Technology Assessment

Contact centers are awash in technology – and have historically been spending significant amounts of their capital budgets on technology-centric investments: new customer service applications, automatic call distribution, multi-channel interaction management, knowledge management, speech Analytics – and the list goes on. Additionally, many of these new features are initially offered to contact centers only in the form of new vendor systems, so technology integration has been a challenge of increasing complexity for centers. All of this while the overall technology vendor space has been through several cycles of consolidation and break-ups, and now, new social- and cloud-based innovations. The results: too many tools and vendors, too much cost, too little value.

And this constant cycle of technology investment is unlikely to stop; Gartner predicts that total expenditure on CRM software (including contact center software) will be at $12 billion in 2012, with just over $1 billion on Social CRM software alone.

Many contact centers have not had the advantage of an independent technology audit to ensure that industry best practices are in place, efficiencies are optimized and that customers are truly receiving the service they deserve. Based on the client’s needs, these assessments can focus on targeted areas identified by senior management, or can be all encompassing.

As part of the Contact Center 411 comprehensive assessment offerings, The Contact Center 411 Technology Assessment focuses on analyzing the current state of deployed technical systems, to answer the following key questions:

  • Are the current technology systems being utilized to the full breadth of their capabilities?
  • What are some barriers to the full usage and adoption of the technology systems?
  • Are the systems providing the anticipated return on investment?
  • What does the overall technical architecture look like? Is it optimal?
  • How well integrated are the systems to provide 360-degree views of the customer, the agent and the overall center?
  • How well are the systems being maintained? Are the systems near end-of-life?
  • Are the systems available in a redundant fashion and/or in an offsite location, etc. to ensure continuity of operations?
  • How are new capabilities incorporated into the contact center? (i.e. cloud-based offerings, social CRM tools, etc.)
  • How well does the current technology infrastructure support new capabilities?

Current contact center technology specific to the needs of the organization is critical to the enablement of the business objectives of the organization. We succeed by matching the client’s specific objectives to the appropriate analysis and technology. We approach each contact center technology review by focusing on the tools that enable the high-level business objectives of the organization.

Below are some of the types of technologies that may be reviewed during the Technology Assessment, depending on client needs and systems deployed at a client:

  • Telecom architecture
  • Contact center business systems applicable to the contact center employee and the future state vision
  • Unified communications (ACD and PBX Systems)
  • Call routing and scripting
  • IVR and self-service
  • Quality assurance (call monitoring and quality tools)
  • Learning management systems (LMS) and other training technologies
  • Knowledge management tools
  • Recruitment and hiring tools
  • Performance measurement tools
  • Customer satisfaction & employee satisfaction measurement tools
  • WFM for forecasting, scheduling and intraday management
  • KPI (key performance indicator) reporting
  • Multichannel communication and integration, including voice, email, live chat, etc.

An assessment usually includes several different activities conducted by experienced contact center technology experts. These activities include:

  • Interviews with staff in the contact center at all levels
  • Side-by-side call observations with a mix of agent groups and experience levels
  • Examination of ACD or IP phone and messaging systems’ and other database reporting, preferably prior to our arrival
  • Technology system diagrams and specifications
  • High-level technology costs

Based on our findings, we will work with the client to collaboratively define a comprehensive technology roadmap that sequentially outlines the recommended service and technology initiatives needed to achieve the desired state, both through the improvement of operational efficiencies and its impact on the customer relationship.

Additionally near term “quick wins” are laid out so that your business can immediately begin to take advantage of the findings.