Are You Retrofitting Your Customer Experience to Your Technology?


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Let’s face it, getting budget to accomplish anything these days is an uphill battle! You need a strong business case, good executive support for your ideas and a momentum that is often hard to get started.

This is one of the biggest problems facing large organizations today and the reason so many have retrofitted their customer experience to the existing contact center technology, or, in some cases, undertaken such large projects based on a vision from several years ago that the very technology delivered into the center now seems dated.

If there was ever an argument to leverage next-generation customer contact approaches, this is its foundation. While the cloud continues its march, there is still much value to be had in examining the overall strategy in place and determining the drop-off points. What do I mean? Well, the drop-off points are the places where you are challenged to deliver a 21st century customer experience but your retrofitted technologies require you to deliver a mediocre, 20th century-based experience.

Consider social media. Many contact center solutions were designed at the end of the 1990s never anticipating that the bubble would burst; they covered voice, email and basic chat but largely before it became mainstream. They then stayed pretty close to their original design and with the growth of social media had to retrofit to manage it, perhaps pulling in collected tweets or facebook postings to an email for agent distribution and describing it as “multi-channel.” This is far from the desired experience that you want to deliver, the immediacy of response and the sheer breadth of meta-data available from a social media interaction cannot be wasted by slowing the process with antiquated distribution methods. “That’s our strategy and we have a huge investment in it!” I hear the cries. My answer is, “then sit and watch your competitors pass you by.” It’s as simple as that. If your customer experience is predicated on old technology, it will not keep up with your customer demands. Even if it’s retrofitted by adding little pieces here and there, it will fail over time and your customer experience will fail with it.

If you are continuing to apply old and outdated methodologies to your contact center requirements, even though they seemed like a good idea and cost millions just a few years ago, you are missing a simple truth in technology today. That is, what seemed best may have been overtaken by richer capable technology! Why do you think Apple and Samsung are releasing so many smartphones?

I read an article a few months back, “When should you get out of a bad investment?” The answer was, as painful as it is, as soon as possible. As I mentioned at the start, budget is hard to come by. If you’ve made what you know to be a costly, difficult purchasing decision, consider how to stop the rot.

If you are finding that the sheet customization, implementation costs and dated technology you committed to are not helping you deliver the customer experience your business needs without huge additional investment, here are some suggestions:

  • Examine how you can stay current with contact center requirements through technology
  • Look to new, 21st century solutions
  • Sample the cloud offerings and consider true next generation customer contact approaches
  • Or, get left behind!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alton Harewood
Alton Harewood, Account Director New Business and Strategic Accounts, has spent over 25 years working on successful projects with contact centre and IT executives. Alton is tweeting, blogging and speaking about technology and its impact on communications, business differentiation and customer experience.


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