Contact Center Technology Project Delays Impact Cost and Customer Service
September 21, 2009
By Susan J. Campbell
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
), a company that focuses much of its industry activity on VoIP monitoring and improving the quality performance of the contact center, recently commissioned a survey by the Customer Experience Foundation
(CEF), showing that when contact center technology projects are delayed, the impact on costs and on business overall, is dramatic.
The survey shows that project delays when rolling out new technologies typically add more than seven months of additional project time and an extra 90 percent on top of the original budget.
At the same time, poor project practice can quadruple additional costs when compared with contact centers that apply best practices in their management of technology roll-outs.
"It is difficult to comprehend how these huge cost overruns and delays happen in at least 25% of these types of projects," commented Professor Morris Pentel, founder and chairman of the CEF, in a statement. "We believe this is the first time anyone has shown what a massive problem the industry has here. The study also makes it clear that the impact of delays is not only financial, but also affects the customer experience of the contact centre and the brand behind it."
Trevor Richer, contact centre marketing manager, Empirix said, "It is clear that building testing into the project plan shows attention to detail and a type of organizational commitment that will minimize delays and budget overruns, and avoid the project descending into 'fire-fighting'."
The survey identified certain classic mistakes, such as a lack of thorough testing, project reviews and senior executive sponsorship of the projects in question. For companies who avoided these errors, the impact of overruns was considerably less.
The highest ranked reasons for delays included stakeholder issues, poor planning, a lack of focus from senior management, lack of resources and supplier issues. While only 20.7 percent originally mentioned lack of testing, in-depth interviews revealed lack of testing to be a much bigger issue.
The survey also found that those companies who spent more on testing spent less on delays. Small testing budgets produced the most extra cost and additional time. At the same time, the impact of delays on customer interactions could result in lost sales opportunities and a poor reflection on business reputation and customer experience. In spite of these risks, none of the companies tracked these indirect business impacts.
The results of this study indicate that contact centers are missing the big picture when it comes to any type of technology project. Technology in the contact center can make a significant impact on customer service and overall operations. When this technology impedes the center’s ability to perform and serve the customer, all benefits are negated by poor performance.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi