In the August 2013 edition of Contact Center Pipeline, Brian Hinton writes, “while IT might hold the keys to technology delivery and support, the contact center must use technology wisely to achieve business goals.” At first, this seems to be a simple enough statement; however, it is really quite loaded once you start to break it down. First, you have the relationship between IT and the contact center itself. As Hinton explains, it can be easy for IT and contact center managers to reach a stalemate when trying to manage technology. IT employees are often the subject matter experts; however, it can be unfair for contact center employees to rely on IT to provide a full picture of what is possible. Hinton offers some suggestions for contact center managers to take the first steps in ensuring optimal technology usage in the contact center.
Close the knowledge gap – As a contact center manager, you can empower yourself by understanding the industry and the technology available. Attend conferences, network through associations or other groups, read trade-specific material, and talk to your technology vendor. The more information you can gather about contact center technology, the better equipped you will be to target specific areas of improvement for your center.
Establish requirements for technology expansion – Consider ways that you can use technology to enhance your current business goals. Are there technology solutions that will help you better measure performance metrics and KPIs? Is there a technology solution that will enhance your workforce management strategies? Can you utilize technology platforms to improve your IVR or ACD systems? Key components of this part of the process are to define metrics that align with your performance goals and to specify action-oriented response processes.
Prioritize – As you broaden your knowledge of contact center technology options and begin to grasp requirements that fit your specific contact center, you will be able to prioritize the specific priorities. You can identify which of targeted areas of contact center improvement align with technology solutions.
Once you have prioritized your requirements, you can then meet with IT. Collaboration at this point allows you to share your exact technology needs with the technical expertise and insight from your IT partners. As Hinton writes, “the contact center has to own the effective use of technology… but, successfully achieving goals depends on IT and the contact center working together collaboratively to implement technology together and to continue learning together.”