One infamous wardrobe malfunction in the 2004 Super Bowl made the seven-second broadcast delay a household term. A seemingly negligible amount of time, seven seconds gave television executives the feeling of security, the knowledge that they could cut the video feed or bleep the audio before it went out to millions of viewers.
But imagine what life would be like if our vision or hearing was limited by that seven-second delay. Forget about catching your smartphone before it hits the floor; according to Isaac Newton, that screen’s already been cracked for six seconds and change. Walking around? Take one step, then wait for seven seconds before you can commit to a second. Driving would be left to stunt men and clairvoyants; the rest of us would be stranded. We need the constant stream of data our eyes and ears provide us to know what other cars are on the road and whether or not that light is red.
Humans are wired for real-time information processing. Our survival depends on it.
Despite our need for instant information, the systems we’ve created for ourselves often lack that capability. When asked, 67% of businesses see value in having real-time access to information, but only 8% say they have it. Less than one-fifth (18%) receive metrics on even the same day. Everyone else is in for a four-week wait. Suddenly, a seven-second delay doesn’t sound so bad.
If we intuitively grasp the necessity of real-time information, why do we accept the lack of it in our businesses?
Perhaps it’s because we’ve been conditioned to accept that it’s just not possible. But is that really the case?
Contact centers have been using real-time visibility for years. We know how many customers are in the queue right now. We can see in real-time which agents aren’t sticking to their schedules. We can even get instant predictions of what service levels will be later in the day.
Enhanced real-time visibility in your contact center can lead to better operational decisions and a better experience for your customers. What’s holding you back? Is your business one of those 33% that don’t yet understand the value of real-time visibility? Perhaps you’re limited by your contact center’s infrastructure capabilities?
Download our eBook to find out how operating your contact center in real-time could transform your business.
Many years ago, I got my first promotion for drawing a simple graph.
I had been asked a question: Given changes we were expecting at our airline, what should be our servicing strategy?
That question is the sort of question that you would ask a $500/hour consultant, and I certainly wasn’t one of those. But my boss knew that I had built a discrete-event simulation model of the contact center network, and he felt it was time to take the model out for a spin.
Many of you haven’t heard of discrete-event simulation modeling, but if your home is like […]
You can help drive a culture of inclusion and collaboration or you can let your team descend into constant reactive mode. If you ignore what your people are saying, this can create a siloed environment which can directly impact your customer service.
An inspiring moment for me was listening to what our customer Ambit Energy, a top electricity and gas provider, has accomplished by listening to its employees and turning those insights into action.
Ambit reached out to its employees for ways to improve, and then followed through, making changes to its processes. CRM system improvements decreased an average call […]
One of my more interesting jobs was as a manager of a credit card collections analytics group. We were tasked to produce all sorts of cool analytics, from when to schedule collectors to how to segment the delinquent customers to how to manage the collections dialer. It was fun.
Being someone who hadn’t grown up in collections, I was able to ask all sorts of stupid questions — to challenge the “traditional” way of operating. And we found some cool “traditions” that should be re-evaluated. One of the more nuanced piece of analyses we performed was to determine the priority […]
With today’s technology, feeding customers’ multi-channel expectations isn’t about enabling many channels of communication; the struggle lies in managing the people, processes, and technology that deliver the experience to your customers.
If you boil it down to its simplest terms, the customer sees and experiences you as one entity. They do not think of your marketing team or your customer service department; they think Disney, Apple, Google, Comcast, and Verizon. Every interaction with every employee, product, or service combines to create that customer’s “experience.”
Whether you define the experience you will deliver or not, customers will have expectations. If you […]
As first-time parents, my husband and I try to be wise in our toy purchases. (Experienced parents: please stop laughing.) But it’s become clear that most toys aren’t designed with both parents and toddlers in mind; most seem to fall into one of several categories. As I began to define the different categories of toys in my head after cleaning up a particularly rowdy play session, I realized they looked surprisingly similar to the enterprise collaboration and communication marketplace (but more on that soon):
Best of Breed – This toy does one thing well, but that’s it. You can’t expand […]
Every contact center needs a Workforce Management (WFM) team. Seriously, you do! I spend a lot of time evangelizing why WFM planning is so important when creating a consistently performing operation. Because I have seen this play out many times in my job as a consultant, I’m highly confident that WFM practices can help any business improve. After all, isn’t it better to be prepared than surprised?
One of the best predictors of future behavior is past behavior. WFM software allows us to gather data from the past so we’re able to prepare for the future. Learning from the past […]
The topic of “patient engagement” is very hot in the healthcare industry right now. The idea of transforming customer experience has taken almost every industry by storm, and the healthcare customer experience is no exception. What is it that sets certain providers’ customer service experiences apart from others?
In a recent webinar, we teamed up with CareCentrix, a leading provider of at-home health solutions, to help outline some key initiatives for healthcare providers. Here are three tips they shared:
Know the patient. Many providers try and implement patient service strategies based on what THEIR goals and initiatives are. When the […]
Contact Centers seem to be turning some of their focus away from the “old school” metrics of service level achievement – e.g. percent of calls answered in x seconds, average speed of answer and average talk time. Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying these goals are not on company’s radar. I am suggesting that resolution on the first try or “one and done,” might be becoming more important than standard SLAs.
Think about it. When I call my bank, doctor, etc., I don’t care as much about how long I have to wait, but I do care […]
Looking at your service experience from the customer’s point of view lets you balance your contact channels, improving navigation from SMS to Web to speaking with a live agent via chat or phone. What happens when you don’t create a good omnichannel experience for customers? Let me share a recent experience I had to paint a clear picture.
I recently tried to make a purchase online, and while I found what I wanted, I wasn’t sure if it would really work for me. Their site offered web chat, so I initiated a chat session to get some additional information. The […]