Taking A Deep Dive Into Contact Center Consulting
The diligence and selection process for a cloud contact center solution should include an objective and thorough analysis of not only what’s available in the market, but real-life insights based on measurable data and actual use-cases and experience. The combination of experience and data together can be beneficial in any industry and the contact center is no exception.
Of course, there are a lot of solutions available from on-premise, to the cloud and in between with a hybrid solution. While we know the path that most of the technology partners will take you down, having an independent consultant helping to navigate the landscape can be beneficial. When it comes to contact center consulting the only goal is the best solution for your business, period. Technology and software are several steps or even the last step in a true process.
First Time Cloud Considerations To Veterans In Contact Center Cloud Consulting Make Sense
Whether it’s a company moving to the Cloud for the first time from old legacy technology, or moving from an underperforming Cloud solution to one that better meets their requirement, the value of engaging a specialized consultancy becomes critical. The typical company will embark on this journey perhaps once every five years, or even longer. Having a strategic plan for your contact center is the first step to success.
The pace of evolution in this technology space is rapid and requires daily attention to stay current with the offerings and product enhancements. Regardless of the experience, the personnel may have at a company, they will not match the expertise and experience of a focused consultant. One who manages the diligence process daily, and who has insights across hundreds of projects and implementations, along with ongoing support and management of these deployments.
In our experience, we see a lot of customers jumping straight to technology evaluation, without fully capturing the requirements across the numerous stakeholders, both business and technical owners. A good consultant will conduct exhaustive interviews to fully capture and document the requirements. From there, the consultant will ensure that potential providers will present against specific use-cases that highlight those requirements, then capture feedback via detailed, data-driven scorecards from all stakeholders, thereby eliminating the risk of an “emotional” decision.
Having Your Contact Center’s Needs, Not The Technology, As Your North Star
So, who is the “right” consultant? This technology vertical ranges from referral partners, who simply pass a lead to the vendor, adding no value to the equation, to the consulting partner that is fully engaged and leading the process. It’s important to find a consultant that fits in the latter category. One reason for that is that all cloud contact providers will tout their ability to do all things for all customers. That simply isn’t true and is much more nuanced than checking a capabilities box for the technology.
In many cases, it’s not only that it can be done, but it’s how it’s done, and what are the dependencies and intricacies involved. A consultant should provide context based on their experiences post-deployment of the technology. They’ll also assist in a complete ROI and Total Cost of Ownership exercise, providing reliable financial models for the client.
In short, if you want to climb Everest, it’s smart to pick the brain of those who have gone before you in order to avoid pitfalls and increase the odds of a successful expedition. Don’t select your Everest guide whose motive is to sell hiking gear, select the one whose goal is to get to the peak! The same is true for deploying mission-critical technology that directly impacts the customer experience of a company’s clients.
What Does Good Look Like In Contact Center Consulting
A good consultant also offers informed 3rd party validation, which is key in the overall selection process. They should be able to align you with past clients that have utilized their services to obtain useful feedback about their process and performance.
A good consultant is also agnostic regarding which platform provider is chosen. Frequently a consultant is asked at the beginning of the process, which vendor do they think is best. The only right answer is, “I don’t know”, the process will answer that question with facts and proven functionality against specific needs.
A consultant is a guide in this process, and if it comes down to a tie between vendors, it’s frequently non-technical metrics that are the tie-breaker. Some vendors do a much better job implementing and supporting their platforms, delivering white-glove service. Others, after delivering good technology, depending on the client to be more hands-on with the ongoing management of the platform.
Trusting A Proven Process For Your Contact Center
It’s not infrequent that at the end of a diligence and selection process, that a client will ask the consultant to give their recommendation. A good consultant will avoid offering too many opinions, too early in the process. For the consultant, they aren’t financially motivated to influence an outcome, since their agreements are consistent across all providers. Their bias will always be towards the vendor that best meets their client’s detailed needs, and the process proves that out time and time again.
Our experience has been that a senior-level sponsor of the project will make that last call to discuss the overall project, then ask our opinion. At that point, with all the data on the table, and the work having been done, it’s completely appropriate to offer that last piece of guidance. That’s when the consultant knows that they’ve done a good job in delivering value and building trust across the multiple stakeholders.
Great Contact Center Consulting Starts With A Quick Conversation
We have decades of experience in the contact center industry, and every action we take is to build on that legacy. If you are thinking there are so many considerations it is a full-time job to choose the right options you are correct. Why not partner with someone like Inflow to help guide you through your contact center journey? Contact us today to start a conversation!