You’re chomping at the bit. You’re a CX manager who just signed a huge contract with a CX software vendor. The deal includes Professional Services and you’re not quite sure what to expect. You already have a full plate and you realize that you’ll have to handle this CX project in addition to your existing responsibilities. It’s exciting, yet daunting.
The reality is that CX projects are oftentimes behemoths. They aren’t easy. There are many moving parts. And your forte may not even be project management. That’s why Professional Services teams exist in the CX world.
Let’s dive into how you can optimize your investment in Professional Services for a successful CX project.
Know your statement of work
The responsibilities of your CX vendor’s Professional Services team are documented in your Statement of Work. The sales process with your vendor probably had many twists and turns along the way. You must understand the contractual details like the back of your hand, including the fine print, inside out. If you’re unsure of any component in the contract, ask your Professional Services team about it. It is their job to provide you with clarity and a comprehensive change order.
It may be tempting to slap a redundant deadline on the project plan . Don’t do this. Resist the urge. Project plans are immensely important to the success of your CX project, but they have to be realistic. Otherwise, you and your Professional Services team will waste valuable time moving things around throughout the project. Can’t meet your redundant deadline? Don’t even think of shortening critical task time frames —such as testing activities— which may lead to a risky launch. Already communicated the redundant deadline to your leadership? Don’t bury your head in the sand just yet. Your Professional Services team should work with you to manage your leadership’s expectations.
Expect the unexpected
Being realistic also means taking into account the unexpected. For example, you may realize at the last minute that your Legal and Compliance team has a 6-week backlog, or that your IT team has a month-long freeze on any development work. Make sure you work with your business stakeholders to formulate a flexible and comprehensive timeline.
Collaborate Through Problems
With the unexpected comes problems. Professional Services teams are problem-solvers. They are experts in making sense of chaos and providing you with solutions. As a CX manager, you will inevitably come across issues throughout the project. When these issues arise, you should partner with your Professional Services team to arrive at a solution or a compromise. After all, their goal is for you to be successful.
Follow the Lead
Professional Services teams are very experienced in project, client, and task management. It may feel strange but you should give up the reins and follow their lead. At Alida, you will have a team of seasoned project managers and subject matter experts pushing your project to the finish line.
The most successful CX projects happen when CX managers treat Professional Services as an extension of their team. This means to align on the scope of work in the contract, jointly create a realistic project timeline, make room for unexpected situations, and work together through problems rather than being at odds with one another.