Published: April 05, 2022 | Comments
I am a dreamer, a planner, and an action taker. This means that it can be easy for me to form an idea of what I'd like to see, make a plan to accomplish the goal, and then without delay get to work achieving the goal I've set. As simple as I've just made this sound, it can also be easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations of the contact center and forget that dreaming of the possibilities is key to future success.
The calls, chats, emails, and faxes will be continuous; we are a contact center after all. The challenge for contact center leaders lies in prioritizing the time to dream or brainstorm about the future. We can’t allow that time to get swept away in the sea of what can feel like a tug-of-war for your time, attention, and energy. Our passion for our people and the mission of our organization is not diminished by shifting our dreams. When we push ourselves to deliver better employee experience and dream big, we can often help better guide our teams to create exceptional customer experiences and the organization succeeds.
Not only do I lie awake considering the events of the days and weeks, but I also find myself waking with a start when a fantastical idea forms in my mind. It may be a half-formed, impossible rumination, but some of the best ideas start out that way. The possibilities can be endless for you, too, if you don’t stop yourself by saying “it can’t be done” to an idea before you’ve had the chance to fully vet it.
It’s important to remember that dreaming big is an exercise purely to help with thinking about the future, so all the details may not be clearly defined. The example below opens the door for change and possibility, but doesn’t have to stop there. The thing about thinking about the future is that it can be scary; so much is unknown and things often change before we've even reached our planned destination. The key is to not only imagine the worst case scenario, as is our natural tendency, but also to allow your mind to invent the best case scenario. The reality will typically lie someplace in between.
Here is how the dream-big question can prompt other questions:
Question 1: What if we got rid of reviewing past, recorded interactions and contact center managers focused solely on real-time, scoreless feedback?
Possible response 1: That will never work.
Possible response 2: That could work and we could save the time it takes prepping for coaching and quality review conversations with associates. Engaging in more quality coaching conversations and providing more time to research member situations will reduce stress and allow the team to feel more prepared to assist members.
Question 2: What would we do with that new-found free time?
Possible response 1: There’s always something stealing our time; if it’s not one thing, it’s another.
Possible response 2: We could support associate help desk questions as side-by-side real-time coaching interactions.
Question 3: What would our help desk/escalation team focus on then?
Possible response 1: They would have to back up the help desk, because there will be too many calls.
Possible response 2: They could accept escalations as appointments to help provide a more informed customer experience.
Question 4: What would that team do with their new-found free time?
Possible response 1: What free time? They already can’t keep up with their responsibilities.
Possible response 2: They could respond to email and service requests in a timelier manner. This adds efficiency to the customer experience, along with giving the teammates time to specialize in areas that are more challenging for associates or require additional research.
Question 5: What would all these changes do for the associate?
Possible response 1: The associate will have to take more calls.
Possible response 2: They could have more frequent connections with their leaders, laying a stronger foundation for trust. This could lead to improved employee engagement and reduced calls because we’ll be quicker to identify knowledge gaps and provide coaching for trends.
Being willing to look at things differently and adapting to change is at the heart of vision casting. Make time for dreaming of the possibilities, even when free time feels limited. This will be instrumental to ongoing success.
If you find that you are the type of individual who struggles with imagining the future or creating the unknown, follow up your own internal doubts by asking “why” to uncover the root cause of your uncertainty. If we don’t dream, we don’t move our teams forward, and that’s really what it’s all about – dreaming, taking a chance, improving the organization, and being successful.