We want to help you get your mind around the process of moving your IVR to the cloud.For that matter, this isn’t just about moving from premise to cloud. Even if you’ve used a cloud IVR vendor for years, the prospect of switching to another vendor can easily conjure up images of a big project for your already-frenzied internal IT team.
Fortunately, reality is often a lot less scary than the unknown. With a proactive and responsible cloud vendor, the transition effort can be far less than you might think.
Our approach is a full scope, holistic delivery management that builds a solution aligned to your business goals and desired outcomes. For us, it’s about more than providing state-of-the-art IVR services. We also want seamless integration of those services with all the moving parts of the contact center, including several services at our client’s company.
Step 1: Big Picture Review
Our Client Services Team will create a comprehensive check list of activities so both parties have a clear picture of their responsibilities and activities needed for a smooth and successful transition. This may sound like project management 101, but the IVR touches many other systems in your company. We don’t want to transition in a vacuum and end up stumbling over resource-consuming surprises later in the process.
Step 2: Appoint a Project Manager
We ask our clients to appoint a project manager who has a good understanding of their internal processes. This helps us both identify all the competing dependencies for the project so we can deliver a full-scope delivery plan, complete with milestones necessary to meet all requirements and deliver on time. This project manager is typically the only person our clients assign to the project who stays assigned to the project from start to finish. For all but the largest IVR migrations, this person is part time- meaning they are able to carry other responsibilities while the IVR transition project is going on.
Of course the client’s project manager isn’t the only internal IT resource that will be involved in the project. Because the project manager has a broad understanding of the client’s processes and resources, they can bring other people in and out of the project as their expertise is required. And because we do the “big picture” plan up front, our client will have a very good understanding of which additional resources (beyond the project manager) will be required.
Step 3: Discovery
After a project manager is appointed, the next step is for the client’s IT manager to provide documentation of the customer’s internal systems. This discovery process, a document exchange and review of the host data system, allows us to determine the best way to integrate our cloud IVR platform with client data systems.
In most cases we can leverage an interface that has already been built. Most clients have either a website or an internal system that already accesses databases to look up customer information. We can build on the same interfaces to bring data into the IVR so we can minimize the time and effort needed to support the IVR transition. For us, this is the case for around 4 out of every 5 new clients.
For 1 out of every 5 new clients, we have to blaze new trails. There is no existing automation process or even a web site that we’re able to leverage. In these cases there’s more work to do, but we still don’t have to start from scratch.
Step 4: Development and Testing
While we do plenty of our own testing, it’s fair to say that most clients are very diligent with an IVR system that will be one of the highest volume interactions points with their customers… so most clients will want to do their own independent testing. This will consume client resources, and typically takes 2-3 days.
Step 5: Go Live!
When the system actually does go live, it’s a lot of fun to watch the new data streaming in that monitors call volume, goal completion rates, self-service utilization rates, and customer experience ratings. That’s when our Continuous Improvement team kicks in and closely monitors the early data to ensure the system is performing as anticipated. Once we are sure the system meets initial performance goals, our CI team begins to analyze mountains of caller and system data to identify opportunities to keep improving performance.
As for the total time and effort necessary to migrate your IVR to the cloud, like any project that can vary considerably depending on the scope.