Set it & Forget It! Works for Ron Popeil, Not Your Contact Center

By Mike Dolloff, Chief Revenue Officer

The late ’90s were a time of wonder, caller ID was replacing *69, the internet was coming to the mainstream, and infomercials were both entertaining and valuable. My favorite of all time was Ron Popeil who had many inventions. The 5 tray food dehydrator, the pocket fisherman, the dial-o-matic. By far the most memorable of them all was the infamous Ron Popeil Rotisserie oven.

For a half-hour straight Ron would put meat on the Rotisserie prongs, close the door and say to the crowd and people at home “You Just Set It” and we would all scream “AND FORGET IT”. Rib Roasts, Chickens, up to an 18lb turkey, leg of lamb, cornish hens, hot dogs, ANYTHING you can imagine, it was interactive, fun and entertaining.

Technology Was Largely Set It And Forget It In The Contact Center

Just like the rotisserie oven, in the late 90’s you could buy a system, set it and forget it. Not much was changing, it was mostly hardware and your IT staff was there to fix headsets, the mainframe, and update software once in a while.

If you mentioned, “the cloud” in the late 90’s people thought you were talking about a funnel cloud from Twister or a sandstorm from The Mummy. Sometimes I miss those days, however when it comes to the Contact Center adoption timetable the days of “Set it and FORGET IT” are gone!

It’s Past Due to Think of our Contact Center Technology as a Journey, Rather than a Destination.

Even as little as 10 years ago an organization would put in new contact center technology and it had a clean beginning (evaluation) and an end (go live). A lot has changed in the past decade:

  • Rapid adoption of Contact Center As A Service
  • Rapid feature velocity (just peruse the Genesys Cloud Release Notes page or take a look at Talkdesk’s pace of innovation)
  • Rapid expansion of new technologies in the contact center such as:
    • Conversation analytics
    • AI
    • Agent Assist
    • SMS
    • Social channels
    • In-app messaging

Before The Evaluation Of Where You Are Today In Your Contact Center

Understanding where you are at today, and taking a deep look at where you want to be is key in the entire journey. Asking some basic questions of where you have been helps you understand where we need to go:

  • Are you utilizing the right technology in the contact center?
  • Are you using out of date technology?
  • Do you have the right pieces in place but they aren’t playing nice together?
  • Do you have the time to evaluate or are you mainly putting out fires in survival mode?
  • What is the pain your agents feel on a daily basis
    • Is the pain in the process?
    • Is the pain in the technology?
    • Combination of both?
  • What is the pain your customers feel on a daily basis
    • Is the pain in your product or service?
    • Is the pain in communicating with you about your product or service?
    • Combination of both?

Now The Timeline Begins In Evaluating Your Contact Center Needs

Starting with a strong evaluation helps you diagnose the pain points. There are many times when we go through our strategizing sessions with our clients that we all realize the answers are not as easy as Ron Popeil’s inventions. The complexity of technology and the speed of evolution in that technology makes this far from a linear path.

What are your needs?  Who in the landscape is a potential fit? Here are the considerations during the evaluation journey – notice I said journey because that is the framework of getting the right solutions.

What does the technology look like and how will it help us?:

  • Demos: You need to have good, realistic demos that connect your current state to the future of possibility
  • Proof of Concept: Big fans of investing some time into something as critical as a contact center technology to see how easy some of the day-to-day tasks are. Go into this with a punch list and reasonable expectations that it won’t be possible to replicate all parts – pick the key, non-negotiable items you want to test out.
  • Pricing: Pricing model (named vs concurrent), what’s included vs what’s extra, telco usage… plenty to unpack here.

Pace Yourself And Set IT, Operations & Business Expectations Accordingly

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same goes for a strong, robust modern Contact Center that delivers a customer experience your clients and agents deserve. From evaluation until the Go-Live date it can be 6-8 months.

A lot has changed in the 20 years since Ron Popeil first wowed me with his Rotisserie, and even more has changed in the Contact Center. Breaking down Contact Center As A Service into easily digestible pieces is what we do. We covered Pre-Evaluation and Evaluation. Join us next week as we break down Go Live and beyond, because. That is not the end of the journey as we are just getting started!