As a consumer – and one with an intimate knowledge of contact centers – when I’ve called to speak to a provider, I’m often trying to reach someone that I’ve spoken with previously and end up hitting zero to get out of the IVR menu because I can’t find a way to get to them directly. In many cases, when I finally get to that person through a series of manual transfers they say something along the lines of “Oh, we all just answer the phones”. And when I’ve asked if they’re a contact center, it’s usually a no because people have a very specific idea of a contact center in their minds and it doesn’t fit the mold.
What’s considered a contact center today can be vastly different from the default picture of a lot of people in a large space, but the reality is that a collection of employees, focusing on similar results in service to customers (both internal and external), benefits from recasting themselves as a contact center by adopting contact center tools and processes. While this may not seem like an easy task or even one that’s possible without significant planning, taking a step back to know what’s at risk and the costs to maintain the status quo is even more costly. Many of these “shadow” contact centers are not much more than a legacy phone system (or often multiple legacy phone systems) and aging hardware sitting in a server room or closet.
The fear that a full rip-and-replace is necessary to modernize is not always the truth. In fact, it’s frequently possible to keep existing infrastructure in place and upgrade to a SaaS contact center, reducing opportunity cost and creating the opportunity to eventually move to a full OpEx model. Generally, the software connecting various departments is the CRM or a similar system that will serve as the new single repository for all customer interactions, with the contact center desktop unifying everyone’s workflow. By adopting a modern cloud contact center, organizations can now begin integrating with the other critical software used by each department, creating an ecosystem that can more easily track and organize data as it moves across the enterprise. Additionally, workforce management tools can now be utilized for immediate improvements in scheduling, call quality and agent performance tracking — activities that would have typically been performed manually in spreadsheets or not at all.
Importantly, this undertaking must begin at a strategic level, as part of a transformation that centers around the customer experience, and involves all departments to avoid creating a Shadow IT endeavor and future headaches. Shadow IT is when a department, on their own, rolls out new, often cloud-based solutions without involvement or awareness from the IT department. Some of the top reasons that people adopt SaaS solutions are also why it’s so easy to fall into the Shadow IT trap:
It’s worth paying attention to a NetEnrich 2019 Cloud Adoption survey stat on Shadow IT where more than half of the survey’s respondents say that 20%-40% of enterprise technology funding is being spent beyond IT’s awareness. Buying without an organizational strategy creates a ripple effect with new issues that will be expensive and frustrating to untangle: data loss, downtime, data leakage and future time costs to re-align with IT. Fortunately, the nature of CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) allows piloting and try before you buy options where small groups can begin using the software to compare against the existing solutions. To try Talkdesk, visit www.talkdesk.com/request-demo/ and we’ll be in touch.
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