For many busy contact centers with older technology, the reluctance to switch to a new system and take advantage of newer technology such as speech analytics, omnichannel capabilities and social media support, is less about cost and more about the inconvenience to the business. While large consumer companies generally have the resources to support a switch, business-to-business companies may have a harder time: each customer call might represent a significant portion of their bottom line. Throw in some workers reluctant to use the new system (“But we’ve always done it this way!”) and a new customer support solution implementation has the potential to cause huge headaches…even headaches that the company hasn’t thought of in advance.
For this reason, it’s critical to plan ahead and identify resources that will help guide the company and anticipate pitfalls, according to a recent article by Laura Ballam writing for Business2Community.
“Before you start transitioning to a new solution, you’ll want to discuss any concerns you have with your new software provider,” she wrote. “The provider should be able to help alleviate those issues and make suggestions that can lead to a smooth transition. You can talk with them about best practices for training employees on their system, how their system is best rolled out and what they would suggest doing in the meantime to prepare the office.”
In other words, a skilled solution provider can help you understand what you want and what you don’t want, and how you can prepare your organization – including your employees – in advance. By taking steps to mitigate trouble spots in advance, you can smooth the way for the new solution and eliminate future problems. Workers who are blindsided by a new customer support solution may be more resistant to training on it, and their performance may deteriorate. By preparing them for the solution in advance, and helping them understand why it’s necessary, contact centers can better gain their “buy-in.” Let them know whether you’ll be implementing the solution all at once – a good way to get it over with, but also more disruptive – or rolling it out in phases.
“They’re the people who will be using the system, so it makes sense to keep them in the loop,” wrote Ballam. “Try to find out if they are excited for the transition or if they’re dreading it. Your team may be able to point out problems or concerns that you didn’t even know existed. Take the time to listen to your team and adjust your transition strategy accordingly.”
When it comes time to train the workers on the new software, ensure that the vendor’s got your back. While group training sessions and video tutorials are helpful, according to Ballam, nothing beats one-on-one training.
“According to the National Federation of Independent Business, one-on-one training can help avoid confusion with the new software by providing people with the help the specifically need,” she wrote. “Consider leveraging someone in-house who has gone through a training seminar or someone from the software company who can help your team navigate any issues.”
Updating a support solution can provide both b-to-c and b-to-b companies new opportunities to take customer service to the next level. By planning in advance, and finding a vendor with a great reputation for support during the process, it can be done with a minimum of pain possible.