The Strategy & Business Decisions Necessary to Deliver Modern Customer Experience

And yes, you can extend and optimize your existing Avaya Contact Center infrastructure to be a world-class Contact Center.

Past, Present & Future

Historically, Avaya has been the clear leader in Contact Center technologies and at the forefront of enabling omnichannel customer experiences.  For years, Avaya earned the reputation as the preferred platform for many of the World’s largest and most complex Contact Centers.  Over the last half decade however, customer demands, market forces, globalization, the evolution of cloud technologies, a global Pandemic, and now supply chain chaos have caused Contact Center executives and leaders to reconsider just about everything. 

“The pressure on Contact Centers is immense,” says Tom Hanson, VP of Sale & Marketing at Swampfox Technologies.  “Companies are having to adjust to customer demands for service in non-traditional ways while focusing on providing customer service that is more personalized and easier to use than their competitors (and often being benchmarked against companies outside their traditional space) while being asked to do this faster and with fewer resources.”

From the location of offices and agents to customer engagement strategies to hiring and training practices, just about everything is fair game.  One of the most strategic topics is the right technology and solutions that will support the business objectives. And, for Contact Centers, this is significant, as how this technology is used is a part of every customer experience.  So many organizations who invested in Avaya as the foundation of their Contact Center have arrived at an inflection point, with two distinct paths forward:

  • Do we continue with the Avaya Platform and work to extend and add new capabilities?
  • Do we rip out Avaya and replace it with a new technology and solutions Infrastructure?

A modern Customer Experience (CX) is simply not straight-forward.

Contact Centers, once the primary touch point for how consumers experienced a company for sales and service, now must navigate a world in which they continue to be a critical, but no longer sole, interface. Contact Centers should be integrated into a broad set of business processes and customer experiences that can positively impact lifetime customer value. To this end, Contact Centers need to be designed and implemented for modern customer experiences:

  • Frictionless Customer Engagement, where the Enterprise can predict the reason for the customer engagement and offer the best services with intuitive understanding. From proactive engagement, where the Enterprise touches the customer when they need to be contacted, to Intelligent Greeting, where systems understand and suggest the best resolution points, to easy-to-understand language, companies must move beyond the tyranny of “touch-tone menu trees.”
  • Engage with Customer’s on their own terms, whether through conversational voice and chatbot interfaces, digital first, or through native interfaces of smartphone apps or web applications. Customers now have fully enabled digital and mobile lives where the “business of life” is mixed with the “life of everything else.” Leading Contact Centers new paradigm is to shape their services around customer’s availability and choices.
  • Be Human. Through traditional voice, video, or digital, it is critical to connect with an empathetic, customer-first, approach to resolve the customer’s need. Bringing the right person, at the right time, via the right channel and enabled with the right tools is the difference between a brand that builds lifetime customer value and one that simply “ships a product” and hopes for the best.

Ultimately, delivering the experiences customers are expecting is incredibly challenging.

5-Keys to Decision (identified)

Let’s get back to our inflection point.  Do we continue to invest in the Avaya Contact Center infrastructure/platform, or do we chart a new path, where we rip out Avaya and replace it with one of the pure cloud-centric platforms?

While a full Strategic Investment Analysis is recommended, our 5-Keys to Decision distil and summarize the most important evaluation topics:  Time, Money, Effort, Impact and Opportunity Cost.

Impact – These are the goals and drivers that serve as the measurement criteria for your decision.  These may include, new features or capabilities, improvements in service delivery / efficiency, reduction in operational costs, or a host of other business drivers.  

Time – How long will it take your organization to evaluate market solutions, select a platform, implement the new solution, complete solution training, and finally see tangible results.

Money – How much financial resources it will take to purchase the new solution, implement it, and train team members. Will already depreciated assets have to be repurchased to get back to parity?

Effort – How much organizational effort will a new solution take.  This is an expansive topic that includes, dedicated team members, part-time team members, management oversight and more.

Opportunity Cost – While often overlooked, Opportunity Cost can be the most important measurement.  Here we evaluate what other initiatives, projects, or investments we could have done with the resources (time, money, effort) used. Could the time spent building a solution have been better spent gaining competitive advantage by improving the existing solution? 

Better Business, New Paradigm

With our 5-Keys to Decision as guideposts, the grid below presents a topline summary of our question, Rip/Replace, or Extend Avaya with Strategic Solutions focused on the highest Impact with the shortest time to market:

One of the most critical factors for this evaluation and comparison, is that the Contact Center is very different from other business units like sales, marketing, and human resources.  In fact, a manufacturing line may be the closest corollary.  The difference lies in the deep integration between technology, processes, and the human workforce.  As such, when a Contact Center makes a foundational technology change, the impact is magnified exponentially.

