Scepticism surrounding contact centre technology return on investment (ROI) claims is often well-founded, where neither contact centre managers nor solution vendors do much to improve the situation. However, with foresight and careful planning, much of the controversy surrounding ROI can be mitigated, setting everyone up for success.
Getting ROI management right can create enormous benefits for both contact centre management and solution vendors. For contact centre management, your ability to demonstrate realised ROI will assist significantly in securing organisational support for your next initiative. For a vendor, demonstrating ROI fulfilment can make the difference between gaining a valuable partner and reference site, and managing a customer relations disaster. They may not be easy to implement, but there are five fundamental steps a contact centre project can take to ensure ROI Rage does not raise its ugly head!
- Contact Centre’s Own the ROI Model
When a contact centre publishes a technology tender, ensure it includes the ROI model that underpins the project. Don’t ask potential vendors for one! The contact centre knows intimately what opportunities and challenges their organisation faces. They also know how the tendered technology solution should work to address them. As contact centre managers, if you don’t know how a technology solution will deliver value to your centre you shouldn’t be publishing a tender.
- Vendors Can Commit to a Transparent ROI Model
When an ROI model is shared in a tender, ensure it includes disclosure of the challenges foreseen in achieving required outcomes. As an example, if a contact centre is stifled with inability to change scheduled agent start times, or is unable to include schedule adherence measures within agent KPI’s, let your potential workforce management vendors know. Workforce management systems can generate benefit in many different ways, but everyone is in for disappointment if a responding vendor commits to meeting your ROI targets on the basis of business changes that the contact centre is unable to support.
- Agree on the Measures of Success Together
Early within the contact centre and vendor engagement, or preferably before a formal engagement contract, both contact centre management and vendor should agree upon measurement methodology and baseline performance for ROI analysis and tracking. You have the greatest opportunity to validate ROI assumptions when they’re examined by those that best understand the contact centre and the technology solution in partnership. It’s easier to reset ROI expectations prior to implementation instead of 12 months into a project when 90% of the investment has already been made!
- Make ROI Key Performance Indicators Part of Business as Usual
Making ROI key performance indicators part of a contact centre’s daily reporting suite ensures any slip in project objectives is detected immediately. It is also a very practical way in which to gather support for your project’s success. High visibility of project benefits speeds the acceptance of change. It also alleviates later scepticism of claimed project benefits when presented as an adhoc analysis.
- Review ROI Progress Regularly
Make sure you give project ROI the attention it deserves for the full period specified. This can be difficult when ROI periods are measured in years, not months, but the success of one project will do little to assist you in your next project if ROI analysis falls by the wayside.
No one wins when failure to achieve ROI targets becomes a finger-pointing exercise between contact centre management and technology vendors. But with careful planning, and conscientious execution, these five fundamentals of ROI management can set everyone up for success.
I would love to hear your thoughts on ROI management. Have you discovered an alternative approach that delivers the results you need? And remember, while your contact centre must own its ROI management framework; it certainly doesn’t have to create or manage it alone!