Bridging the Communication Gap Between Contact Centers and IT
by Donna Fluss, DMG Consulting
This column may tick off some readers, and I apologize to anyone who might be offended. But if this column drives change and improves understanding between contact center managers and their IT counterparts, then it’s achieved its goal. The goal is to improve communication between these two vital and inter-dependent organizations.
I am an IT person; the fact is that I live and breathe technology, particularly contact center solutions. I am also a contact center and enterprise executive – I spent years building, managing, consolidating and consulting with contact centers. (I’ve also run other operating groups.) What’s important is that I speak both dialects – contact center and IT – and for the record, they are very different.
Here are some good examples of how the language of these departments differs. These examples show why there is a communication gap. Clearly, it’s not that IT is out to get the contact center or simply doesn’t care; it’s that they really don’t understand.
There is a fundamental issue that explains these divergent perspectives – the goals of the two departments are fundamentally different. The contact center’s top priorities are to improve productivity and keep costs down, to maintain service quality and provide an outstanding customer experience. IT ‘s top goals are to keep systems up and running, keep costs and complexity down through standardization and simplification, and to use technology to provide a strategic advantage.
Here’s the bottom line - contact centers operate in real time with customers breathing down their necks. IT operates behind the scenes and does not always appreciate the pressure that goes along with being the voice of the enterprise to customers. IT needs to get with the program, and the contact center needs to understand that everything cannot be done yesterday, particularly in the world of Internet Protocol where there are vast interdependencies.
For the first time, contact center managers have some real leverage. If your internal IT group won’t pick up their pace, there are many cloud-based contact center infrastructure vendors who will. Not all contact centers want to use hosted infrastructure, but all want an IT group that speaks their language and moves quickly when business needs justify it.
DMG Consulting LLC (www.dmgconsult.com) specializes in customer-focused business strategy, operations, and technology for contact centers. DMG helps end users build differentiated contact centers by increasing operational efficiency, providing outstanding customer experiences, enhancing loyalty, and increasing sales and profits.