3 Technology Mistakes That Are Probably Ruining Your Contact Centre

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Michael Clark, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant of CXTT Consulting, with 24 years’ contact centre experience, shares his thoughts on how contact centres’ performance and outcomes can be adversely impacted by making these core technology mistakes:

1. Adding Workarounds Into Your Day-to-Day Processes

The Problem – “Developing Inefficient Workarounds to Compensate for Older Technology”

Michael Clark, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant of CXTT Consulting
Michael Clark

Using older technology often drives inefficient processes. In these contact centres, technology is in place and has been, often since inception, including phone systems and CRMs.

These centres have evolved and adapted to use the tools at their disposal, often developing workarounds and steps that try and push the technology to deliver the best outcomes.

I’ve worked with centres in this category. They have adapted their processes, and when you ask why they do things the way they do, they say, it’s just the way we do things, and it means we can get things done. We work alongside and around our technology.

The Solution – “Revisiting Processes From a Customer Perspective”

I had a client in this camp looking to upgrade and replace technology capabilities. When we began the process of defining requirements, I captured all the things they do today as requirements for their new solution. It made me think of Henry Ford.

When asked about developing the Model T car, he said if he had asked customers what they wanted, they would have told him they wanted a faster horse.

This client wanted a faster horse! Working with them, we broke down their processes, revisited processes from a customer perspective, and developed a set of requirements that would enable them to be more efficient and effective.

They realized that their technology was holding them back, and they needed to embrace change.

If you are looking to purchase new technology and want to get stakeholder buy-in, read our article: What to Include in a Business Case for New Technology

2. Losing Momentum Before Deploying the Full Set of Available Features

The Problem – “Purchasing the Latest Technology, but Not Using the Full Span of Capabilities”

Sadly, there are contact centres who have purchased the latest and greatest technology but are not using the full span of capabilities.

In these scenarios, centres have made the leap and, in most cases, tried to limit the change impact on their employees by deploying like-for-like or similar capabilities.

Unfortunately, this is often where it stops. Instead of a cycle of continuous improvement by testing and releasing new capabilities, they continue to use their new technology much as they did their older technology.

After a year or two, frustration sets in because leaders and employees question the value of the change as they are not seeing any significant benefits.

The Solution – “Building Capability Roadmaps and Steering a Course of Continuous Improvement”

I worked with a client who had implemented and stopped improving. We worked to develop a capability roadmap, identifying the capabilities available within their technology suite, tying these to business goals and timelines, and then developing a change and release plan.

By linking capabilities to business goals, we were able to sell the benefits of change to customer-facing employees and leaders and bring them on a journey of continuous change.

This allowed valuable input and insight, and the business to realize the benefits of the technology it had purchased.

Today, most organizations are purchasing cloud-based technology solutions with regular updates and improvements.

It is imperative that contact centres build capability roadmaps with their technology partners to help navigate and steer a course of continuous improvement.

For expert advice on effectively managing changes well, read our article: How to Manage Big Changes Well in the Contact Centre

3. Losing Sight of a Better Future

The Problem – “Becoming Too Overwhelmed by Manual Processes to Drive Improvement”

I find contact centres where, for a range of reasons, there has been underinvestment and there is limited technology in place.

The limitations of technology, coupled with manual processes, overwhelms their ability to drive improvement.

There is a phone system, often an ageing or unsuitable solution, in place coupled with lots of manual processes, no CRM, no knowledge solution nor call recording or analytics.

These centres operate by trying to meet demand during opening hours. They cannot garner support for investment as they struggle to articulate the value to the organization.

The limitations of technology, coupled with manual processes, overwhelms their ability to drive improvement.

I worked with an organization that was in this space. They struggled with role and performance clarity, were overwhelmed with manual processes, and technology was a hindrance rather than helping.

The Solution – “Developing a Plan to Incrementally Deliver Improvements”

To overcome this, we had to develop a plan that incrementally delivered improvements to their people, processes, and technology.

The changes did not happen not overnight. This was a year-long programme, but we assessed progress at regular checkpoints and the value of the operation became more visible over time, providing greater focus on investing in new technology and capabilities.

External and independent advice can also help overcome any concerns about self-interest and can reassure senior leaders about the progress being made.

For advice on how to use technology to simplify and automate time-consuming manual processes, read our article: 10 Ways Technology Can Simplify the Contact Centre

Written by: Michael Clark, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant of CXTT Consulting

If you want more advice and information on how to avoid common contact centre mistakes, read these articles next:

Author: Michael Clark
Reviewed by: Megan Jones

Published On: 5th Feb 2024
Read more about - Technology, ,

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