While we almost always enjoy the end results of making changes, seldom to we enjoy the process of making change. Once you are committed to making effective changes to your old call center software, there are several benefits awaiting your company. However, like any other business decisions there are any number of trials, pitfalls and buy-ins required to achieve success. First and foremost, changing your call center software should be made with transparence and notice to all your stakeholders (ex. Call center managers, supervisors and your best call center agents). Involving them in this process will virtually eliminate disruption, pain and mistrust. Simply said, people are much more receptive to change when they feel that they were a part of the decision-making process.
Five Pitfalls to Avoid
- Lack of a migration plan. If you don’t have a written migration plan, you are already to fail. An effective plan provides staff with: hard dates for the new migration, and provides managers, call center and IT staff with a clear training schedule.
- Failing to provide training for the new software system. Training is always critical; however, some manager/owners simply throw a manual at the staff and say, “Here ya go, let’s figure it out!” Tutorials and help menus are useful but they are no replacement for effective training. Hands-on training is simply the best way to learn new system.
- Resist obsessing on the bottom line – it’s not where you think it is. Evaluating the system based on it delivers rather than how much it costs must be the thought driver here. You want to choose the software solutions that will reduce call times, eliminates downtime and generally supercharges your call center’s outcomes. When you have made much more profit than the previous year – you’ll be happy with what you’ve made not what you’ve saved.
- “But this is the way we’ve always done it.” If that argument held water, you’d still be working with a box of index cards and a rotary telephone. Automation and software have significantly improved call center operations. Your continued investment in effective center software will yield improvements every year to your bottom line.
- An IT department that resists change. The IT department’s role is to keep the software you have selected running smoothly. Of course, there are times when IT would rather have things run smoothly by not adapting to your new software decision. The best IT staff are those who are supportive of any decision to increase call center profitability. After all, those are the funds that guarantee their paychecks.
Once people become convinced that change will benefit them, change is good and they will either back the change or lead the charge. Being transparent and forthcoming will help people to come around, as will training and use of the new system. Start getting people on board for change even before the change, and you’ll have a well-prepared transition team ready.