The revolution in customer contact and its impact on IT staff
Many organisations have traditionally invested huge amounts of money in on-premise contact centre solutions. The benefit of this was that they were in control of the entire system, from network and security to functionality, backup and recovery. The development, implementation, configuration and support were mostly done by in-house IT staff.
However, the world of customer contact has changed enormously over time, almost like a revolution! More and more digital channels have been added, technologies – especially those involving AI and machine learning – are developing at lightning speed, and the number of interactions has exploded. In addition, customers expect companies to be available 24/7.
This makes it increasingly difficult to maintain ‘traditional’ – often unwieldy – contact centre platforms and have them supported by the existing IT team.
Apart from the high costs that tend to be associated with expanding an outdated contact centre solution, it also means that a lot of time must be spent maintaining an existing platform that in many cases is not equipped to be able to flexibly move with new developments. Sometimes change is necessary to remain successful in the future.
In many cases, moving to a cloud platform is the most obvious solution, but it undoubtedly has consequences for the IT team. There is often a fear of redundancy due to the reduced need for in-house IT employees or their specialist knowledge. This is understandable because in the vast majority of cases a cloud solution requires much less in-depth technical knowledge than an on-premise platform.
However, a declining need for IT staff is contradicted by a recent Gartner survey1), in which 55 percent of CIOs planned to increase their total number of full-time IT employees during 2021, especially in the field of automation, cloud and analytics platforms, and support for home workers.
1) Gartner: Newsroom Press Release 31 March 2021
But change can sometimes be hard to accept if you’ve been the expert on a particular supplier or technology for a long time, only to find that the value of your knowledge is rapidly declining. It can even be a driver to hinder technological modernisation.
Therefore, be sure to take stock of the knowledge and skills within the IT team. Employees often have hidden talents that you as a manager may not be aware of. Compare these with the technical skills needed to achieve the intended objectives. The outcome of this should form the blueprint for creating a retraining plan to enable the team to continue making an essential contribution to the success of your organisation’s contact centre.
In addition, a digital transformation offers opportunities for strengthening the position of the IT team within the organisation, as well as the relationship between IT and the business. Unfortunately, organisations often still have the impression that IT is only qualified to manage the network, as a result of which their added value in contributing to and advising on new technology and its impact on the business is not seldom overlooked.
So make sure that IT is part of project meetings at an early stage, and that not only team leaders but also employees from both teams work together to deliver new technology and achieve the intended functional objectives. And, in addition to measuring the costs of the implemented technology, also (especially!) measure the value it has generated for the business, and ensure that the successes are shared with the rest of the organisation.
Would you like to talk to us about how to smoothly roll out technological changes in your contact centre? Let us know! We are happy to tell you about the experiences we have gained within dozens of organisations from all kinds of sectors in the Benelux and further afield.
Whitepaper 'A change of course in customer contact'
Many organisations are currently undergoing a change of course in the field of customer contact. It is the only way to continue to meet customer needs at a time when working from home, automation and digitisation have become the norm. The IT organisation plays a crucial role in this but is often not set up to efficiently implement innovation with the existing – or fewer – resources.
In our white paper ‘A change of course in customer contact: IT's leading role on the way to the future’ we look at ways to improve operational effectiveness in the organisation, and which aspects to consider when rolling out – usually complex – projects such as a migration to the cloud or the (further) implementation of digitisation and automation in the contact centre.
The IT organisation has a leading role in this because that is where the knowledge and skills are located to determine the best course for the future.
At DDM Consulting we believe that our customers benefit most from tailor-made advice, without preference for a particular product or specific supplier. That is why we offer a wide range of intelligent omnichannel contact centre solutions, delivered by renowned partners who are all specialists in their field. This approach makes us flexible in finding the solution that best suits our customers’ specific needs and ambitions.
We guarantee a successful implementation, ensure integration with all existing back-end systems, and take care of managing and maintaining the platform. Our clients come from a wide range of sectors, from major financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, to telecom operators, healthcare institutions, government agencies, retail, and media. We are especially known for delivering customised solutions for corporate clients with complex structures, such as customer-specific integrations with back-end systems and the development of add-ons. Sometimes we even build a completely new product! That is how we ensure that the chosen contact centre solution exactly matches our customer’s wishes, needs and business processes.
We have grown into a team of about 30 contact centre experts and are mainly active in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.