We switched to a new phone system at our call center to create increase efficiency. There were some hurdles in the implementation but nothing went crazy wrong and it seemed to be operating fine.  After the system was in production we started noticing issues, and they kept piling up with the vendor doing absolutely nothing to fix them. About 2 months in it became so unusable we finally decided to switch back to the old system.

So I’m the type of person that when I script in our PBX I try to have fun with the back end naming conventions. You’ll see scripts named ‘Silk Road’ and other similar names playing off of the script’s purpose. Due to the mounting  frustration with our system when I started the task of re-scripting framework to switch back I opted for the name ‘NROM’, which stood for ‘New Reign of MX’ (MX being the old system we were switching back to). My director loved it, and when I jokingly said “Hail NROM” he reciprocated the phrase. We added it to our user presences and I figured that was that.

Eventually other employees, including agents, started getting wind of the conversion back to the old system and they were ecstatic! I started having questions about what NROM was and I gladly explained  and always got a “Hail NROM” or a “Long live NROM” returned gleefully with a sigh of utter relief. Who knew it was so easy to start a cult?? We finally got the green light to implement and myself, my director, and another engineer pulled a 14 hour bender scripting up the entire framework needed to switch back.

It may be worth something to mention that it usually take days, if not a week, to train an employee on this system, and our last implementation took months. Those of you who have played any part in any new software implementation know it never goes smoothly, especially when the people factor is added in, and exponentially so when you have a greater number of said employees. So of course we were there bright and early Monday morning to start the process. When people would come to us with issues on the current system we would just switch them over to the new (old?) system. They would eagerly agree and jump right on. The energy in the office that day was absurd!

Imagine our surprise when I look at the supervisor panel not 5 hours later and in utter disbelief see crickets in the old system, there was not a single employee logged into it. I spin my chair in the direction of my director and let him know I have no clue how, but every single employee has been switched over already. He kind of gives me a look of doubt, checks my screen, and his eyes slowly widen. After all we didn’t even put everyone in, they was so much user pain with the old system that people started switching themselves in willingly! We walked the floor to make sure it was functioning properly and called it lunch time!

Keep that in mind next time a sales rep walks in with a shiny new system and a big ROI to back it up, is that no matter how much efficiency gain it claims, if there is too much user pain it is money poorly spent, as a happy user can be much more efficient than any system.

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