Independent Contact Center Consultants: Bridging Strategy, Technology and Operations Since 2004

Seven Tips for Effective Contact Center Technology Planning

Technology is the “Big Top” of contact centers. It has so many thrilling attractions on so many stages that it’s sometimes hard to know where to focus your attention. Every solution promises to reduce your costs, increase your revenue, improve quality and service levels, add efficiency, make your CSRS and Supervisors happier, and win you new and more loyal customers!

What are some of today’s red hot contact center technologies?

  • technologySocial media
  • Social CRM
  • Wikis
  • Integrated multi-channel contact handling
  • Mobility
  • Analytics
  • eLearning, coaching
  • Consolidated desktop applications
  • Hosted Solutions, Managed Services

How do you keep your contact center technology strategy grounded amidst all the excitement? How do you separate hype from reality?

Smart planning is the key to smart decision making. Here are 7 tips to help you focus your energy and precious budget dollars on the right contact center technology investments.

  1. Start with business strategy. Strategy provides the context for the contact center’s strategy and the technology you’ll need to enable it. For example, if your company uses technology as a means of competitive differentiation, then you may need to live on the bleeding and leading edges of the adoption curve. If your customer base is skewed young, you may need a stronger presence in social media. Whatever your business model, strategy defines priorities.
  2. Build business cases. If the numbers don’t tell a compelling story, it’s probably time to put that idea on the shelf. You might take a second look at a future date if your environment changes or prices drop. But if it takes smoke and mirrors to garner attention, the new technology is unlikely to have staying power.
  3. Know thyself. Be realistic about your company’s cultural fit with a given technology, especially if the technology is unproven.
  4. Don’t rush. Some technologies need to mature before they demonstrate their potential and reveal their challenges and implications. Watch and learn – from vendors, pioneers, and neutral observers. Everyone else isn’t leaving you in the dust, despite what industry pundits may want you to think.
  5. Don’t skimp. Technology requires significant resource commitment to achieve the target benefits. If you can’t afford the time, talent, and money, wait until you can.
  6. Keep the customer in mind. Technology for technology’s sake rarely pays off. Technology that does good things for your customers usually does.
  7. Remember that technology is not an island. New technologies and the processes that go with them need to co-exist gracefully with existing ones. Where change is required, factor the requisite people, process, and technology adjustments into your overall project schedule.