Last update: 02 Jun, 2021
Should companies invest in a complete solution or in specialised tools for each area of application? Which strategy is right for the future and growth?
Every customer service manager knows the question of digitalisation: "best of breed" or "all from one source"? The fancy single solution for email processing is quickly up and running. Why board a bulky battleship when you can have the nimble single-handed sailor? So let's take off into the world where wishes come true!
If companies had to decide which solutions they would prefer to use for their customer service, for example for the processing of letters - yes, that still exists - for the processing of calls or the automated answering of chat requests, they would probably always look for the best solution in each case. Specialists are always looking for something special, something that takes into account all eventualities in exactly this area, you know, there are special cases, rare individual cases, highly interesting and it's great how that works. Such best-of-breed solutions fit the handling of the specialist like a fine leather glove, a great feeling. Equipped like this, everything seems easy, the processing runs "like clockwork". Right up to the point where processes from completely different areas suddenly have to be taken into account. Sometimes it's enough when a customer calls and wants to know why the answers to his previous email request from the day before and from the chat two hours ago contradict each other. Oops, what exactly was that about again? The comfortable leather glove obviously has holes.
In modern, future-oriented companies, processes increasingly interlock, data and information from one system are also useful for another. The traditionally strict separation of company departments has long since given way to an integrated, technology-driven overall concept in which everything is linked to everything else. The contact centre is practically growing into all departments, everyone is now in dialogue with customers and interested parties, because this is exactly how all departments earn their money. And especially in the most direct customer contact, information from the other existing data sources can hardly be neglected. And it certainly shouldn't be done without!
The multitude of fancy best-of-breed solutions then suddenly looks more like a pretty patchwork quilt - and anyone who has ever tried to integrate such patches with each other knows how much time, money and effort that costs. And even then it doesn't always work out.
Therefore, implementing a comprehensive software suite makes perfect sense, because all channels, all processes are standardised, centralised and kept up-to-date. But what about the costs? And won't it all be too much? That exactly depends on the provider! Flexibility is the magic word: you don't have to buy everything at once, on the contrary, you don't have to buy at all, but can use only what you need. And you don't have to buy everything at once either - flexible generalists offer you individual solutions - these grow with you and can be expanded as needed, so that the "big complete solution" only emerges slowly, perhaps over years - and only when it is needed. If new technologies or contact channels are added, the possibilities expand without any trouble. On the other hand, anything that is no longer needed can be dropped.
This piecemeal upgrade and adaptation is without financial risks, always remains up to date and virtually integrates itself. So again the question: Why invest in a suite? It's simple: because technology is constantly giving birth to new things! Because every business wants to grow! Because a single solution can seldom stand alone, but will lead to further digitisation needs! Because integration problems give rise to grey hairs. And because generalists also have individual solutions up their sleeves. But not the other way round!
Author: Rainer Holler