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The Time is Now: Modernize Your Customer Experience

Do you feel like you’re working on antiquated equipment? Are your customers demanding that you do something different to improve their experiences? If so, it’s time for your customer care organization to modernize—but what does that mean, exactly, and how can you best position yourself and your organization for success?

Let’s face it: the world looks different than it did two years ago. We’ve asked all departments to rally behind moving home, coming in, moving home again, over and over again. While this isn’t just true for customer care groups, I would argue that they have been most impacted. Why? Because these teams and departments have traditionally relied on in-person work to take care of business. Without having that level of camaraderie, the groups have been suffering. Employees are leaving, and so are customers, hence the need to adapt—to modernize.

Modernization means different things to different companies (and their departments). For some companies, modernization shows up in new tools for agents and supervisors, providing visibility. For other companies, it involves streamlining self-service tools. Regardless, step #1 of any modernization effort should always be to consult with IT. Maybe you assume they’re not keeping up with the latest technology trends, or maybe they don’t move as fast as you’d like them to. You should still ask them.

You may feel inclined to modernize on your own, so that you can move quickly, but that may not be as efficient in the long run. Many companies have had departments source solutions to fill a short-term need, circumventing the IT department in the process. As a result, they are creating their own shadow IT department.

So again, I say: ask IT.

  • What are their opinions?
  • What can they do for you?
  • What can’t they do for you?
  • If you elect to go around them, what will you be asking them to do?

This last question is one that is most often overlooked until it is too late. Do you need the new technologies to integrate with other systems? Can they really do what you want? Maybe… but maybe not.

Once you’ve gone to IT, ask to speak with their partners and advisors: systems integrators, vendors, and business partners. Getting more viewpoints will help you determine the benefits and detriments of each option you’re choosing between. It may open you up to new ways of doing things—ones you hadn’t thought of before.

As an example, many companies are experiencing long hold times, with no valleys in their day to catch up on work. It’s busy—very busy—100% of the time. Business leaders might want to implement a callback application, but by requesting a specific application, they are failing to address the bigger-picture goals and challenges. In this case, would a callback application really solve the problem? No, because there will never be time to catch up and call customers back. You need a strategy, not just a specific product, and the partners that IT works with have the experience and expertise to come up with new ways of attacking and solving for these problems.

This is not to say that you should just listen to the first solution provider that comes along. Seek objective opinions from a variety of sources. Don’t get analysis paralysis, but remember your motivation for modernizing and seek solutions and strategies that truly address your needs.

Bottom line: working with a good IT group and their trusted advisors will help you shape your modernization strategy in a way that truly accomplishes your goals with the least amount of disruption to your company.

Good luck on your modernization journey, and remember: talk to IT first!

Continue reading the other posts in this blog series:

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About the author:
As the Senior Director of Customer Experience Strategy for ConvergeOne, Kathy Sobus leads a team with extensive experience in the contact center business and drives strategic alliances and partnerships with various vendors and providers. She is an expert in the area of customer experience and helps clients enhance their contact centers to more effectively respond to their customers’ ever-changing needs.