Why you need guardrails for your contact center
Formula one driving has a few things in common with a call center. Leading racers have stated “to go fast, you first have to go smooth”. There are important elements to racing that apply to running a contact center. Looking ahead, understanding the changes in the road, maintaining focus, staying ahead of your competition, and making sure your support team is the best to name just a few.
In addition, there’s something about cars and music. Numerous Top 10 hits have been written about the driving experience. A quick internet search located a list of “118 songs about cars”! What’s behind this obsession? For thousands of years, mankind found ways of transporting themselves for survival. The ability to move has always impacted the way humans interacted with each other. Each new invention improved the interaction and created new opportunities that brought economic, social and recreational change.
Or, as Cisco says, each innovation “impacts how we work, play, live and learn”.
With positive comes the negative
I believe the automobile is one of our greatest inventions. It has brought more positive and (some) negative effects than any other invention throughout history. Cars have changed the way people live all over the world. They’ve changed our cities, our buildings, our roads, and affected all aspects of society such as family life, the economy, and even the environment.
However, road crashes are a major cause of death and it has been predicted that traffic fatalities will be the sixth leading cause of death worldwide and the second leading cause of death in developing countries by the year 2020. Speed is one of the elements that most contributes to road fatality, and while most agree that speeding is a punishable behavior, most drivers find it hard to drive at posted speed limits and lower speeds.
Addicted to experience
Ever noticed that everyone is doing 80 MPH on the highway these days? Motorized speeding is a premeditated behavior where drivers neglect to self-enforce and willingly lower their guard to known triggers or situations. While driving, expectations are often reset and a new normal appears where there is acceptance of the risk with some rationalization of the new experience regardless of the impact or result.
Are boundaries useful?
Traffic codes were established to govern the orderly operation in the public arena regulating who, what and how ownership, safety and violations would be administered. While the rules for compliance were defined, the response to driver behavior forced new measures that created safety zones to keep drivers out of the danger zones. Guardrails, seat belts, car seats, and even helmets are examples of human and physical boundaries that control us from the full impact of a dangerous event.
So where are the boundaries in a contact center?
The digital and AI revolution is underway and on track to bring extensive changes to all aspects of business, especially the contact center. As with the automobile, speed for competitive advantage using big data and customer behavioral insights are used to improve decisions. While the corporate guidelines provide the business ethics and code of conduct, will the new insights elevate the “in the moment” experience where risk and reward rationalization lead to undesired outcomes? Where are the safety zones that will keep a business out of the danger zone?
Did we just do that?
Contact centers are the execution point for business outcomes and represent the frontline of boundary interaction. An AI enabled interaction can deliver uncommon knowledge to agents and prepare customer’s expectations allowing for real-time interactions to be delivered with a longer-term focus.
So let’s circle back to race car driving, recalling “to go fast you first have to go smooth”. Establishing boundaries for drivers keeps them focused and safe. For agents and customers, boundaries help deliver better decisions which lead to fewer regrets and happier results.
What should you do next? Take every opportunity to convert information into knowledge first, and never have to say, “Did we just do that?” in the all-important Moment of Truth called the contact center interaction. Guardrails are for more than just the highway!
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