Going digital is more than just a buzzphrase. It’s a way of thinking that informs all facets of your call center.

Here is a good definition that, to me, encapsulates the concept:

Digital Transformation comes down to using technology to provide more value to customers, and then continually improving and evaluating the process…Digital Transformation is more than just adding new technology, however; it is a cultural shift that completely changes how a business operates.
-Blake Morgan, Customer Experience Futurist

Companies hesitate to go digital for a variety of reasons. Some hold tightly to their legacy systems. Others are concerned with security risks, cost, and perceived simplicity of “getting the job done” with existing solutions. In sticking with the status quo, they stick with outdated technology solutions and expect it to provide an experience only new technology can provide.

To remain relevant, companies need to embrace the opportunities technology affords to thrive.

Here’s what happens when companies cling to the status quo:

  • Consider what happens when there is an outage. If the system goes down with an on-premise system, a company may not have an effective disaster recovery plan.
  • Outdated tech can also lead to longer average time customers spend in a queue, the average amount of time per call, and a higher abandonment rate in each channel.
  • An outdated infrastructure requires ongoing maintenance, customized upgrades, and duct-taped patchwork.
  • Employees are not as efficient with legacy tools. They have to be trained on old systems, and maybe frustrated with stand-alone applications and mismatched reports, which could lead to decreased job satisfaction and a higher rate of employee churn.
  • Beyond satisfaction, legacy solutions require more training. In contrast, a modern solution is more intuitive, making it faster to learn.

In contrast, companies with new solutions can:

  • Build a solid foundation with reliable solutions
  • Consolidate processes and eliminate redundancies
  • Automate routines and build a more strategic brand
  • There are clear benefits and risks to going digital.

A strong digital transformation strategy to usher a company into the digital age is critical. While digital transformation is not a golden ticket to success, it is necessary to compete. When crafting such a transformation, consider the following:

To build out a strategy that marries business and technology. Here are some steps to take:

  • As you build out a strategy, first research industry, and non-industry trends.
  • Consider what risks leadership is willing to take before, during, and after executing the plan.
  • Honestly evaluate current customer experiences and how digitally transforming your contact center will improve that experience.
  • Define your outcomes, timeline, metrics, roles, and digital road-map, including expectations, roles, responsibilities, and timing.
  • Include organizational change management (OCM) at the beginning

While digital transformation is about technology, it is also about change. Invest in your people; build awareness and provide tools and training. Reinforce the messages, behavior changes, and more. Embracing an OCM plan requires both stakeholder support and a strategic communication strategy. Leadership buy-in and constant, two-way communication is essential for successful change adoption.

Companies need to embrace the opportunities technology affords, take advantage of the significant benefits at hand, and keep people – both employees and customers – at the center.

Nick Glimsdahl is the Director of Contact Center Solutions at VDS, and his mission is to help improve the customers’ experiences through user-friendly, customer-focused contact center solutions. He is dedicated to living out the sage advice from the philosopher, Vanilla Ice; simply put, he helps companies stop and evaluate their current state, collaborate with subject matter experts, and listen to their customers.

Nick’s background in sales, marketing, and contact center solutions serves as the framework for his advanced expertise in the field of customer experience. He is a leader in the “CX Ohio” community and CXPA Columbus Chapter.