Good ‘Taste-Testing’ Will Give Your CX the Right Depth of Flavor
Chef DuBois was revered for her work at the locally renowned, five-star French restaurant. For 10 years, her recipes had garnered one rave review after another.
It was no surprise, then, that the locals were throbbing with anticipation for her new restaurant, this one billed as her unique take on classic European pub fare.
Opening day was fast approaching, though, and Chef DuBois was running short on time to finalize her menu. With so many other last-minute logistics to iron out, she decided to forego her usual process.
Instead of taking the time to personally test each of her recipes to ensure each was on point for her first customers, she would rely on her experience and trust that they would taste as she imagined when she served them up.
The problem was that these were adventurous new recipes. She’d used many of these ingredients together, at least in part, for other dishes. But never like this. And when opening day came and she unveiled her new menu for her eager fans to taste, it was a disaster.
Nothing tasted right, and her customers let her (and everyone on Yelp) know it. What she’d envisioned as the start of an exciting new chapter began on a decidedly sour note.
Thankfully, DuBois isn’t real. The trials she faced as a restaurateur certainly are, though. And they don’t only apply to the world of food service.
The mistake she made is very much like an error that many call centre operators make when they migrate their systems to the cloud. Their testing plan isn’t comprehensive enough, and the results can be disastrous for customer experience.
Every Dish Needs a Good Taste Test
In many ways, migrating your contact centre to the cloud is like launching an adventurous new recipe for customer service.
Sure, you’re relying on many of the same ingredients — well-trained agents, carefully written call scripts, an IVR system, information databases, testers, and more — but the final “dish” is something different. With the many advantages of the cloud, it should be something much better.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, at least not right out of the gate. And a big reason for that is because call centre managers aren’t “taste-testing” that final dish. Like Chef DuBois, they know the ingredients.
They’ve used them before. Maybe they even test each one to make sure it’s working once it’s moved to the cloud. But they don’t test them all together to make sure they’re working in harmony. And when the system goes live in the cloud, it’s a CX mess.
A cloud-based IVR, also known as Cloud contact centre as a Service (CCaaS), has some similarities to a physically based legacy system.
For the most part, though, it’s a completely different animal. And any holes in your system mapping, gaps in your data, oversights in security, or clunky testing processes will be magnified when you migrate.
Because this new system is designed to lean more on automation and enable more customer self-service, seemingly minor flaws can quickly cause serious problems. If you don’t carefully test the final product before you unveil it to your customers, you could be in for a rough start.
In fact, many contact centres find that poor execution on the front end leads to serious delays, budget overages, and curtailing or even abandoning the project.
McKinsey and Company reports that 75% of cloud migration projects go over budget, and 38% run behind schedule. Our own experience shows that migration can easily fall nine to 12 months behind due to poor planning.
The Proof Is in the Pudding
The best remedy for these problems is thorough, continuous testing throughout the process of migration. When they’re trying a new recipe, a good chef tastes continuously while adding ingredients.
A pinch of salt. Taste. A hint of seasoning. Taste. Simmer it a little longer. Taste. They’re not relying on what they imagine the dish to taste like; they’re checking to make sure the reality lives up to their expectations.
The testing process during cloud migration should be similar. As you move pieces of your system over to this new infrastructure, how well do they fit? When you develop new components, how do they affect what’s already in place?
It should be a continuous process that involves both the IT and QA teams to ensure that you catch small glitches and address them before they become big problems.
The idea is that everyone involved in the migration process should be thinking like a master chef. With each tweak of the ingredients, they run a “taste-test” to make sure everything is on the right track.
It’s much easier to make small changes to the recipe along the way than it is to fix a dish that tastes terrible when it’s done. Similarly, if you launch your cloud IVR to the public and then discover a host of issues, you’re going to have a much larger issue to address.
On the other hand, if you launch your cloud IVR after you’ve already tested the recipe, you can relax as your customers enjoy the experience.
When done correctly, a seamless cloud IVR should mean more customers get their issues resolved and fewer calls get dropped — and you do it without the need for as many agents to put out fires.
Ultimately, when it comes to your cloud migration, launch day will reveal whether you’ve truly put in the effort up front. Or, as they say, the proof is in the pudding.
The Best Chefs Are Never Done Taste-Testing
Launching your cloud-based contact centre is only the beginning, though. And, here again, it helps to think like a chef.
The best chefs never stop taste-testing. Suppliers change, and the ingredients may taste a little different this month than they did last month.
Ingredients go out of season. So, they tweak and test. It’s much the same in a call centre. As you launch new updates or expand your customer base, you need to be sure everything is still working.
In reality, keeping your cloud call centre running smoothly requires constant vigilance. Not only are you working with updates to your own call scripts or IVR maps, but you’re also working with the CCaaS provider or other third-party integrations.
You’re dealing with your own network and the networks of various partners. If an issue arises, how will you pinpoint its origin?
These possibilities make it critical that you have a plan not only for upfront testing but continuous, automated testing that goes well beyond those early stages. When issues occur, your customers shouldn’t be the ones to do the taste-testing for you.
Continuous monitoring, along with automated functional and regression testing, will ensure you’re only serving them the best dish possible.
Unlike a master chef, though, this continuous testing process doesn’t need to rely solely on you and your team of manual testers.
With a platform you can automate everything and expand your testing capacity far beyond what you can do on your own. This ensures you can continuously test and monitor your whole system so you’re always providing a flawless CX.