April 1 –

So many times in WFM, we are faced with the challenges of explaining data that we gather from various sources, both from past and probable future events.  While we may readily understand what the data is saying to us, giving that feedback to contact center leadership and executives can be daunting.

This is where storytelling comes in beneficially.  If we’re able to create a story/scenario of what did occur, or possibly what “could” occur, as a result of the data, we take the numbers off a page and translate those into pictures for the viewing audience to envision and move away from numbers and possibly misunderstanding, to positive discussion on how to react or change the scenario.

I’m reminded of a story my good friend and WFM extraordinaire, Andy Wainwright, gave me about how contact centers can fall into a downward spiral of SL, called “The Death Spiral”.  If wait times aren’t addressed quickly, SL drops, wait times increase, Agents/Customers have increased frustration, resulting in longer AHT, requiring more FTE’s, which cycles back around and around, resulting in the never-ending spiral.  I have plagiarized the heck out of that story over the years and it has been extremely effective in the explanation of the data from many of my clients. Thanks Andy!!

The key is to ask ourselves, “What journey did this data take, and where is it going?”  Who are the players and the facts of how this transpired, or could transpire?  Paint that picture and then have the discussions on what options would make the scenario better or prevent it from occurring.  Once this is done, the business can make the decision on how to move forward or accept the potential consequences on decisions.  Remember, “Use it for Good, not for Evil.”

This week’s tip is provided by SWPP Board Member Todd Gladden of PlanMen. He can be reached at todd.gladden@planmen.com