20 Steps for building your customer care center

21, February 2017

The digital age has irreversibly transformed the way customers connect with enterprises. Disruptive innovations have empowered customers more than ever before, placing them on the driver’s seat. As a result, customers have grown a zero tolerance for a mediocre Customer Experience (CX). As enterprises look to capitalize on digital business opportunities, contact centers need to transform themselves into customer care centers.

An estimated $41 billion is lost by US companies each year following a bad customer experience. 86% of customers simply walk away, never to come back, if the customer experience is below their expectations.*

It is critical that enterprises understand why CX failures happen before they start building customer care centers.

Why do CX failures happen?

Most CX failures can be attributed to systems and programs that were designed without keeping the customer’s real need in mind. In most cases, there would also be a lack of congruence between business and IT strategy. An enterprise can build a state-of-the-art contact center, but this rift can result in an expensive infrastructure that doesn’t deliver a good customer experience. CX failures also occur when service strategy is not aligned to business objects.

At Servion, we believe customer care centers cannot be built just by acquiring ready-made components from the market. Rather than considering it as an IT project, enterprises need to take a structured approach towards building their customer care centers. Servion leverages its over two decades of experience in the Customer Experience domain, to recommend a 20 step process to build your customer care center.

20 steps to building a customer care center:

Servion has developed a 20 step process to help the enterprise to tackle their CX challenges and build customer care centers of the future. This could serve as a standard methodology towards designing, procuring and implementing customer care center with UC and CC systems.

To design an effective customer care center, enterprises need to put business first and technology next. The 20 steps are divided into four different phases and the starting point is the Assessment phase.Phases to build contact center


Step 1: Brand Assessment

In this step, Servion will assess if an enterprise’s customer experience strategy is aligned with the brand promise. Assessments are done through personal interviews with senior management team, department heads and a cross-section of employees to ascertain their brand perception.

Step 2: Business Assessment

In this step, Servion will ascertain the Unified Communication (UC) and Contact Center (CC) needs of the different business units and departments. First, the functioning of each unit is analyzed; it is then followed up with personal interviews of the department head to comprehend their communications and customer interaction methods and processes.

Step 3: Unified Communications Assessment

UC assessment involves the evaluation of current telephony, messaging, conferencing, instant messaging, presence collaboration, mobility support, and cloud interoperability. Interviews are conducted with business and technology teams to identify functional and technical requirements.

Step 4: Contact Center Assessment

This step assesses the current channels of customer interaction in terms of people, process, and technology. Functionality and technology required to deliver inbound services, outbound services, and digital services are assessed. Need for adjuncts such as quality recording, workforce management, wallboard, integration, MIS and analytics is discovered through a collaborative process.

Step 5: Align CX with Vision and Mission

Conclusions and findings from the four assessment viz., brand, business, UC and CC assessments are put together in a detailed report. This report is then used to check the alignment of the CX strategy with their enterprise vision and mission. Strategy workshops with senior management are steered to bring alignment between the two.

Step 6: Services and Access Strategy

The objective of this step is to translate the enterprise’s CX vision, mission, and strategy into services and access methods. A functional and technology panel is identified for effective decision making.

Assessment and design


Step 7: Functional Design

The objective of this step is to arrive at a functional design for UC and CC systems. Putting together industry best practices, two decades of industry knowledge and results from Phase One, functionality and features required to deliver specific services are identified. At the end of this module, a detailed functional design for UC and CC systems is proposed.

Step 8: Technology Design

Technology architecture and design specification of each component of UC and CC systems are arrived at during this module. In-depth technical details and capacity for each of the identified components, for the chosen services, needed from UC and CC systems are developed in partnership with the technology panel.

Step 9: Facility Design

Based on Servion’s unparalleled domain and industry, a detailed facility design is proposed in this step. The design is scrutinized by empaneled consultants and the final design proposal is submitted to the management for review.

Step 10: Financial Design

A detailed financial and technology investment design that fit the needs of the enterprise is proposed for budgeting. Capex and Opex based options are arrived at with projections for the next three years.


Step 11: Project Phasing

A fit-to-need phase wise project plan is arrived at based on the overall scope and budgets. Functional and departmental heads are brought together in a collaborative process with the project team to identify these phases.

Step 12: RFP Creation

The objective of this module is to help the enterprise create their RFP and evaluate responses from multiple vendors. Through a joint process, a RFP is created keeping in mind a) functional b) technical c) operational and d) commercial requirements in mind. Specific requirements and conditions for acceptance are also clearly identified. This module also includes support to clarify queries from vendors.

Step 13: Technology Selection

The objective of this step is to assist the enterprise to select the most suited technology based on the defined criteria. Final scores for each vendor is arrived using weighted averages. Evaluation workshops and demos are prearranged to expedite the evaluation process. UC technology options are typically evaluated based on both functional requirement and technology requirements. CC technology options are typically evaluated for specific needs such as inbound, outbound, and digital and adjuncts.

vendor and technology selection process

Step 14: Vendor Selection

Following the technology selection, the vendor selection step supports enterprises to the most suited vendor based on defined criteria. Servion supports in the identification of the criteria, allocation weightages for each criteria, facilitation of vendor workshops, evaluation of vendors and calculation of the final scores. Vendors are typically evaluated based on commercial models, professional services capabilities and market credibility.

Step 15: Procurement Assistance

Based on an enterprise’s procurement policy, Servion offers advisory services on negotiation and contracts. What-if scenarios are developed and a multi-modal approach is taken to evaluate vendor responses.

Step 16: User Acceptance Testing

This step helps an enterprise to create functional and technology test case scenarios and execute tests with sample data. Servion offers a process guidance and support for both UC and CC testing.


Step 17: Vendor Management

Servion offers support in the creation of the vendor management process. Servion offers support in terms of vendor coordination, implementation plan review, implementation audit and final approvals for launch.

Step 18: Templates for operation

This step supports the smooth transition to the new systems. Servion works with the functional and department heads to ensure the new system is configured to their requirements and relevant MIS reports are generated.

Step 19: Training

To ensure effective utilization of the new system, Servion supports in identifying training needs and collaborates with the vendor to ensure the right training is delivered.

Step 20: Technical Audit

Servion offers an implementation audit across usability, reliability, performance and stability. At the end of the audit, a detailed report is submitted outlining areas working well and those that need improvement. The report also contains user and customer feedback.

If you are looking for more information on these 20 steps, feel free to contact us.

*Sources: 1) New Voice media 2) Harris Interactive/ RightNow