Featured Image for the blog: An 11-Step Digital Transformation Framework for Your Call Center

Even companies who are sitting on the brink of digital transformation haven’t figured out how to strategize a successful transformation. In fact, a recent survey from Celonis found that at least 45% of executives don’t know where to begin when it comes to developing a digital transformation framework & strategy.

And, 58% of execs put it on middle managers and consultants to teach frontline workforces on digital changes. As execs work to find the budgets and attention for full-scale digital transformation efforts, the grunt work falls to you.

Statistics show it’s your job, manager, to rally your team around transformation efforts. And, it’s on you to communicate changes in processes and technology to your team of agents, too.

All that work is tough without added guidance, though. And, when many transformation efforts are centered around improving CX, it’s even more important for you to stay in-the-know. After all, you and your service team carry a ton of the weight of customer experience.

To bring clarity and support to your transformation efforts, you need a framework to follow. One that’s a reference for the steps you need to take. And one that illustrates the role of the supporting hero you play to your execs and IT team along the way.

We’ve got one for you. Read on for an 11-step framework to successful transformation.

1. Review your business goals and objectives

More than 82% of C-Suite execs don’t review internal processes before setting initial goals for transformation. It’s no wonder, then, that so many companies struggle with transformation.

Kicking off transformation efforts with a blind eye turned toward current business processes leaves no room for introspection. You can’t see what’s working and what’s not. Meaning you run the risk of investing tons of budget and time into parts of your business that don’t even need transformed. And, you might leave some painful processes and floundering experiences untouched.

Help your exec team and your VPs out by offering up a review of your contact center’s goals in alignment with your company’s goals. Then, use data to build custom reports that show where you’re succeeding and where you aren’t tracking well towards those goals. Share frontline knowledge with your exec team so they know where to focus transformation efforts to outperform company goals.

Data shouldn’t be an afterthought. Learn how custom dashboards help you tell a story supported by contact center data.

2. Identify pain points in processes and technology

Identify what’s holding you back from reaching your contact center (and company) goals. Ask your customers and your employees what frustrates them.

Do your agents have the tools they need to deliver personalized and knowledgeable experiences to customers? Is your turnover rate sky-high because your agents aren’t happy? What prolongs resolutions for your customers?

Through customized data, surveys, reviews, and convos with agents, find pain points and what’s holding you back from reaching goals. Then, examine the relationship between these pains and your current technology and processes. Pair your data with employee and customer sentiment to find where your processes and tech need fixed.

3. Decide what changes will ease your pain points

Put your pains aside for a quick second and think only about your goals. Now, work backward from your goals to reverse engineer a better customer experience.

Where do you need better tools to support your mission?

Let’s say you can’t meet your CSAT goals. Glancing back at pains, you see customers are constantly frustrated with a disjointed service experience. They have to switch channels to solve their problems and they always get rerouted to a new agent with every new channel.

Here, you’re not reaching your goals because your experience is high-effort and disjointed.  One way to solve for this pain is with omnichannel service. If your current systems don’t support omnichannel service, then you know this piece of your business needs to transform to deliver a better CX. Rinse and repeat until you develop a list of changes that helps you meet goals and solve pertinent problems.

4. Share ideas with leadership and get buy-in

Now that you’ve completed your evaluations and defined your list for change, bring it to your VPs and execs. While you’re mapping your contact center’s transformation, other leaders company-wide will be tracking efforts, too.

Gather up your IDed pain points, copies of the reports you shared, and the potential fixes you thought up. Then, share your positive ideas for change. You’ll need top-level buy in from your C-Suite to successfully transform your contact center (and your company).

5. Appoint team members to a transformation guild

Your exec team and VPs will look to you as they execute transformation efforts. They’ll need your input, and input from agents, at every stage in the process.

To rally your team around transformation efforts, pick a few agents and team leaders to act as contact center champions. These people will positively influence their peers and help spread the mission and importance of transformation.

Without accounting for how your agents feel about changes around the corner, you won’t succeed in adopting new tech and processes. Instead, you’ll see uneasiness (and maybe even a few agents jump ship) from your team. Transformation can’t be built atop a crumbling foundation. This team of champions is vital to your morale and success.

