Many companies struggle with the challenge of balancing the business desire to implement changes quickly and the related IT change control processes required to do it. Without the proper safeguards in place, an errant change could compromise the entire customer engagement routing process, impacting hundreds, if not thousands of customers and prospects. With stakes this high, how do you enable the business to be agile and empowered, without sacrificing infrastructure stability?
It is common for changes in the business strategy or competitive landscape to drive the need for changes in interaction routing strategies and logic. Business operations often need to implement these changes quickly, usually resulting in emergency change requests. These requests are expensive (they often need senior level sign-off from both business and IT leaders) and they are risky (less time to thoroughly understand and test potential impacts to other processes and strategies). Changes in prioritization or service level objectives for specific call types or campaigns, agent occupancy goals, or hours of operation are often items that need to be adjusted frequently.
As a result, IT leaders have struggled to satisfy the business demand for these small changes. With finite resources to perform these tasks, this type of workload often impacts the technical resource’s ability to keep project deliverables on track. This situation creates tension and frustration for both the IT and business organizations, and makes for a very challenging working relationship. The IT groups are forced to make difficult decisions on prioritizing their workload, and the business feels that nothing is getting done in a timely manner. One technical resource I worked with described it this way: “It’s not that these changes are a lot of work, but it feels like death by a thousand cuts.” All these small changes added up to a large amount of work that flew under the radar from a demand management perspective.
How Modern Contact Centers Do It
Today, modern contact centers are utilizing flexible routing strategies that allow them to reference variables for logic configuration and decision making. These variables are accessible to designated business users that are granted the authority to update and change them when required. Audit trails are in place to keep track of who is implementing change, and what components were altered. The core routing scripts and logic are never touched, so the risk associated with this type of change is minimal. Because testing of the process is performed and signed off on in advance, the business operations team makes the change and monitors the environment normally. This removes the need to engage senior leadership, IT development resources, or testing resources. By streamlining this process, companies can save countless hours and significantly reduce operational cost.
By providing the ability for business leaders to configure key customer engagement and contact center parameters, IT resources can focus on strategic projects and move the business vision and technology environment forward. This greatly improves the relationship between groups, and relieves the stress and pressure that accompanies emergency changes.
Empower the business user to manage today’s customer engagement strategies and stop the battle between IT and the business leaders at your company.
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