This is a guest post by Donna Fluss, the president of DMG Consulting LLC.
It took a pandemic, but most companies have finally been convinced that they need to undergo a digital transformation to position themselves for success in the economy of the future, also known as the “new normal.” The only problem is that no one knows what the new normal will be, only that it is likely to be different from what the world looked like at the end of calendar year 2019.
DMG’s white paper entitled Digital Transformation Roadmap for Contact Centers reviews the top 10 phases companies need to address to prepare their customer-facing departments for the future. It’s complicated and involves tight coordination with enterprise digital transformation initiatives, but all companies need to evolve or face the risk of not making it in the new normal. Almost all organizations must be prepared to confront the same unfortunate reality facing the foundering retailers, for example, who did not heed the signs or warnings of major economic changes over the past 5 years. Sure, COVID-19 may have sealed the deal for them, but it’s a rare case where the signs of trouble were not there before the pandemic hit.
The pandemic has been tragic, but there is nothing inevitable about its impact on companies. Enterprises that are using this time to prepare for their future and have started the process of transforming will be positioned to come out of the pandemic stronger than they went in. This isn’t to say that it won’t take a few years to complete their transformations, only that they should not wait for things to calm down and return to normal before strategizing for the new realities of business.
One of the lessons learned during calendar year 2020 is the complex process of transformation a company and its front-office service organizations need to undergo to position themselves to conduct business in the future. Changing systems and applications is one thing; while system enhancements and replacements are involved and can be costly, system updates and migrations have a clear beginning and end. It’s relatively easy to determine if a system change has been successful, based on testing and assessing whether they are accomplishing what they’ve been designed to do.
The more challenging aspect of a digital transformation is modifying the processes and procedures that have been in place for many decades. This can be extremely difficult, as many of them are not properly or fully documented, but instead are just things that agents or other employees do simply because “it’s always been done this way.” As the value of system migrations often depend on their accompanying policies and procedures, companies need to identify all of the rules and processes that need to be transformed along with the systems.
There is never going to be an ideal time to undertake a contact center digital transformation, so DMG recommends that you start now, during the pandemic. Take this opportunity to apply the lessons learned during the coronavirus crisis, and chart a bold course to carry your contact center into the digital future.
Donna Fluss is president of DMG Consulting. For more than two decades she has helped emerging and established companies develop and deliver outstanding customer experiences. A recognized visionary author and speaker, Fluss drives strategic transformation and innovation throughout the service industry. She provides strategic and practical counsel for enterprises, solution providers, and the investment community.