Transition Contact Center Vendors without Disruption
July 24, 2014
July 24, 2014
Customers expect the contact center to be responsive when they call—especially when the reason for the call is technical support. Technical support is seen by customers as urgent. It generally means that the product they’re using isn’t functioning properly or that their experience is compromised by difficulty with functionality. This level of expectation for uninterrupted service delivery is true even when you’re in the midst of transitioning to a new contact center vendor. That’s not their problem, but it sure can become yours.
According to research by Deloitte, 71% of outsourcing contracts are terminated due to a low overall quality of service. Of those that terminated a vendor contract, 66% made the transition to another vendor and their top two objectives were to reduce costs and improve customer service.
While most respondents reported being satisfied with their latest outsourcing experience, 24% were either neutral or dissatisfied. By taking a look at the top three reasons for outsourcing dissatisfaction, you’ll discover clues about how to orchestrate a vendor transition that will keep customer service flowing smoothly without disruption.
52% said the vendor underestimated the scope or effort of the work
The contact center is on the hook for much more than answering the phones. Your contact center should no longer be evaluated as a cost of doing business but as a critical component of the customer experience and a contributor to revenue generation and loyalty behaviors. A contact center provider that doesn’t have the expertise to ramp quickly will get off to a shaky start at the transition that’s difficult to overcome. To avoid disruption that can cause CSAT to flag, apply rigor to setting the foundation for the future before the transition begins. Be realistic in cataloguing provisions and planning for contingencies. An experienced vendor will have a clear understanding of the risks and be able to plan accordingly.
48% reported that the vendor missed service level attainment
When the contract is first signed, the company and new vendor will be in great alignment. But expectations must be set to ensure service stabilization before service level attainment can be optimized. Companies that have dealt with slipping services prior to the transition are eager to see transformation that can be brought about by the new vendor. Establishing a strong relationship and governance processes early on will ensure that the transformation begins smoothly and ramps quickly. It could also be appropriate to relax service levels in some areas to provide a bit of flexibility for the onboarding process. However, be clear about how a lower level will be interpreted and for how long.
38% reported sub-par vendor performance
Don’t over manage risks. By second-guessing your vendor, you will cause them to focus on answering your concerns rather than serving customers as expected during the transition—and beyond. A vendor should have a clear understanding of the risks involved in transition. Experienced vendors have planned for and ramped many programs over their tenure and the best ones have an established approach for being successful. The vendor you select should be able to show you this approach and how it applies to your business. If they can’t, the risk of failure is too high.
By establishing a clear plan that you can evolve and adapt on the fly to accommodate unforeseen circumstances during transition, the potential for success is high. A plan also serves to establish a comfort level for both sides about expectations, process and contingencies. With this type of transitional orchestration, switching from an existing contact center vendor to a new one becomes a straightforward process without chaos and drama. And that’s just what you need to ensure that customer service stays on track and satisfies customers during the switch over. A good transition is like a good illusion—your customers should never know that it’s happening or what’s involved to pull it off.