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Don't Let It Go Unused: Getting the Most out of Your Existing Technology

It happens to the best of us. As we vet options, we become enamored by the bells and whistles and cool functionality that a technology product can deliver. Then, we go through implementation, roll out the new technology to our teams so we can achieve our primary goal for the new technology, yet somehow settle with using a just fraction of the functionality we were sold. 

Getting more out of your technology isn't just a matter of ROI, it's also a great way to stay innovative, develop new efficiencies, and stay ahead of the game. As a contact center leader, make a point to learn something new about your software each month. You certainly want to be selective and thoughtful about what you choose to implement - and make sure there is a clear outcome you'd like to achieve. Yes, it will require some effort on your part, but it will be well worth it!

Here are a few ways you can get more out of your existing tools:  

Be active in online user forums.

While it's great to peruse these, you'll get way more out of it when you dive in and participate. Post a challenge that you'd like to solve. Chances are, there are other users out there who have encountered something similar and can share ideas with you. Be sure to offer your suggestions to other users as well.

Pay attention to communication from your vendor. 

This includes reading, or at least skimming release notes and "what's new" emails. I also suggest following your vendor on social media to help you stay up to date without cluttering your inbox.

Join Erica this May 13-16 at ICMI Contact Center Expo. She'll be teaching session 202-- Change is Good: Leading a Culture of Change Resiliency. 

Attend webinars. 

If your vendor hosts webinars, attend them and walk away with some new ideas of how to get more out of your investment. Some webinars highlight what's new and others highlight valuable existing functionality that you haven't discovered.

Download the app.

Many SaaS vendors have an app, so consider what new efficiencies may be gained from using it. A support ticket app may make employees feel like they're always on call but could deliver major convenience in a supervisor's hands by allowing them to accomplish simple tasks quickly and easily.

Maximize apps and plugins. 

Many SaaS companies have marketplaces full of options that provide free or low-cost ways to enhance the use of their technology tools. I love productivity apps, as well as the apps that allow me to track time and valuable data on support tickets, but my most favorite apps are those that break down cross-functional silos by integrating data from tools like Slack, Jira, and Salesforce into our ticketing system. Again, be thoughtful about what you choose to implement because doing too much is a surefire way to be sure none of the apps are used.

Build reports. 

There are so many canned reports that come with most SaaS products, but they also offer quite a bit of flexibility for you to create your own custom reports. Start with the basics, but it's worth perusing through the recipe books and knowledgebase for your products to see what kind of reports you can create and consider what might make the most sense for you. Better reports will give more insights and help identify areas for improvement.

Automate as much as possible.

Automation and shortcuts will help develop new efficiencies and minimize the human element involved in processes. Thoughtfully build this into your processes so that your employees don't have to spend their precious time doing something that could be done for them. This will also ensure a more consistent experience for your customers. I find it helpful to document which tasks we've automated and review the automations and shortcuts with employees periodically so that they remember what's there. Take time to remove the automations and shortcuts that aren't well-used and replace them with things that would be more beneficial for your employees.

Get into the habit of consistently looking for ways to get more out of your existing technology; you'll soon remember all the bells and whistles that you just had to have when you purchased the product.

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