contact centerSo there I was, meeting with the VP of Customer Experience of a large telecommunications company to discuss the contact center challenges they were facing in delivering on their brand promise, when I’ll never forget what she said to me next:

“Historically, we have optimized customer experience by our agents acting like MacGyver.”

Flashback to the 80s and Bad Haircuts

It was in that moment, with what was probably a wry smile and faraway look, that I had an instant flashback to 1988.  Sitting in front of our 19-inch TV (you remember, the ones with the dials and rabbit ears), I remember watching episode after episode of MacGyver, as my older brothers outnumbered me in the vote for what to watch next.

I knew exactly what she was getting at with her comment.  The TV show followed secret agent Angus MacGyver.  Resourceful and possessing encyclopedic knowledge, he solves complex problems with limited and basic materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife.   He preferred non-violent resolutions, and was well trained, intelligent, and creative.  Always just in time, he did his best with what he had in front of him (which wasn’t much).  Looking back, he was miraculously great at managing the present, but never seemed to be empowered with the most effective of tools or technology to create the future.

(Side note: MacGyver had a great mullet.)

“MacGyvers” in Action in the Contact Center

As I sat with their agents in the contact center after our meeting, I saw their “MacGyvers” in action.  While I can’t say that I saw any agents that literally had a mullet, what they did have was incredible morale.  The contact center buzzed with positive energy, and in their voices, words, and smiles, serving the customer was clearly their number one priority.  Every call had a customer lens on it.  These agents had encyclopedic knowledge of the company’s products, and were well trained, intelligent, and creative.  Just in time, they did their best with the tools they had in front of them (which wasn’t much).   They were miraculously great at managing the present and bringing customer issues to resolution.

But I couldn’t help but notice that with their enthusiastic service, many calls were covering the same simple questions.  Many calls included apologies – for the wait time, for the hold time, for being transferred, for the systems being slow, for making customers repeat themselves.

And many agents wanted to do more.

Customer Experience Unpacked

What was clear from our interviews and observations was that their agents were the right people to find a way to try to optimize the experience and solve customer problems with every interaction, but like MacGyver, they were doing so with limited and basic tools.

So we collaborated around solving for the key issues bubbling to the top like:

  • The competitive gap they were facing when it comes to needing more relevant self-service options and an integrated cross-channel strategy.
  • The need for actionable analytics to drive ongoing process improvement.
  • Their hunger to empower their agents with more, better, and immediate cross-channel context on the customer they were interacting with to provide that extra-personalized service.
  • Their longing for an agile platform that would support their initiatives around faster speed to market and integration with outsourcers.

The bottom line was that as their portfolio of products and services broadened, it was becoming exponentially tougher to remain competitive and deliver on their brand promise in their current state.  So we partnered around an executable roadmap that answered the what, when, how, and why of getting from their current to ideal state with the right Customer Experience Platform.

Give Your Contact Center a Whole New Look

The evolution to providing consistent, seamless and personalized customer journeys across all channels presents a phenomenal opportunity to reduce operating costs, while increasing effectiveness and ultimately enhancing your most important asset – your employees – through better engagement.

Are your agents “MacGyvers” too?  In this age of the customer, let Genesys help you create the future (with the people you already have) for a whole new look.  Find out how here.

Janelle Matthews

Janelle Matthews

Janelle Matthews is the Senior Vice President of Solutions & Product Marketing with over 14 years of experience in customer experience solution strategy. She is certified in Customer Experience Management, formally trained in service design, and is a subject matter...