In the July 2013 issue of CRM Magazine, Denis Pombriant writes “Making the Play with CRM,” an article which details the similarities between customer service and a classic American pastime. While it may seem to be a bit of a stretch, Pombriant bases his comparison on the proactive nature of both endeavors:
Baseball, like customer service…is all about possibilities and probabilities that we can only prepare for until something happens.
The author uses the phrase “state of equipoise” to describe how a baseball player functions during much of the game. Even when a player is not part of the action on the field, he knows the strikes and outs, the runners’ locations, and the hitters’ general abilities; he is prepared to react in a way that will best serve his team.
To take it one step further than Pombriant, consider the ways that you can be aware of the “game” around you in your center:
- Disabled list: Are you approaching a time of year when you may have more employee sick days?
- Batting average: Do you have employees who routinely perform significantly above or below average? Can you leverage their experiences to improve the job flow for all agents?
- Strike outs: Are your customers satisfied with the service they are receiving, or are your agents striking out in their efforts?
- RBIs: What job aids or other tools are available to help agents reach performance goals?
Of course, being aware of these details is only the first step. Another critical piece of equipoise is the ability to react quickly and correctly to what is happening; this will require good ‘pre-season’ planning as well as being aware of each situation as it happens on game day. This state of equipoise is clearly relevant for a contact center; being aware of the various factors that impact performance and having a plan for mediating potential problems will ultimately lead to a win.