Greg DeVore

By: Greg DeVore on July 22nd, 2020

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What would cause a ScreenSteps implementation to fail at my contact center?


frustrated young business man working on laptop computer at office

Before deciding to fully commit to ScreenSteps in their contact center, many trainers and directors want to know what could cause their implementation to fail? They have seen the case studies, heard the stories of amazing improvements other contact centers have achieved, and are excited about the potential! But, they are also scared that their ScreenSteps implementation won’t see the same kind of results.

And it’s true––not all ScreenSteps users see those kinds of results for one reason or another. So in this article, I will share why some ScreenSteps implementations fail so that you can know how to prepare for a successful implementation when you’re planning to roll ScreenSteps out in your company.

What does success look like?

We can't define failure until we have defined what success looks like. When you have successfully implemented ScreenSteps, the following will be true at your call center:

  1. Training new employees will be a low-stress experience for everyone.
  2. Agents will feel confident that they know how to handle 90% of all situations.
  3. Trainers and directors will no longer have to answer the same questions over and over again, or constantly correct mistakes that agents are making. 
  4. Changes in policies and procedures will be communicated quickly without lengthy training sessions.

What does failure look like?

In a failed implementation, the ScreenSteps knowledge base will exist and have some good information in it, but agents don’t rely on it every day. And while trainers see some improvement, they are still answering a lot of questions because agents are still unsure of how to handle complicated procedures.

When you look at the usage metrics, very few agents are logging in and looking at ScreenSteps articles. Call handle times are still up, sticky notes and emails are still the #1 way agents get information, and training still requires a lot of memorization.

What are some causes of a failed implementation?

Here are a few things that can cause your implementation to fail.

Adding ScreenSteps to your contact center but not changing your training process

If all you do is add ScreenSteps to your contact center, but you never change the way you approach your training, then you will fail to achieve significant improvements in your contact center metrics. The ScreenSteps knowledge base needs to be integrated into the training process so that you are essentially teaching your agents how to use ScreenSteps to handle any call that comes up instead of trying to get them to memorize information that they will need to handle any situation they might encounter. 

You will only decrease training time if you are teaching your agents to rely on ScreenSteps.

Not formatting your articles for "speed"

Your agents need to find the article they need quickly and then be able to read and apply it while they are still on the phone. In order to do that the articles need to be formatted in a way that an agent can scan it quickly and be guided in what to do. 

In other words, you may have to change how you write and format your articles. This is especially true for technical writers who are used to writing user guides and including a lot of details and explanations. If you have long paragraphs of text and don’t take advantage of the authoring features in ScreenSteps (e.g. images, workflows, inline links, foldable sections) then your agents will struggle to apply the information quickly and will likely skip over crucial steps.

Not using ScreenSteps "on the floor"

If you just use ScreenSteps during training, and don’t push your agents to access it on almost every call, then you will also fail to achieve the breakthrough improvements you are looking for. 

The whole point of using ScreenSteps is to prevent agents from having to memorize what to do before they can successfully resolve calls on their own. 

The idea is to show agents how to use ScreenSteps during training so that your agents know how to use it during live calls. You actually want agents to rely on using ScreenSteps so they can always know what to do, even when a process is unfamiliar or has changed. 

If you only use ScreenSteps during training then your agents will have to memorize information, and once a memorized process changes, they will then have the wrong thing memorized.

Taking too long to launch by focusing on perfection instead of progress

This is probably the biggest mistake we see. Contact centers want to have every possible scenario documented before launching. This leads to lengthy deployments and delayed results. The problem is that they feel that everything needs to be perfect before they launch their ScreenSteps knowledge base. 

But if you instead take your top 10 call scenarios, put them in ScreenSteps, and then launch it for your agents, you will immediately see a significant improvement. Your agents will save time and so will you. And with that time you can then document the next 10, and then the next 10. 

You will immediately see improvements and become more productive instead of waiting months for everything to be "perfect".

Not having someone who "owns" the ScreenSteps documentation

If you don't have one or more individuals who are responsible for empowering your agents to succeed by creating clear and usable guides in ScreenSteps, then your project will most likely languish. You need to have one or more people whose primary job is to make all of your agents more productive, and ScreenSteps will be the primary tool they use to accomplish that.

If you don't have that person or people then you should probably wait to implement ScreenSteps.

How can you avoid a failed implementation?

Just do the following:

  1. Commit to the principle of progress over perfection. Tackle your top 10 scenarios and then launch and improve them as you get feedback. Keep adding more on a weekly basis.
  2. Designate one or more people to "own" the ScreenSteps guides.
  3. Use our coaching services to get feedback on the formatting of your articles. Once you understand how to apply the ScreenSteps formatting tools you will find it very easy to create guides that are easy to follow while someone is on the phone.
  4. Use our coaching services to help you incorporate ScreenSteps into your training process and host your first Zero Memorization Training.

Hopefully, this article has answered some of your concerns and you now know what issues to avoid. If you have any questions or concerns, just speak to a member of our team. We are happy to help you make and implement a plan that will make sure your implementation is a success.

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About Greg DeVore

CEO of ScreenSteps