How to get your own Innovation Lab up and running

With so many different technologies and opportunities available, it’s often daunting for contact centre management to determine exactly what to do next to improve customer experience.

How to get your own Innovation Lab up and running

With the customer engagement landscape becoming more and more crowded, what can service providers do to differentiate their offering? Organisations are of course committed to refining customer journeys and making contact as effortless as possible, but how can you be sure what technologies and strategies really work?

Because everything is moving so quickly, there’s an increasing recognition that customer engagement teams need to be more agile, willing to experiment, and prepared to try riskier initiatives. Establishing a customer experience innovation lab or new service incubator can prove instrumental in operationalising your ideas and plans.

It’s certainly an approach being accelerated by major enterprises. IBM recently opened its 12th worldwide ThinkLab – in partnership with Facebook in San Francisco, while Sainsbury’s has announced the creation of 480 jobs for in-house digital specialists to develop and test digital systems to meet the increasing technology demands of customers.

However, not everyone has access to the kind of resources available to firms such as IBM and Sainsbury’s. The good news is that establishing your own Customer Experience Lab doesn’t need limitless budgets. With the growing availability of on demand customer engagement solutions it’s now much easier to set-up your own internal innovation lab. In practical terms you just need to host another instance of your customer contact infrastructure on a hosted service. At Sabio, for example, our OnDemand hosted proposition means you can trial advanced solutions such as speech analytics, or see how services such as click-to-chat, virtual assistants or biometrics could help improve your customer journey.

By tracking specific process, technology, analytics and experience aspects you can trial new programmes in a safe environment and bring them to market more quickly if they pass your usability tests. These labs are also a great way of getting your stakeholders from different parts of the business to buy-in to your initiatives.

Equally important is the need to make sure all the right stakeholders are involved in the innovation labs process. At a seminar earlier this month I was asked: “how do you get compliance people onside?” The answer is to involve them in the process. Of course there are real compliance factors that need to be core to the customer journey, but customer effort levels will only fall if teams work together to streamline the process.

So in addition to compliance, I would also advocate engaging people from IT, Marketing, Finance, Customer Experience and especially your agents to get involved and contribute to the process.

And if you’re not sure how to get your own Customer Experience Innovation Lab up and running, then get in touch with Sabio at [email protected] . We can help set up your lab within weeks using our hosted Sabio OnDemand platform, and also provide you with initial advice and training as well as the necessary knowledge transfer to help you operationally.

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