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American rock band Boston’s 1976 debut album still holds the record for highest-selling debut album ever with 17 million copies sold. What most people don’t know is that the record was years in the making, and almost all instruments were recorded by a single individual – founder and leader, Tom Scholz – who did the project on the side while holding his day job as an engineer at Polaroid. The record was rejected by a number of record companies before Epic wisely saw its potential. The record’s opening song, “More than a Feeling”, was voted as one of the 500 greatest songs of all time. So, are contact centers more than a feeling?
Athletes often refer to a moment in time, when everything comes together and the best outcomes appear to happen. Buzzwords are often used, “In the Zone”, “Hot Hands”, especially in Basketball and Golf, where an athlete is performing above expectations. Those watching naturally accept and carry forward, recapping the superficial notion that what they see is real and that one good shot or putt was the domino to a series of successes. While there is no quantitative evidence that one made basket or putt begets another, it is a widespread belief that athletes definitely can get into a rhythm.
When we think of rhythm, music immediately comes to mind. However, besides music, there are many places where we find and can identify a repeatable pattern, in dance, speech, painting, and writing, all reflecting a cadence, movement and/or sound. In each case, a thought, an insight is repeated creating a predictable pattern that emerges as a reality of how we speak, behave, and move. We inherently perfect the pattern and it then creates a unique and differentiated expression of who, what and how others identify us.
Certain meaningful experiences stand out in our memory and can have an extraordinary impact on our lives. These moments often can change our attitudes and beliefs on how we see the world and live our lives.
Most people like to feel good and experience positive emotions. While not always explainable – our emotions change our attitude and play a significant role in our everyday life. Emotions broaden our urge to engage, expand our focus to learn, expand our knowledge, skills and relationships. In contrast, experiences that cause negative emotions narrow our focus and often lead to anxious moments that frame strong and lasting attitudes.
This is equally as true in business, as it is in our personal lives. As an example, think about the moments and interactions you’ve had as a consumer when dealing with a business. The ecosystem we call the contact center often represents the corporate culture – a unique place, where moments of interaction create emotions, attitudes and default patterns that will have a profound impact on our success in creating meaningful and lasting experiences. As customer experience professionals have quickly learned, ultimately the contact center is the place in the enterprise where brand promises can be made or broken – often leading to the classic “willingness to recommend” sentiment – one way or the other.
Thanks to new AI models, the “rhythm” or patterns of reality developed in the contact center are becoming more predictable and proactive. By empowering contact center staff with access to the most “uncommon knowledge” based on a set of rules defined by customer behavior, context, staffing, and the goals of the business, positive moments can now be the norm and insights can be used to create a cadence and pattern focused on customer success.
As contact centers have long been under the influence of random customer and agent arrival patterns, the next generation of contact centers will have more levers to pull to make operating in “The Zone” a far more common occurrence. Is it no coincidence that another hit on Boston’s album was titled “Peace of Mind”?
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