As we move toward Fall, it’s time to think about your annual capital budget requests. Don’t let another cycle go by where your “wishes” don’t come true. Here are five critical steps for gaining contact center project approval and funding.
Step One: Choose the Right Projects
Get clear on your corporation’s strategy and the role the contact center plays within it. For example, your business goals may include aggressive revenue increases that require the contact center to step up the direct or indirect impact on sales, thus requiring cross-sell and upsell tools. Use the strategic triumvirate – business, operations, technology – to guide project definition.
Step Two: Include the Right People
For the credibility of your project requests, acknowledge the cross-functional impact of technology projects. Engage other organizational stakeholders during the project definition phase to sow the seeds of your future project team.
Step Three: Review Current Technology for Optimization Opportunities
Most contact center technology is underutilized, so you might find your solution already exists without capital investment. Considering all options prior to requesting capital dollars lends credibility to your case and may accelerate your timetable.
Step Four: Build the Case for New Technology
Follow a formal process that includes:
- Creating a baseline model to show how businesses processes drive the need for resources – staff, technology, facilities, and budget dollars. A detailed understanding of contact center economics speaks a language that senior management understands and lends credence to your capital requests.
- Quantifying the Total Cost of Ownership, not just vendor quotes. Consider internal and external costs driven by the project and include initial investment costs and costs you will incur over time as a result of the project.
- Quantifying the benefits based on clearly defined assumptions. Labor savings is obviously going to be a “big hitter,” but there may be important revenue impacts as well. Decision makers may challenge your assumptions, but you’ll have the benefit of a reasoned defense for your position.
- Creating success metrics. Any variable or assumption that you changed to quantify the benefit of the project now becomes a metric to monitor once the project is completed.
Step Five: Put technology investments in the right context.
Technology and its operation are a relatively small part of the cost of contact center operations. Your business case should carry the key message that a reasonable investment can have a huge impact on your primary budget category – labor.
I’ve just scratched the surface of this important topic. If you’d like more detail, download my Contact Center Pipeline article entitled “Sell Leadership on Smart Technology Investments.”