West Corporation

Posted on July 23, 2013 by West Corporation 



Growing a New Automated Customer Care Solution Is Like Growing a Healthy Lawn

Warm weather is here to stay, and our focus is on household outdoor projects. Perhaps you are considering replacing your lawn with new sod to have the lush, green grass you have always wanted. While the long-term benefit of having the lawn everyone in your neighborhood envies is satisfying, it will take some patience in the short-term, as well as ongoing care and feeding.

This is no different than when organizations decide to implement new automated contact solutions for their customers. It takes planning to start off on the right foot, patience not to change direction too quickly and ongoing maintenance to evolve the customer experience.

Lay the Sod
Like new sod, you want to implement a new automated customer contact solution with a debris-free, level environment when laying the foundation. The last thing you need is to take short-cuts and introduce known holes and mounds to a new customer experience. To lay the foundation, you need to plan properly:


  • Identify business requirements and goals; including key performance indicator (KPI) targets
  • Design initial user interface with an experienced team who can recommend best practices


  • Conduct usability tests with existing customers and other customers within the industry

Be Patient and Let It Take Hold
Patience, patience, patience. You need to avoid cutting the new grass too quickly. New sod requires time to grow and establish strong roots, which means there will be initial periods of uneven, long grass.

While it is tempting for organizations to “cut” or “turn the dials” for their newly implemented automated customer contact solutions the moment feedback begins rolling in, it is important to remain patient. Both internal and external customers need time to adapt to new experiences implemented and allow it to soak prior to introducing additional changes.

The reality is that this is easier said than done. To allow flexibility during the “rooting” process, there is a method organizations can employ — a champion vs. challenger strategy:

  • Select a subset of customers (5 to 15 percent of customer contacts) to trial the new feature or application.
  • Roll it out for the selected segment of customers (the challenger) for 30 to 60 days while your other customers continue with the current treatment (the champion).
    • Analyze the customer experiences of champions vs. challengers, leveraging internal and external customer feedback channels and KPI results.
  • Refine and roll out to the challenger segment for 30 additional days.
  • Analyze and decide whether to roll out to entire customer base.

Ongoing Maintenance
Once the sod begins to grow a strong root foundation, it is time to manicure the grass, cutting it to the desired length and fertilizing to achieve a lush green lawn. As weather changes, your lawn routine is also likely to change to handle the conditions.

In order for an organization’s business objectives and quality of customer experience to continue to evolve to meet expectations, ongoing care and feeding of their automated contact center solutions are required to ensure continuous improvements in self-care and to set strategy for high-quality, user-centered design. Six fundamental steps for continuous improvement should be considered when evaluating and evolving these solutions:

  1. Understand the current solution.
  2. Create the baseline performance metrics.
  3. Assess and establish improvement opportunities.
  4. Complete the business impact analysis.
  5. Define the opportunity roadmap.
  6. Deploy enhancements.

Laying a solid foundation, having some patience, and performing ongoing care and feeding are keys to growing a great lawn — and a great customer experience.

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