In a typical pre DevOps scenario, even simple configurations would require management sign-offs and endless dialogue between operations and development teams. Thanks to advances in automated testing, however, repeatable processes become possible with minimal disturbance to the organization and provide an optimized way of collaborating between a call center's system management and improvement teams.
The DevOps model creates a single entity through which developers and operations managers can communicate and work together. This, in turn, facilitates a learning process between both parties, ensuring that the two no longer operate in silos. The positive effects of this approach will be reflected in the way your call center develops and integrates new, evolved methodologies that not only exceed the customer's service expectations but also create a more forward-thinking culture for your organization. As a result, you will enable innovation, improve working models between teams, and align efforts from the two crucial contributors to your call center's functionality: development and operations.
What immediate changes can you expect when you implement a DevOps model? For one, a lot of the role ambiguity and lack of accountability disappears as the teams gain more insight into each other's contributions towards the greater good of the business. Actions become measurable, and improved visibility powers faster results.
If you'd like a better understanding of what the implementation of a DevOps model could do for your call center, then this article is for you. We delve into the challenges that naturally confront businesses when deciding to reconfigure their processes, as well as the long term benefits from having more closely aligned development and operations teams.
- Goal alignment: While it may appear that both your development and operations teams are working towards the greater good of the business, there may be inconsistencies in the targets each of these departments sets and how they go about achieving them. When one understands the processes of the other, it makes workload management easier and expectations reasonable.
- Improved organizational culture: When your teams integrate, it creates a better atmosphere and working environment for all concerned. Continuous improvement and progress through technological innovation are at the heart of the DevOps model. When your company supports this initiative, the spotlight shifts from stressing about the completion of siloed projects, to a focus on more collaborative procedures that offer perpetual improvements.
- Gain a competitive edge: Whether your call center is making a fresh entry into the market or you're a veteran in your industry, it's never too early to step up your game. By introducing a DevOps methodology into your organization, you suddenly become more agile and responsive to changes. Where other businesses encounter bottlenecks that prevent the quick resolution of system setbacks, you can quickly improve your scripts, automate your testing, and deploy solutions faster.
- Deliver superior customer experience: Contacting a brand through a call center was the preferred method of communication for 74% of surveyed individuals. Although this is a positive figure, it doesn't actually correlate with the public's perception of call centers. 34% experienced frustration with the call centers automated telephone system and stated that having to repeat their issue was a significant source of irritation. With a DevOps methodology, you can add real value to your customer experience (CX) by recognizing failures in the customer journey early on, before agitation and frustration builds up. You can also leverage automation to ensure that your network is optimized at all times, and the CX you deliver is performing as expected.
- Increased performance across CX delivery environments: When working in silos across development, QA, staging, and deployment, you’re likely to have experienced many frustrations. From bugs caused by different environment configurations to miscommunication/missing information from different team working processes. DevOps creates a consistent approach across the whole environment, and introducing tools that support at each stage will see an increase in performance and uptime.
Are there cons?
As with all new things, change and integration will require the commitment of all stakeholders within your business, but the benefits outweigh the effort of overcoming the obstacles. Keeping informed and prepared will help you combat some of the challenges that occur during the onboarding phase of a DevOps methodology. Here are some possible hurdles you may have to overcome:
- A poorly devised implementation of DevOps could cause temporary downtime across your systems or create issues that may aggravate existing customers. Carefully planning your implementation strategy and ensuring that you have the necessary backup support in the event of any problems cropping up will minimize any apprehensions that your team has about introducing the new model.
- DevOps requires a cultural mindset shift, but you may find that some people are reluctant to change how they work. It is essential to get team buy-in, and this is where a champion is key to DevOps success. This individual (or team) should be understanding of the reasons why colleagues may be reluctant to embrace the move and offer experiential or fact-based evidence that demonstrates the benefits of a DevOps implementation. This will help to reassure and onboard individuals who may require a little more convincing.
Fundamentally, the introduction of a DevOps model into a call center puts customer experience as the focal point of everyone's efforts, and it does so as a byproduct of improved inter-departmental processes. This upgrade in performance is facilitated by the introduction of automated systems and cloud-based platforms that enhance visibility and communication between your dev and ops teams.
Adopting a DevOps methodology is a gradual process; it requires aligning incentives, gaining management buy-in and collaboration. We have put together the Practical Guide to Implementing DevOps in Your Call Center, which talks through the processes for a smooth transition to help support you on your journey.