10 Steps to Optimize Contact Center Cost with Cloud-Based Solutions
February 28, 2012
The success of cloud-based workforce management (WFM) solutions and operational efficiencies comes from effective planning. Contact centers are turning to WFM solutions that provide real-time decision support for cost management and improve operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction. Benefits from cloud-based WFM software include reduced cost, scalability, security, deployment and upgrades and improved reliability. In addition to automatic call distributor (ACD) software functionality, cloud-based WFM enables contact center to better forecast.
Follow these 10 steps from informationweek.com to optimize cost while adopting cloud-based WFM solutions:
Senior Management Involvement: Lack of management involvement and support is a contributing cause of IT project failure. Initiatives often fail because they are not aligned with business objectives and are typically deployed independently. Interaction between the CIO and the senior management aligns the IT-led elements of projects and management of the business change.
Understand Future Capacity: The rush to get started on a project may result in ill-informed decisions. Understanding the current utilization levels of the on-premise workforce management solution is necessary.
Increase Ease: Workforce planning professionals demand power, flexibility and ease of use from their WFM solution. Contact centers have purchased a WFM solution but use it infrequently because they find it too difficult to operate. A cloud-based WFM should alleviate this issue with intuitive user interface that significantly improves the ease of use.
Avoid Overbuying: Organizations use a limited amount of the functionality available in their WFM solution due to over-engineered features. The organization may not use the extra features, but the cost is included. To optimize cost, the active licenses and features of the current software that are widely used and required by the organization should be listed.
Align Expectations and Budget: Understand the issues that the organization is looking to solve with the cloud-based WFM solution and the departments or staff using the solution. It is important in a multi-site environment to determine whether the function will be centralized or distributed, and who will provide system administration.
Select the Right Solution: Cloud-based solutions vary in complexity, integration, cost and services. Managers should be aware of the differences and make trade-offs if necessary, to find an application that meets their needs. The cloud solution should fit with the existing IT landscape and be capable of supporting changes in the organization’s future.
Develop Change Management Plan: A change management plan that works change into the unique culture of the organization should be developed. Conduct the impact analysis of change management associated with the new cloud-based systems. The plan should be the foundation for the guiding principles for the deployment project which should be managed as thoroughly.
Optimize Cost: When estimating the total cost of ownership, it is important to identify all of the costs upfront. Hardware and software costs are the most obvious elements but they constitute only one sixth of the average IT TCO. There are also training costs required to familiarize resource managers and agents with a new service. The cost of integrating the cloud-based WFM solution into the ACD solution should be considered and could recur as the integration may need to be performed with every upgrade.
Evaluate ROI: A methodology to articulate the business value and return on investment in cloud-based WFM systems should be developed. Benefits derived from the implemented platform/tool can be primarily grouped under improved labor utilization, increased revenue and improved operational efficiency.
Ensure Broad-based Adoption: An organization wide communication and training, both initial and ongoing, should be planned. Although the vast majority of users just need a basic understanding of the application, a carefully chosen subset of the population needs to understand the solution.
Cloud-based WFM solutions are the way forward for most companies looking to optimize costs without compromising efficiency and quality. To ensure success, make an assessment of the current system and clear expectations of the new system.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin
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