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Helping Call Center Agents Through Technology Upgrades

How to Help Agents Through Tech UpgradesPart of working in the call center industry is being up-to-date on new technology that improves customer service. Unfortunately, sometimes we get a little caught up in the excitement of innovation and lose sight of the work it takes to implement new tech solutions.

When planning goes awry, call centers experience frustrated agents and metric dips as employees learn the ropes. Some disruptions to KPIs are expected when making large changes to call center processes, but the right coaching can help to mitigate them.

Your agents will thank you if you take the necessary steps to help ease tech transitions. Almost nothing is more frustrating to agents than being thrown into the deep end without enough training. These feelings are compounded when your staff also needs to troubleshoot new bugs. By planning ahead and taking specific steps, you can cut the impact of technology rollouts. Here are a few key things to do while planning your rollout.

Create Cross-functional Teams

No single department in your organization has the entire view of what an upgrade needs to incorporate. Instead, you should leverage experts from several areas within your organization. For example, a team handling email correspondence may have different needs for their agents than one handling calls. Supervisors from these two distinct groups can bring these differences to your attention more effectively when they communicate in a group setting.

These cross-functional teams also have the added benefit of creating a supportive environment within your company. When you empower employees across departments, you give them the opportunity to own innovative new products and take responsibility for them. Their sparks of creativity could even help revolutionize the way you serve your customers.

Be sure to Journey Map

Often, companies experience a demonstration of a new tech solution and get swept up in the excitement of what it can do. This means that sometimes, we lose sight of what it can’t do. By creating a journey map, you ensure that each touch point such as in-person, email and phone is adequately covered even when changes are made.

To create a journey map, collect as much information as possible on all of the ways a customer is finding the information they need. This usually means utilizing the cross-functional teams formed in the last section to get a broader view of call and message types or most-viewed web pages.

Once you have determined what the customer journey looks like, you can determine which key features your new technology has – and lacks – that could impact the quality of your service. For example, looking at common inquiries may show you that a key concern for customers calling in is missing from an agent portal, leaving agents without an answer.

Stagger Your Rollout

Rolling out new technology to a small group before deploying it across the entire company can be a crucial step in ensuring a successful transition. A call center can use this process to identify and resolve any issues or obstacles that may arise during implementation. Additionally, a small group rollout can help build buy-in and support for the new technology from a core group of employees, who can then serve as advocates and trainers for the rest of the organization.

Furthermore, a small group rollout can also provide valuable feedback to the company before a wider-scale implementation. Agent feedback can help identify any potential issues with the technology, such as compatibility with existing systems or user interface challenges. By addressing these concerns early on, call centers can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that the technology is functioning as intended before rolling it out to the entire organization.

Make a Plan for Training and Implementation

Making a coaching plan seems obvious, right? Unfortunately, companies too often miss the mark when it comes to training agents for technology upgrades.

Training and implementation plans can seem well-rounded until the moment of deployment. When this happens, metrics take a hit while agents and management seek answers on how to use their new tech. By sitting down and developing a thorough plan and documentation, you minimize the chances of agents feeling like they don’t have the information they need.

Another important practice when implementing a training process is designating staff from the cross-functional team as your new tech experts. After meeting to ensure the new product works across the company, they have significantly more experience than others and can help guide the way. Be sure not to lean on them so much that management is overwhelmed with responsibilities.

Maintain Open Communication

Communication is key during a technology rollout to ensure everyone understands the changes being implemented and is on the same page. By keeping a line of communication open, agents are able to ask questions, provide feedback, and voice their concerns. This can help call centers identify potential issues before they become significant problems and creates an environment of transparency.

Perhaps even more important, BPO providers must ensure that their clients are up-to-date on any new information regarding a tech rollout. By providing information such as successes, issues and how you overcame them, you can instill confidence in the companies that depend on your services. When you’re in the middle of a launch, it can be easy to forget to check in with your partners, but they’ll appreciate it.

Lean on a BPO Provider

If these steps sound like a lot, we understand. Rolling out new technology in a call center isn’t an easy task. By partnering with a BPO provider, they can take the heavy burden of the task off your shoulders. Through their wealth of experience, they are able to complete the rollout quickly and efficiently.

Plus, with modern technological advancements, outsource call centers are well-versed in the latest innovations and tools. This knowledge allows them to make the process smoother and provide the best solution for your business. Ultimately, a BPO provider can help you create the most efficient and successful call center possible.

To get connected with an outsource contact center with a track record in new technology rollouts, contact our expert advisors for a no-charge consultation.