Featured Image for the blog: Playing the Dating Game with Digital Transformation: How to take Next Steps to Move your Contact Center to the Cloud

Transformations don’t happen with a flick of a wand and a chant of Bippity-boppity-boo. Real transformation is hard work. Makeovers can take months, if not years of planning, strategy, implementation, and recovery to take full effect. Just think of shows like Extreme Makeover or The Biggest Loser. The people in those shows are taking on entirely new lifestyles and training to make them habitual. They’re going through major change. The same goes for any change in your business.

Transforming how you do something — manage a team, keep track of data, process information — takes a village and a whole lot of planning. When your company is considering digital transformation, it’s easy to get stuck on the term digital and neglect the larger vision. The technology behind your movement to the cloud is just a piece of the larger puzzle.

What drives the selection and use of technology is your commitment to a true transformation. As Product Stack puts it, transformation is about becoming a more customer-centric company. And, digital is the catalyst that brings new ways for companies to engage and delight their customers.

So, you’ve made the decision to leave behind your old legacy technology and move your contact center to the cloud. That’s a start! What’s next? Integrating new technology affects pretty much everyone in your organization. But it especially impacts your customers, agents, and IT team members. So, when you take the leap with digital transformation, take mindful steps to make your change truly customer and employee-centric.

No need to feel overwhelmed! Let’s lay out some starting strategies and tactics to help you reach your goal. And, before you know it, your team will be digitally informed and transformed.

Finding the right match: Collect the pros and cons of your old tech

Imagine I’m a matchmaker, but instead of finding you a partner, I’m helping you find the right software for your contact center team. I know it’s silly, but the same principles in dating can be applied to the search for the right tech. For starters, you have to assess where you came from and ask yourself, what do I want to keep? And, what needs to change.

Just as you might reflect on past dating relationships to gauge your interests, you have to reflect on your past technology. I mean, your old tech did make your life better at some point. There had to be a reason for your initial commitment and purchase. Take time to document how your old technology served you well. What were the basic needs it met? Maybe you had a custom IVR that saved your agents hours per day. Losing this integral piece of your platform would wreak havoc on your operations. Or, maybe your platform integrates with your CRM and had a simple interface that made training a breeze.

Create your criteria list. And do it as a team. Your agents and IT team have the most hands-on experience with your current technology. What features would your agents be sad to see go? What did your IT team value about the platform? Nailing down these criteria with your team includes them in the buying process. And, it gives your team a space to recognize the change they’re about to experience. What are they expecting? What do they fear about the transition? All of these questions are good to touch on right off the bat.

Then, with those pros written out, find the cons. Gather varied perspectives and create your own ideal software platform before even looking at what’s available to you.

Create a roadmap: Map out your digital experience

With a pro and con list in hand, it’s time to nail down what impact you’re hoping to see from your transformation. What are your desired business outcomes? And, how is your digital transformation going to affect change in your customer and employee experiences?

  • Define your business outcomes

Consider using the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) Framework, a goal management framework invented by Andy Grove of Intel.

In the OKR framework, the Objectives are the qualitative description of what your company wants to achieve. The Key Results are the quantitative measurements of your progress towards those goals. So, you say as a company “I will do (Objective) as measured by this set of (Key Results).”

For example, you’ve noticed some of your more loyal customers have been leaving for other brands. So, you know you need to find digital tools that empower your teams to build a better customer experience. Your objective would be to deliver a better customer experience. Then, measure your key results by looking at how you improved certain metrics. Maybe you raised your Net Promoter Score by 5% or improved your Customer Satisfaction Survey results by 10%.

Use both of these metrics, your CSAT and your NPS, to reach your goal and determine how your digital tools influenced customers.

Establishing the right business goals and measurements lets you track your transformation progress. No matter the metrics you choose, keep track of how your digital changes help you or hinder you in reaching goals.

  • Focus on your customer and agent experience

Actual Experience published a Digital Experience Quality report that surveyed 500+ people on the quality of their digital experience. And, they looked at what tarnishes that quality. Some 89% of respondents agreed that a consistent digital experience is crucial to company success. They found that the largest impediments to a better digital experience fell into three categories:

  • 49% found it difficult to identify the specific issues that need improvement.
  • 43% were impeded by cost.
  • 34% found it difficult to know where to begin a strategy for improvement.
Almost everyone acknowledges that your customer’s and your employee’s digital experience is important to business success.

In fact, it can even make or break customer and employee retention.

When your site is confusing or your support channels are limited, your customers have a negative experience and leave. In fact, it’s been found that 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service. And, Gartner has found that when it comes to making a purchase, 64% of people find customer experience more important than price.

Those could be some scary stats if you know your systems are outdated compared to your competitors. But, the bright side of both statistics is that there’s a cure available for poor experience and poor service. Think of how much better your experience is when you use a company’s help center that’s intuitive and designed with the customer in mind. Self-service tools are plentiful, personal, easy to understand and apply. The live chat pops up with prompts that already answer your basic questions. When you send a ticket form through, you get a prompt response from an agent via email or phone within minutes. And, they’re already aware of your purchase history!

And then, think about your agents’ experience. Consider their thoughts and opinions as you search for the right cloud platform. Is it quick and easy to learn? Is it simple to jump from task to task without getting lost in muddled screens? Perhaps find a platform that has coaching and training tools built in so you can offer faster feedback, specific for each agent.

Both your customers and your agents will use the new products day in and day out. When you’re preparing for a digital transformation, place your customer’s experience and your agent’s experience at the focus. This intention will help you reach those business objectives you’re aiming for and allow for an easier transition with new tools.

Fill the gaps: Determine the right cloud solution software for you

With all your data collected, user interviews conducted, case studies evaluated, you can move to the purchasing stage. Use your knowledge to fill the gaps your old systems couldn’t fill. Take your list of criteria to find the right partner and vendor to meet your specific needs. And, don’t hesitate to be picky.

Choosing the right partner can feel daunting when vendors are courting you. Check out this resource all about how to find the best vendors for your digital transformation and move your contact center to the cloud!