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Contact centers rely on technology to both empower and complement agents in responding to customer inquiries in an efficient and effective manner.
However, it is only an enabler, not a "silver bullet" for ensuring that customers will have a great experience.
When implementing a new contact center technology, there are four steps that your businesses must take to ensure that the technology will be successful in supporting the needs of the contact center and provide outstanding CX.
1. Define requirements of the technology
First, you need to craft a strategy before deciding what new contact center technology to implement, taking the time to ensure it will address long-term and short-term goals.
Define technology requirements, documenting in detail, the "must-haves" and the "nice-to-haves." This process should incorporate the roadmap that the contact center has developed for servicing customers for the next few years.
For example, if you are developing requirements for a contact routing platform, a "must-have" may be assuring that transactions across a variety of channels can be routed through the platform. If AI is a longer-term initiative, it may be a "nice-to-have" for the current release of the platform, but it is a "must-have" that needs to be in the platform's roadmap.
It's necessary to identify the technical requirements of the new platform to ensure it fits into the technical infrastructure and that the organization has the appropriate technical support.
2. Design the UX
Once you select a platform, you must design the UX -- from both the internal and customer perspective.
From the internal employee experience, the new technology must be easy to use and follow the flow of the desired process. It may be beneficial to ask agents to help design the experience, especially if they will be using the system on a daily basis.
For example, if your business is developing a new desktop system that consolidates multiple applications, it is critical to include contact center agents during the design of new screens to ensure that the navigation process is simple, enabling agents to focus on the needs of the customer rather than navigating the system.
From a customer experience perspective, the new technology must be easy to use and intuitive.
For example, if your business is implementing a new voice response platform, it must be designed for callers to easily navigate the system to get the answer they are looking for with an opt-out to easily connect with a live agent.
3. Create effective support processes
Next, you must ensure that you have effective support processes. If you don't, even the most expensive technology that works exactly as designed will fail.
For example, if you purchase knowledge base software with the most advanced search capabilities but the process that ensures information in the knowledge database is up to date and accurate is broken, the technology will fail even though it may perform exactly as designed.
In this case, internal agents will trust the information in the database and incorrect information will be provided to customers. Moreover, if customers use this knowledge database, they will receive wrong information and will have to reach out to the contact center again to attempt to get the correct information.
4. Train users
The last step is to train all technology users so they know how to use the new system.
Often, organizations have deadlines to implement new contact center technology, and as a result of delays in the development process or being short-staffed, training is often cut short.
If you bypass comprehensive training when a new system is implemented, it is often forgotten as time goes on. Agents who don't know how to use a new system will develop bad habits, create new processes, and will become frustrated with the new system, all of which can lead to a poor employee and customer experience.