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

The Only Thing Certain is Change

change in the contact centerChange seems to be reaching new heights. Additions, consolidation, and moves affects the number of sites. Companies add outsourcers, use existing outsourcers in new ways, or move outsourced activity in-house. Then there is the whole merger and acquisition scramble which can set everyone on edge, whether it is with the vendor that supplies the technology or the company that uses it.

Business changes create needs that technology has to address, such as changes in sales processes to drive more revenue, new product offerings, moving into new geographic areas, new emphasis on compliance, regulations, security, or resiliency. Operational changes such as more diverse channels, consolidation or centralization of functions, or new metrics, including hard ones like First Contact Resolution (FCR), or overriding ones like Net Promoter Score (NPS), can throw even the most seasoned contact center leaders for a loop. And let’s not forget budget changes – particularly cuts that will significantly impact frontline or support staff.

Changes brought on by enterprise technology initiatives (e.g., new CIS or CRM) have extensive impact on operations in the contact center and easily ripple into integration or process impacts. Changes in sourcing such as a move to cloud preference for technology, outsourcing or securing managed services for IT or other areas (more on this later) can be huge. And perhaps one of the most feared enterprise changes is what I call “right hand/left hand issues.” You may not even be aware of some of the moving targets and, as a result, get blindsided by change.

The risks of speed aren’t just at the moment of change. Just like those diets with quick weight loss, people quickly fall back into old habits in the absence of appropriate behavior change and reinforcement, and the pounds come right back. The end result is cynicism about whether things will improve – and stick – when the next initiative hits.

With potential changes coming from so many angles, sometimes faster than you can react, you may want to throw up your hands and just “wing it.” But you CAN plan for change, factoring the most likely events for your business into your technology strategy, and making a case for investment in tools that provide the agility and flexibility you need. In fact, the more resource-constrained you are for the day-to-day, the greater the importance of planning to respond to change effectively.

I’ve just published an article on this subject entitled How To Hit A Moving Target. It provides a list of changes with lead time versus changes with little/no warning. It’s a useful resource for determining the risk factors that your center is most likely to face. It also provides some useful strategies for improving your organizational readiness for change. Download your copy now »

Change WILL happen. Contact us if you’d like help in preparing for it.