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How many call centers under utilize technology?

Lori Bocklund discusses under-utilized technology in the call center and gives tips on how best to fully utilize technology.

Do you have any statistics in your files about how many contact centers implement technology but then under-utilize it?
In 20 years in the business, I've been in hundreds of centers. While I've never seen any statistics on technology utilization, anecdotally I would say the vast majority of centers highly under-utilize their technology.

Problems we see include not looking at systems in place to start out with and potentially leveraging something that already exists, over-buying (licenses, functionality, capacity, etc.), not allocating the resources to use it effectively, never getting to the "Phase 2" functionality, not making process changes to get the most out of technology, and failing to help the users see the benefits and make changes.

There are a multitude of reasons companies don't get the full "bang for their buck." To compound it, few companies follow up on their ROI analysis after implementation to be sure they have achieved their goals, and to look for further optimization opportunities. With the types of technologies on company's radars today, I think these issues could get worse.

Some critical success factors to fully utilize technology are:

  • Have a technology strategy, and pursue that strategy in full – including rolling out additional functionality, allocating resource time and making the appropriate process changes to apply it effectively.
  • Carefully define your requirements so you buy what you need – in functionality and size.
  • Take time to do a discovery process first to see what you have and compare it to what you need – you may be able to leverage something already in place.
  • Perform cost benefit analysis throughout. Start with a high level analysis up front in planning and refine it once you know the solution and its capabilities. Then follow through on your ROI and see if you are achieving what you anticipated and if not, define the changes you could make to optimize your technology.
  • Use change management to ensure the users successfully adopt the technology.
  • Dig Deeper on Contact center software and applications

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