Thursday, January 8, 2015

Get Real Customer Care and Stop the Lip Service

Nearly every great organization wants to be known for customer care, but companies are fundamentally organized in a way that defeats great customer care. Sure you can train your employees to treat people better. Sure you can enable technology to sense the mood of the customer. Sure you can have better mobile interfaces and feedback mechanisms to please customers. These are all great steps.  However, if you force clients to traverse your departments because of your division of labor, you are starting in a hole and working your way back out of it to neutral.  Divide and conquer is an old strategy that has spread beyond usefulness and it's time.  Yes we need specialties, but let the technology do most of the specialty work.

The Problem with the Division of Labor:

The industrial revolution ushered in the notion of specialties because people were more productive, if you only gave them a few tasks to get great at over time. Well when people were dependent on their own knowledge and skills, this made perfect sense. Over time people became smarter and the work splits stayed pretty much the same. This made sense back in the 1800s and the early 1900s, but we are way past that in our abilities as a collective society. No wonder labor unions emerged. Besides organizational abuse, we introduced boredom in the work place. I understand that only special people could be generalists back then, but there is no longer any excuse for keeping this old paradigm the dominant way to organize. It's time to start the incremental transformation to real digital assisted generalists.

The New Digital World Connects Across Specialties:

The new digital world has five major areas that change the game for the modern organization and professional managers in the new emerging business world. All of these enable the transformation away from people specialists as the common way to organize and tips the scales towards generalists.

Connects Knowledge and Content:

We have significant technologies to connect various types of content and data into accessible repositories that work in real time. It's time to focus it on enabling our employees to easily access big data through ontologies that super charge them for customer service.

Connects People into Communities:

We have significant technologies to leverage multiple people as one through community solution for a specific customer with specific needs and wishes. Knowledge and state aggregation is at our finger tips for us to leverage. Social technologies and emerging better work pattern recognition is here now to assist better customer care.

Connects Professionals to Automated Personal Assistants / Agents:

With the advent of cognitive computing and machine learning, we can now supercharge employees with the ability to think like many super computers linked fit for purpose as well as integrating multiple problem domains and approaches. Automated personal assistants can read through millions of  pages of data, information and knowledge to give suggested alternatives. This is the emerging secret sauce that will change the specialist equation towards better customer care.

Connect Customers to Progress:

We give customers poor visibility into progress of long running service requests and generate ore work for organizations to check status. There is no excuse for blind processes and service execution. Customers should be able to trust and verify; not just trust.

Connect Customers and Employees to Potential or Real Change:

By using event and pattern recognition agents/bots, all parties can be made aware of progress or situations that could threaten progress, This could be for real time service requests or long running requests.

Net; Net: 

We have put the burden of traversing our complex organizations on our customers. Shame on us, if we do not take advantage of the emerging digital platforms to move away from specialty driven customer service. We can make our almost all of our employees generalists with real time collaboration, data and content at their finger tips. Let the people do the generalist care and let the technology do the specialty work, assemblage and computing. It is time to incrementally transform our organizations to real customer care.

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