To bring it full circle, Grid 1 shows a definitive direction.  Extending and optimizing your Avaya Contact Center infrastructure is the best business decision.  With Avaya as your base, adding new and enhanced capabilities is the right move.  You will save time, money, and effort, while achieving an entirely new realm of excellence in customer experience, productivity and more.  Plus, you can take all the resources you didn’t spend and apply them to another strategic priority!

The bottom line is that Avaya still serves as an exceptional Contact Center foundation.  It can be quickly evolved; just not in the traditional way you may be used to with Avaya. In the past, you looked to Avaya for new releases and solutions to improve your Contact Center.  Today, it’s about Avaya’s development ecosystem.  Through this ecosystem, called Avaya Experience Builders, Avaya Clients have access to a wide array of innovative, purpose-built, solutions, applications and components which are designed to work together to deliver the best experiences to your customers.

That’s where Swampfox comes into play. As a recent addition to the Avaya Experience Builders, (announced in our recent press release here) our ICX Platform been designed to lay seamlessly on top of your existing infrastructure and deliver enough impact to completely revolutionize your customer experience.

(R)Evolutionary Customer Experience

You do not have to wait to have the latest new capabilities and technologies to elevate your customer experience and drive a more efficient Contact Center.  Some in the industry are continuing to talk about evolution, but we believe it’s nothing short of a revolution!  A rebellion from the expectations of the past and the legacy models of efficiency and workflow.

So, let’s talk Revolution.  Everyone wants to revolutionize the ways they serve their customers. We like to view the Revolution into three simplified segments to drive home the current trends and areas of significant impact: Customer Experience, IT Operations and Business ROI.

Remember, Swampfox specializes in working with large, complex, multi-location Contact Center organizations. This experience lets us serve medium, large and enterprise customers with best practices and consulting that lets you delight your existing customers, while surprising your new customers with customer engagement like they have never had.

Here is a list of some the areas our ICX Platform is making a difference. Start improving your efficiency and customer experience today:

Customer Experience

  • Intuitively understand your customer needs in their own language, based on their behavior, and at the perfect moment of the customer journey to create a perfect “frictionless” experience
  • Drastically improve customer experience by delivering a customized and consistent brand experience across multiple channels
  • Enable and develop an omnichannel strategy that maintains context throughout the customer journey regardless of which channels they navigate to and from
  • Capture contact characteristics and context throughout the entire customer journey for reporting and business analytics
  • Tailor experiences and deliver personalized customer service based on customer attributes such as profile, demographic, needs, information on file, lifetime value and more
  • Understand customer expressed needs in their own voice through state-of-the-art AI and Machine learning technology from leading vendors like Google, Nuance, Amazon, Microsoft, and Lumenvox…
  • Predict and confirm the reasons for a customer contact — giving the answers your customers want without making them ask for it
  • Shift to the best channel to serve the customer based on demographics, needs, and availability of resources to create a perfect “aha” moment of having the right tool and communication in front of the customer when they need it…

IT Operations

  • Manage brand experience from centralized, easy-to-use web-based interface, complete with robust real-time reporting for both business users and IT
  • Manage multiple call center segments, personalized attributes, scheduling, and calendaring in a simple and unified user interface
  • Control Omnichannel strategy from one central location on top of unified or distinct queues and channel options
  • Develop Segmentation and Routing strategies based on business rules, real time KPIs/metrics, Customer attributes, and demographic information
  • Develop goals-based routing to send specific customer segments to outsourcers, inhouse agents, chat agents, callbacks, chatbots or self-service applications
  • Rollback or switch between entire configurations for branding or specific routing logic using managed snapshot configurations which can be easily switched between and/or rolled back

Business ROI

  • The ICX Platform sits seamlessly on top of your existing Contact Center infrastructure, extending your capabilities and maximizing available user experience, while thoroughly minimizing changes to operations
  • “Reuse” rather than “Rip and Replace” lets you see the benefits of modernizing your Contact Center twice as fast as rebuilding, retraining, and retesting… reclaiming opportunity costs through faster time to market
  • Add new lines of business, brands, self-service applications, call centers, and routing mechanics with minimal disruption through a layered “snapshot” approach
  • Quick ROI as enhanced intelligent routing, self-service containment, intelligent callbacks, and shift to chat or other digital channels reduces caller abandons and increases served customers while hitting service levels
  • Simplify management of Contact Center infrastructure and resources so Contact Center resources are used more efficiently, reducing staffing cost

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