From "D'oh" to Out-of-the-Box Innovation

My mom always says that laziness is the mother of invention. She claims, and Homer Simpson proved her right, that having to do the same repetitive tasks over and over again makes you think out of the box in order to find easier ways of accomplishing the same task.


Companies can also achieve success by thinking out-of-the-box about how to modify daily tasks and procedures for greater revenue generation, operational efficiency, and improved customer experience.

Take for example a leading company in the field of customer relationship management and business process outsourcing. One of its Telco customers was facing a huge challenge in effectively managing service inquiry flow.

When a customer called to inquire about a recent billing statement, the service agent had to manually pull up and filter this information in excel to discover where there was an overuse of minutes, text messages and data. After all of that, the agent could then offer a different service plan to better suit that customer’s needs.

Sound long and tedious? This process used to take no less than an average 12 minutes! And what about the customer, you’re probably asking? The customer was put on hold while the agent was doing all of these data manipulations. And, as you’ve probably guessed, many customers simply hung up because it was taking too long to get a response.

It was clear in this case that operations needed to be simplified – so, a service-to-sales system was rolled out. This system captures the context of the service call and calculates the next best offer based on customer information and real-time context, thus eliminating the need to manually look up information and saving precious handle time. In other words, the system now calculates, suggests and presents the right package to the agent, and that’s that! Goodbye tedious work, hello new generation of efficiency!

And here comes the icing on the cake: After calculating the right offer for the particular customer, the system guides the agent in real time with soft skills, such as how to make the offer and how to handle objections. This system makes selling much easier and more successful for all. For the agents, it’s so much easier to follow real-time guidance instead of trying to figure out what makes each customer tick in order to close a deal and provide value-added service. For the end customer, this means better service, more relevant offers, and shorter wait times.

For the company the benefits have been numerous! It has achieved:

  • Decrease in AHT by 50%
  • More than doubling of sales conversion by successfully identifying and acting on sales opportunities
  • Easy rollout of new campaigns in the contact center
  • Shorter agent training time since a lot of decisions are now made by the system

To summarize, this system blows up sales (and not power plants, like in The Simpsons), and the end result is improved customer experience, increased operational efficiency, and greater productivity. Now there’s more time for watching TV.


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