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2 Years Later: My views on Contact Centers. (Part 1)

MY experience on the current situation

On March 10th, 2020, I was returning from a trip to the Dominican Republic. I put myself in a voluntary isolation until the 24th of March of the same year, where the recommended isolation period was 14 days and not 5 days, as per current regulations. We have come quite far in those 2 years.

Sports, on an international level, as well as on a level for our children, was put on hold. The consequence of this was that all the efforts invested, all the hopes and dreams, slowly faded away. Our children have been greatly affected by the pandemic, now after 2 years, their mental health has been strongly affected due to this. Mental Health will be the next battle that will need to be tackled.

Thankfully, 2 years later, sporting events have come back, school seems to be returning to normal, but, what about our contact centers?

The Contact Center reality 2 years later

Today, I want to speak to you about another reality. That of the contact center, which are deserted. For the past 2 years, i3vision has prioritized its support for Contact Centers, which have had to deal with managing a virus, as well as important technological changes and implementing work from home solutions to ensure business continuity.

We must congratulate these organizations as well as their IT teams, who have worked non-stop in order to orchestrate all the necessary changes, while trying to not impact the customer experience. Much like in the health sector, the IT departments have been on the front lines, working to ensure business could operate and continue to generate revenue.

COVID-19 has put us through all sorts of experiences. It’s has impacted us at different degrees, but we can say with certainty that it has changed the technological landscape. This has led companies to take the leap and/or accelerate the process of transformation into the world of telework. However, it is not without pitfalls.

At the beginning of the pandemic, temporary solutions were put in place by organizations in order to survive. We have come to realize that this pandemic has brought forward the importance of change management and rapid positioning of new technologies. The shift to digital, the addition of distribution channels and ways of working have been taken seriously, and we are seeing a strong upward trend in migration to cloud-based platforms, especially omnichannel. Not all have complete solutions yet and still need to be combined with temporary solutions. I will tell you our story...

For those who know me and for those who may not, I have been working in the field of contact centers for over 23 years. I have had the opportunity to optimize more than a hundred contact centers on different platforms. My passion and that of my team here at i3vision is to help organizations become leaders in the contact center industry and even more so in customer and employee experience. We are motivated to make contact centers autonomous. We start by walking through the front door of the contact center, then take a guided tour through all the stages of transformation, current observation, process audit, best practices, and optimization. Once the tour is complete, we leave, closing the door behind us with a sense of accomplishment that the client is ready to take on new challenges.

A secret desire

I have always had a secret desire, that of having our own contact center and being a master in the art of directing it by implementing best practices and above all aiming for an unparalleled employee experience. Throughout my years, I have often repeated to myself that it would be so interesting to show others that it was possible, that what we put in place with our own customers is possible and that if we apply the recommendations without setting up barriers, that it was possible to accomplish the impossible.

Dreams becoming reality

While I was in voluntary isolation (working from home) in March of 2020, I received a call from a customer reference to help an organization that has an imminent need to optimize their processes due to COVID-19. One thing led to another, and we proceeded to create a complete contact center in 6 weeks…an impossible challenge you might say! This is what my president said when I told him the news, but thanks to his support and that of all i3vision employees, we managed to build this fabulous contact center in 6 weeks and without mention, realized my secret desire after all these years.

Genesys Cloud

Since my role involves different responsibilities, I knew very little about this solution compared to the rest of my team at i3vision. I carry out optimization mandates on all platforms and I have no product preference. What is essential in my mandates is to be able to optimize the client regardless of the chosen solution. But since then, I have been immersed in the universe of Genesys Cloud, and 2020 for me, was a very revealing year in terms of the infinite possibilities of this solution and especially the speed of its deployment. The functionalities are multiplying and above all, allow contact centers to obtain returns on investment quickly.

What we had to do:

The mandate was to implement a technology in less than 6 weeks and allow my client to:

· Make automated incoming and outgoing calls (using an import list)

· Allow to leave messages and customer call back

· Allow sending and receiving text messages

· Allow sending and receiving emails

· Have interactive voice response with toll-free numbers

· Produce agent schedules

· Manage quality assurance and evaluations

· Implement performance indicators and meet deadlines

· Proceed with the hiring of 180 agents

· Train agents (2 weeks of training)

· Implement human resource processes

· Implement coaching and agent retention processes

What we managed to do:

We have accomplished something incredible in just a few weeks, the implementation of Genesys Cloud technology for more than 220 resources. This success was made possible thanks to the entire team who were there to implement the technology and who worked hard to support an organization hit hard by COVID-19. On the other hand, the greatest accomplishment of this dream is not limited to the technology put in place but goes beyond the 220 resources who worked for us all the while maintaining a turnover rate of less than 5%.

To be continued in my next article… How did we manage to recruit 200 people in less than 6 weeks and what means did we use to mobilize them?

Part 2 coming soon

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