Any kind of meaningful transformation takes effort and focus. Transforming your customer experience through a cloud migration is no different.
‘Cloud transformation’ has the ring of something inherently positive. It’s the kind of phrase that people love to bring up in meetings when talking about improving their customer experience. But all too often, people aren’t prepared for the tough decisions, hard work and training it takes to extract real value from a cloud contact centre transformation.
Here are four important points to consider.
1. Consult your data and your people
Transformation requires you to look at your business objectively. That’s because setting arbitrary goals based on assumptions will limit the effectiveness of any cloud migration.
When in the transformation phase, or planning your transformation, if you find your business using phrases such as:
“we think our customers feel….”
“we assume our agents….”
“competitor xyz has taken path xyz, so we should……”“AI could…..”
“we don’t think our customer base will welcome self service or automation….”
You are probably on the wrong path. Guesswork does not support real transformation and the investment you are making in terms of cost, people, effort and change demands that you know what your outcomes will be. (You can read more about this in my recent post on the Inform stage of a cloud migration.)
A cloud migration is often a high profile project. So, you should make sure that agents understand your motivations for doing it. Nobody likes to feel as though a new system with new rules is being forced upon them. Make sure that they know this is for them as much as it is for the wider business and customers.
Data is hugely important in establishing this objective view of your business. And the more you have, the clearer the picture becomes. The challenge lies in turning the vast amounts of data you amass into actionable insights.
Even when data is neatly displayed in your analytics dashboard, it can be hard to know what to do with it. That’s when it’s handy having a partner like Sabio who can shine a light on the opportunities and challenges buried in the zeroes and ones.
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Aside from data, there is another source of insight that can prove just as fruitful – your people. Throughout your transformation journey you should commit to having candid conversations with your agents, IT departments and customers to learn about their frustrations.
For example, an agent may be reluctant to tell you that they feel underutilised, but underutilisation can be just as damaging to wellbeing and work fulfilment as overutilisation – and both will have a negative effect on your customer experience.
Your agents and customers will also be the first experts on any new features you introduce, so you should keep these lines of dialogue open throughout your transformation process. Use the insight from your agents and customers throughout the transformation period to help you surface the value and allow for iterative and incremental development.
2. Agile or Waterfall?
Cloud transformation projects are typically managed in one of two ways – either as an ‘Agile’ or more traditional ‘Waterfall’ project.
Waterfall projects begin with a pre-determined outcome – for example, installing virtual agent functionality. They follow a more rigid timeline through distinct, sequential phases, giving you a clear view of what you’re going to get, when it will be live, and how much it will cost. Sometimes however, needs, demands or markets can change so dramatically that the original intented outcome becomes obsolete or with a reduced benefit.
Agile projects tend to start with a more nuanced business objective or vision in mind, such as “improving customer experience”, and proceed in iterative ‘sprints’ towards this goal. As functionality is rolled out progressively, there is plenty of scope for testing and learning and, if necessary, adapting or altering the trajectory of the transformation project.
Agile projects tend to yield incredibly effective outcomes – solutions which are shaped by customer and employee input at every stage of the process.
3. Challenge conventional thinking
Cloud transformation should be exciting. It should bring about rapid change, a deeper understanding of your customers and better working practices for your agents. But it won’t happen automatically. Change is people-powered, often enabled by the technology.
So it’s crucial that stakeholders are prepared to green-light rapid innovation, or delegate approval to someone closer to the project. A slow or overly cautious approval process can negate the cloud’s agile benefits of speed, scale and flexibility.
One of the most significant challenges of a cloud transformation is the shift in thinking required. Trial and error are allowed! Now, evaluating a new feature doesn’t require justifying expensive hardware. And if that new feature doesn’t work out, so be it. During a cloud transformation, it makes more sense to be courageous than conservative.
4. Choose the right partner
Having the right partner to achieve a successful cloud transformation is critical. At Sabio, we don’t just supply the technology. We act as your partner throughout your transformation journey.
The Sabio team is uniquely knowledgeable about customer experience. Many of our people have joined us after successful careers as contact centre managers, digital marketers, customer agents and supervisors. This gives them the ability not only to advise, but to empathise, which is crucial when designing solutions for an industry with such unique challenges.
So, if you would like to find out more about how our team can help deliver long term cloud transformation, get in touch using the form below, or download our CX eBook.