administrator to oversee the set up and management of users, groups, call flows and queues and to oversee troubleshooting and support for your internal teams.

4. IT and network administrator to ensure a robust network and environment free of latency and to act as main point of contact for any LAN/WAN or telecom-related issues.

5. Contact center supervisor to monitor and manage all agents, while overseeing all training, reporting and forecasting.

Is your network ready?

Don’t try and migrate if you are not certain your network and environment are ready to support a stable cloud contact center that powers your omnichannel offering. This means getting your IT and network administrator to check that your physical environment, network cabling, phones and telephony servers are all the required standard.

Are all your computing devices up to minimum system requirement levels, and have you put local security exceptions in place? Your SIP trunk needs to be of a suitable standard, too, to handle additional traffic. Security exceptions also need to be in place on network firewalls, and you’ll need to provision adequate bandwidth for VoIP on your LAN, WAN, WLAN and Internet.

Approach implementation correctly

With the right team in place and your network tested and assured, implementation is the next step in your migration.

There are a variety of options to choose from. If you decide upon a provider-led implementation, you are opting for hands-on expert training to set up and configure the key capabilities of your omnichannel platform, and you need to know if the provider’s services are remote or on-site. A partner-led implementation means establishing whether the partner of choice will only assist with deployment or will be there for assistance with post go-live moves, adds, changes, deletions and other support.

If you choose to roll out your implementation yourself, you need to be sure you have the right in-house expertise in place to check readiness and ensure resources are available at all times. It is worth remembering that going it alone often poses the biggest challenge.

Establishing your omnichannel operations future

The proliferation of technology, information and applications within contact centers continues to make them complex places, but they nonetheless remain essential to the customer journey. Customers no longer want to be stuck in silos throughout their customer journey and they don’t like being transferred by agents and having to repeat themselves. And they don’t like waiting. Digital tools can help you address that need, with solutions like chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) now able to speed up customer interactions and continue contextual conversations with customers to keep them happy.

The omnichannel approach can help you transform past the outdated, customer-churning model to a platform that provides a cohesive, seamless, personalized buying experience and makes interactions enjoyable for your customers. According to Deloitte, 85% of organizations expect customer contacts and engagements to become more complex by the end of 2019. And companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers versus 33% customer retention rates for companies that neglect omnichannel. Getting your omnichannel migration strategy right the first time has never been more important.

For more information, download the Orange Business Services and Genesys shared value proposition on creating lasting, omnichannel customer experiences.

Gianluca Salvaneschi
Gianluca Salvaneschi

As Sales Manager across Europe, Gianluca is used to working in very competitive and dynamic environments, providing MNCs with Orange expertise in deploying customer experience projects in the digital age. He is skilled in selling to major customer service organizations data networks and related added-value services like cloud, customer experience and contact center, unified communication and Internet of Things solutions. With 20 years of constant activity in the market, he has a large network of contacts, allowing him to develop new business and projects.