What you're missing when you only stick to generic digital transformation best practices (other than seeing this image)

What You Miss Out on When You Stick to Generic Digital Transformation Best Practices: How to Ditch the Template Approach to Migration in Your Contact Center

Company IT and operations leaders ranked digital transformation as the number one competitive risk in 2019.

New startups and competitors born in the digital age come to market daily. And contact centers feel the mounting pressure of modernizing their customer experiences. Not to mention, keeping up with the textbook-sized list of transformation best practices.

As you search for success stories to guide your path to change, your search results flood with lists of what to do and what not to do.

But molding your contact center operations to the confines of best practices alone won’t place you on a pedestal above your competitors. It will bring you to a customer experience plateau, at best.

Best practice lists boast important ideas like working cross-functionally and setting goals for your transformation. They’ll get you thinking long-term, but they don’t offer up a checklist for how to transform your CX.

Even with the raging waters of information available to you, making real change is an exclusive journey. Digital transformation is unique to every business. It looks different in the retail industry vs. manufacturing. And it varies across lines from credit unions to hospitality.

As you size up the competition, don’t stick to standardized best practices alone. Here’s what you’re missing out on when you do.

Experimenting with new ideas.

Sticking to a list of pre-crafted ideas about what your transformation should look like removes innovation. Tales of what works (and what doesn’t) give you the bare bones for a strategy, but they don’t sprinkle in detail you have the power to think up.

McKinsey & Company surveyed companies on their digital transformation efforts. Of those surveyed, the companies who encouraged employees to experiment with new ideas saw success 1.7x more than those who didn’t. And, when leaders encouraged employees to challenge old ways of working, companies succeeded 1.7x more than those who didn’t, too.

How to become a magnet for new ideas:

Use a time of change as a forum to ask for new ideas and feedback from your agents. Get your team involved in your transformation in the early phases. Talk through their pain points at work and where customers get frustrated.

Pave the way for big-picture thinking. Ask your team to come up with suggestions and ideas to fix common pain points well before you create a strategy. Your agents listen to your customers daily. And their ideas might give you a few golden eggs to truly transform your customer experience.

Learn more on how to prioritize your employees and transform your CX. Head to our post on the topic.

Getting advice from your team to stay true to your company vision.

The best advice about how to move your contact center to the digi-era comes from the folks with a connection to your vision. Relying on anyone else puts your livelihood into external hands. You’re trusting an outsider to copy-paste a template approach that wasn’t built with your goals in mind.

“Organizations that seek transformations (digital and otherwise) frequently bring in an army of outside consultants who tend to apply one-size-fits-all solutions in the name of ‘best practices.’ Our approach to transforming our respective organizations is to rely instead on insiders — staff who have intimate knowledge about what works and what doesn’t in their daily operations.” – Behnam Tabrizi, Ed Lam, Kirk Girard, and Vernon Irvin for Harvard Business Review.

Often, transformation fails because of a lack of insider knowledge. That’s why companies that don’t engage their frontline managers and employees in transformation efforts see a slim 3% success rate.

Learn from those who know your customer experience the best:

Lean on your agents, leaders, and customers to inform your strategy. The people who are most familiar with your service experience give the best insight on how to fix it.

Without input from these key stakeholders, you’re running the risk of changing parts of your operations that are better left untouched. For example, let’s say best practices tell you to improve productivity and the speed of your interactions. But digging into your customer survey data you find low CSAT ratings even after fast interactions. In this case, solving for speed won’t do anything for your CX. And your transformation efforts will come up short.

Defining the unique story that sparked a reason for change.

Large-scale change needs backed by a meaningful story. Without a story to keep your teams grounded in what matters, you’ll fail to get buy-in. And no buy-in, no change.

Listening to droves of other companies talk about their “why” and “how” might inspire you to make some changes of your own. But you can’t “command-v” someone else’s story and expect your employees to hop on board the change train.

Looking at the earlier McKinsey & Company survey one trend caused the biggest uptick in success. Companies whose leaders established a clear story for transformation were 3.1x more successful than companies who didn’t. This was the single largest multiplier for success.

How to craft a story for your change train:

Step beyond best practices and work with other leaders outside of your contact center to create a powerful story for change. Are your customers often angry or frustrated with their customer service? Do you have agents jumping ship to work for your competitors every month? Are you missing out on key revenue from low customer loyalty?

What’s the reason for your contact center’s change?

Dive in on what’s important to your contact center (and to your company). Pinpoint what’s compelling your shift before you commit to a full-on transformation. Then, craft a story that resonates with your agents and fellow leaders.

Turns out, for a story to gain support from the masses, it needs to cover five different categories of motivation:

  • Impact on society
  • Affect on the customer
  • Impact on the company
  • Influence on the working team
  • Impact on “me” (with “me” being anyone who hears the story)

Most companies only tell a story that includes one of these factors. And that approach alienates 80% of your employees from giving their unwavering support to your transformation efforts.

Even more proof that to be successful in digital transformation efforts, originality and meeting your unique business needs should outdo every best practice list.

Want to know more about creating a successful CX strategy for digital customers? Jump to our post on how to use your digital customer experience as a catalyst for growth.

Finding tech vendors that do things really well, but don’t have the big names you see everywhere else.

Up to 93% of companies agree that innovation technologies are necessary to reach their digital transformation goals.

Choosing the right technology is crucial to reaching your goals and inching your company forward on the digital front. The tech stacks your competitors use might feature big names and reputable companies, but using popular tools for the sake of appearances doesn’t help you reach your goals.

Often times, companies choose reputable vendors because there’s an appearance of lower risk. And the more people that boast these big vendor names in their best practice lists, the lower the barrier to buy becomes.

But if a company’s been around long enough to gain wide-spread name recognition, it’s also possible they have legacy tools and outdated platforms that won’t meet your needs. Legacy tools and outdated platforms might be new to you, but they’re old solutions that aren’t built for the problems your modern customers (and modern agents) face.

Now, of course, all big-box tech vendors put thousands of hours into updating and modernizing their platforms. But the reality is, they were born out of an era that isn’t as agile and nimble as some of the fresh-to-market products you might come across.

How to hunt for the tools that fit your contact center:

Growth-minded companies and leaders choose tools that won’t just work for your company today, but they’ll work 10 years from now, too. With your story for change, insider input, and crop of new ideas in hand, start your search for the best vendor to suit your needs.

Work backward from your goals to reverse engineer a better customer experience. Then, see where you need better tools to support your mission. Say your customers are constantly frustrated with a disjointed service experience. They have to switch channels to solve their problem and they always get rerouted to a new agent with every new channel.

Your compelling reason for change might be to fix this painful experience, and the way to do it is with omnichannel service. If your current vendor doesn’t offer an omnichannel solution, now you have immediate criteria to help you find the right vendor to suit your business needs. Prioritize omnichannel, and cross off all the vendors who can’t offer what you need – no matter the name or number of times they’ve appeared on best practice lists.

Use the success of other companies as a framework to launch your transformation but build a strategy unique to your contact center and your company’s needs.

See what vendors meet your specific needs during the RFP process. Use our template for creating your next RFP and vetting vendors. Get it here!