By: David Currier On: July 08, 2014 In: Interactive Intelligence Comments: 0

Do you love fireworks? I certainly do! This Independence Day weekend, I had a chance to make things blow up – and that always makes me happy!

Looking through the pictures this morning, I realized that our fun had excellent parallels to decisions you may be facing in your contact center.

So you’re using the Customer Interaction Center by Interactive Intelligence to dynamically route multiple interaction types, pop alerts, interface with your CRM system, etc. And now you want to add a snazzy new feature likeInteraction Process Automation (IPA) to streamline your business operations or Interaction Analyzer to perform real-time speech analytics and keyword recognition.

Chris and I decided to do something similar. We added rockets to my kids’ cars!

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It sounded great – add a powerful new feature to an already useful system. But in the midst of our excitement, we failed to remember a few key factors that some organizations tend to overlook as well::

  • We basically ignored the concerns of the business unit (my kids). They were terribly concerned that we were going to blow up their cars. We acknowledged the possibility, but promised to buy new ones if that happened.
  • We also ignored our own technical knowledge for the sake of trying something new and exciting. There was a good chance that we may damage the cars, that the rockets might be more or less powerful than we estimated, or that we wouldn’t light them at the right time for a successful launch.
  • We did, at least, make sure everyone was at a safe distance.

It was a spectacular failure and, even with several attempts, the cars didn’t really move or spun unpredictably.

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So what can you do to be more successful than we were? Here are 3 lessons learned:

Lesson 1

Work closely with the business units that will be affected by adding a new feature or changing an existing one. Find out what they need to be able to do to be successful. Find out whether they like the changes you are planning. Demonstrate how proposed changes will make their jobs easier, more accurate, or more effective.

Examples: Show how keyword spotting may help a supervisor “rescue” a customer support call that is deteriorating. Or find out from business users where possible errors occur in an existing process and show how automating that process will help to eliminate those errors.

Lesson 2

Work closely with technical and business experts (vendors, VARs, business consultants, etc.) who have been involved in simlar changes and can provide valuable insight and suggestions to make your implementation a success. What challenges do they forsee in what you are planning? What tips do they have for what has worked well in the past? What other systems may be affected that may have been overlooked?

Examples: Analysis of call recordings may show that customers use different key phrases that should be spotted than you thought were being used. Or investigation of an existing process may show that the process is obsolete and should not exist at all.

Lesson 3

Plan for success, but prepare for failure. Any change brings a level of risk. Plan to succeed, but also prepare for possible failure scenarios. What will you do if the new feature or feature change doesn’t work as planned? What will you do if something seemingly unrelated breaks when the change is implemented? How will you measure success?

Examples: If Interaction Analyzer is enabled and calls are adversely affected in some way, what will you do? Or what metrics will you use to compare the efficiency of a process both before and after automation.

Thankfully, our experiment ended well without serious damage to the cars or people! If at first, you don’t succeed…

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