Get your guild on board by rallying them around a common cause. Learn how one uniting purpose improves employee engagement.

6. Set goals and KPIs for your transformation

Next up, set actionable and measurable goals for your transformation. Looking back to your pain points, contact center, and company goals, what do you want out of a transformation?

Let’s hop back to the pain of a disjointed customer experience and the solution of omnichannel service. You want to deliver a stellar omnichannel service experience to reach your company’s CSAT goals. Then maybe, you set a transformation-specific goal to increase CSAT by 10% in the first six months after implementing a new contact center platform. Tailor each specific transformation goal back to your overarching goals.

7. Determine what kind of ecosystem you want to build

Almost 80% of the world’s top-performing companies are a part of a digital ecosystem. And fewer than half of companies with average performance have made the leap to an ecosystem structure.

Digital ecosystems are how companies and people use technology to improve teamwork, data sharing, and streamline how we work.

You can have an internal ecosystem where you connect all your technology company-wide. Or, you can expand your ecosystem outside your company’s walls. Adding the right third-party vendors into your ecosystem can skyrocket your chance of success. Think through what you want out of an ecosystem, and team up with your leaders to pick the model that’s best for your business.

8. Create a transformation roadmap

Think long-term, here. If you were starting with nothing and could build your customer experience completely from scratch, what would you want it to look like? And, what would it take to get you there? Think as a visionary first, then add in your dependencies, limitations, and time constraints to get a more realistic view for your projects.

From there, map out when you’ll press go on each project, like implanting a new contact center platform. Then, define when you’ll start tracking results. Lastly, set realistic deadlines for when you expect to reach transformation goals. Repeat for each project approved by your C-Suite.

9. Prioritize projects and key functionality

Some enterprise companies manage up to 400 cloud subscriptions at once – that’s a lot for an IT department to manage and integrate.

Work with your IT directors to launch only the projects completely necessary to meet your goals. Chances are, if you have a pieced-together contact center platform, you can’t cancel your disjointed CX until you get a new platform. That, my friends, represents a critical project to reach your goals.

Once you pick critical projects, find software to meet your needs. Without drowning in features and add-ons that really don’t make your customer experience better.

Expensive add-ons and shiny features ultimately clutter your agents’ desktop and pile up to create more work for you, your agents, and IT. Plus, they don’t help with that whole disjointed experience you’re serving up to customers.

“What most companies consider digital transformation is the equivalent of collecting fondue sets. They are chasing digital products and offerings that don’t add business value at the end of the day – not unlike that fancy fondue set collecting dust on top of your fridge.”

Nils Fonstad, MIT CISR research scientist, as reported by The Enterprisers Project.

10. Choose vendors who treat you like a partner, not a number

In the midst of your transformation efforts, your IT team is working hard to get your infrastructure ready for all the changes. They’ll make sure your data is ported correctly, watch for potential downtime during your move to a cloud contact center, and prep your company for transitions that go off without a hitch.

Prioritize transformation success by partnering with a vendor who keeps you looped in along the way. One who answers your questions and works to reach your company’s goals.

You might not be the point person for migrating all your data. But, working with a vendor who shares specifics lets you be proactive. (Without bugging your IT director for info.) That’s when you’ll find out important details for a smooth transition. Like how getting rid of those two-year-old call recordings you’ll never need means you have less data to transfer to new systems. And then, less work for your teams.

Choosing the right vendor can make or break your goals. Get the facts on what questions to ask when you’re out searching for new partner vendors.

11. Implement and iterate

Implement your new processes and all your new tech based on your roadmap and company priorities.

Work with IT and your vendors to address any hiccups and keep iterating on specific projects. During transformation, it’s crucial to address your top priorities, first, then add in more tools and capabilities as you go.

Jumping into your transformation with two feet is one thing but jumping in with two feet and your hands tied behind your back is another. Doing too much, too quickly is an easy way to drown and diminish all the progress you’ve made.

You’re finally at the stage to press start.

But, be wary of revamping every process and all your tech at the same time. That’s a surefire way to lose buy-in from your team, and to erode brand trust with your customers.

Need an example from someone who’s been there, done that? Watch this on-demand webinar to see the framework HotSchedules used to move to a cloud contact center.