On Monday, March 27, four panelists on the CCaaS Case Studies panel, as moderated by No Jitter contributor Tom Brannan, shared their perspectives on leading their respective companies through migrating their on-premises contact center to a cloud-based contact center as a service (CCaaS). Audiences heard from: Adam Mitchell, Voya Financial's associate vice president for enterprise business solutions; Michael Moxley, chief service officer of Goosehead Insurance; Dara Keomany, PODS senior operations leader for project management and process Improvement; and Jeff Lutes, vice president of technology, Orlando Magic.
Despite the disparate industries, the panelists voiced three similar key insights:
- Each of the panelists either led or were deeply involved in their companies’ cloud migration. They recommended getting buy in on the deployment from the c-suite down to the end users whose daily workflow will be impacted.
- Planning to the “nth” degree is great, but you don’t have to roll everything out at once.
- Focus on your bread and butter, i.e., in this particular example the panelists’ financial services, insurance offerings, storage services or entertainment experience.
Getting Early Buy-In Prevents Later Problems
When planning the deployment, the project leaderships should cultivate an executive sponsor who understands the vision and is behind it. Project leadership also needs to generate buy-in among those who'll be using the system. Mitchell recommended creating what he called adoption ambassadors. “From senior level managers to team-level managers to the customer service agents,” Mitchell said, “get them exposed to the solution early on so they know what they’re getting into. That will greatly improve your operational readiness when you go live.”
Moxley provided a counter example, saying that his organization rolled out the first version of their CCaaS on too little feedback. When the solution initially went live, the service agents hated it – which forced them to go back to the vendors and rework it. Not ideal. Moxley recommended doing a larger proof of concept, rolling out the CCaaS to approximately 10 to 15% of the user base to get really good feedback, and then implementing that proven set of features to the other 85 to 90% in the first 90 days.
A Successful Launch Depends on Identifying the Bare Essentials.
Keomany suggested identifying the minimal components necessary for launch and moving forward with those first. “Many of them can stand on their own without all the integrations. We started with IVR and moved on from there. The last year of our deployment we spent on APIs and integrations. This helped stage the rollout.”
Keomany went on to emphasize the importance of training, as did all the panelists, by saying that because PODS phased their CCaaS rollout, they staged their training in tandem. “End users were only getting trained on the core features in each phase, with refresher training rolled out over time to keep the new skills fresh. That gave them time to figure it all out.”
While also emphasizing the importance of training on the new system, for both the IT staff and end users, Lutes expanded on how moving to the cloud has enabled him to re-task his IT staff. “I have a small staff – I have to pick and choose where they spend their time. Moving to the cloud freed them up to not worry about this commodity service. Instead, they worked on improving customer service and satisfaction and that, I believe, has helped improve revenue, too.”
Focus on What the CCaaS Migration Will Do for Your Company
Which leads to the final key takeaway from the panel discussion. Beyond a desire to stop investing in premises-based systems, the panelists agreed that there were several drivers for moving their contact center to the cloud. All those drivers ultimately intended to boost the company's bottom line.
Two of the panelists were looking at ways to improve operations – Mitchell said Voya wanted to reduce its data center footprint, and Keomany said PODS had multiple systems that didn’t talk to each other, which compromised the company's ability to get real-time business insights.
Meanwhile, both Lute and Moxley wanted to improve customer experience, with the Orlando Magic shooting for a system that allowed agents to provide excellent customer service to different tiers of customers, and Goosehead wanting AI, transcriptions, call sentiment incorporated into their contact center, not bolted on as third-party services.
One Final Tip – Be Sure to Quantify the Benefits
The panelists also noted that each migration was supported by extensive ROI analyses and various metrics used to determine and measure success. Here's how each of the panelists measured success for their migrations:
- Mitchell said that he was able to turn his IT support team onto tasks and functions that drove value and innovation back into the business. As an example, he turned members of that team into “product owners” who specialize in different aspects of the CCaaS -- IVR, routing, etc. It’s now part of their job to be on cutting edge of what the CCaaS provider is releasing and understand how those features might deliver value to the business.
- Keomany said PODS is now able to better match its spending forecasts to its peak demand season, which has helped deliver the ROI her team had planned.
- Lutes mentioned that employee satisfaction is much higher because they can work from wherever they are.
- Moxley echoed that point saying that their employee satisfaction is up by 15 percent and overall utilization is higher thanks to much deeper Salesforce integration of customer interactions.