Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

A Holistic Approach to Contact Center Transformation is Key

January 08, 2013

So much of the time when those of us who follow the technology industry write about big trends, and throw around terms like “transformation,” we end up looking at the trees instead of the forest. As many of you might recall, I have been writing on various parts of ContactCenterSolutions about how enterprise concentration on “improving the customer experience” has turned the evolution of turning call centers into next-generation contact centers into almost a revolution in terms of speed and scope. It has also becoming a competitive necessity.

With the start of the New Year, I wanted to look back at an event that provided important insights on this. Back in November I moderated a webinar that included Craig Mento, CEO of NexxLinx and NexxPhase, and Jef Wallace, CEO of Covation and Rob Hornbuckle, CTO of NexxPhase , entitled , The Call Center is Dead,Long Live the Contact Center!  I was struck by several things worth repeating.

Make change and differentiation your friend

Covation’s Wallace gave a quote from Retired General Eric Shinsek Secretary of the Army that goes like this: “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” The point was salient. As all of the presenters highlighted, the only constants we do know in the marketplace are that:

  • “E”verthing is accelerating.
  • Change and its increased speed is the only constant.
  • The business process optimization and customer interaction business is at a watershed as a result of the speed of change and the fact that businesses are lagging behind their customer expectations when it comes to providing customer service that engenders loyalty and profits.
  • When everyone is using “best practices,” innovation and differentiation become problematic.

I invite you to listen to the entire webinar since Wallace gave a comprehensive description of why trying to be the best at everything, without partnering with those companies and capabilities that are optimized to do certain tasks “best,” and having a holistic approach to call center transformation—which includes looking at people, processes along with products and services—is the only way to provide optimized performance. It is also the only way to generate the monitoring, management and business intelligence that can enable enterprises to not just create compelling experience today, but be positioned to be proactive instead of reactive going forward. 

As pointed out in previous postings, this means that people, e.g. your people, are critical. The success of any transformation rests squarely on assuring technology solutions are not just aligned correctly with business objectives and process improvements that can drive bottom line results but that that the right people have the right tools and information at the right time, and are properly incented and monitored to work at maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

Moving to the cloud

What all of this adds up to, since business process optimization and improved customer interactions are the goal for a successful call center to next generation contact center transformation, is that it is time to look both holistically and to the cloud.  That is where NexxPhase and its cloud-based, on-demand, secure and multichannel customer interaction manager plays a critical role.

Without going into the details of what each of the support applications in the graphic below do in terms of adding value, what a holistic approach to transformation looks like can be seen below.

Source: Covation

The NexxPhase CIM addresses such things as ineffective internal enterprise communications, broken processes and siloed technologies by providing access, integration and reasoned workflows employing a host of UC, ACD, IVR and call recording and skills-based routing capabilities. And, an important deliverable is enhanced business intelligence to guide continuous improvement and the ability to be flexible and proactive.

The supported applications include:

  • Knowlagent (now Intradiem) —  agent monitoring capability that helps cut down on idle time
  • VPI  — a unique call quality capture and performance monitoring capability
  • Pipkins  — workforce management solution
  • Silk Road — HR management software
  • Symon Wall Boards — contact center reader boards

As noted at the top the lessons from the session were insightful, i.e., a holistic approach is key to success and focusing on the needs of agents is critical, and moving to the cloud to get the full value of an integrated approach is the path forward.

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey