Why does ‘Tunnel Vision exist amongst clever Contact Center people

Why does ‘Tunnel Vision exist amongst clever Contact Center people?
By Colin Taylor – Taylor Reach Consulting
Why does ‘Tunnel Vision’ exist amongst clever contact center people?
There can be many causes that can create situations of ‘tunnel vision’ here are 03 causes:
Lack of time:
The old saw that “meetings are a nice alternative to work” rings true in many organizations and contact centers are not exempt. Days filled with meetings, limits interaction with direct reports, free time to review news stories, white papers, and technology articles etc. it also reduces time to speak with industry peers, to attend conferences or seminars.
All of this leads the manager little option but to continue to rely on the status quo in operations as this is the only environment the manager is comfortable and knowledgeable about.
Conflicting objectives:
Often contact centers are asked to deliver multiple objectives simultaneously: improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs, or increase first call resolution, but don’t spend anything on additional training. These examples of conflicted objectives are frequent occurrences in contact centers today.
Mission Statements focus on “providing world class customer service”, but the contact center receives no budget to deliver this!
Unclear objectives:
Centers are often charged with broad mandates to “deliver excellent customer care” but benchmarks and standards are not defined to allow the contact center to know how success will be measured!
Each of the leads the contact center management to revert to what they are most comfortable and to those things that they can quantify without ambiguity.
Further they tend to focus on the short term as there is no clear long term vision or plan. In short, this is what they have done before and what they are doing now.
This approach is not conducive to looking forward or acting proactively. To the contrary this approach ensures that the management focuses on the past. The end result is bright contact center executives but then make dumb decisions.

Originally published in Snaphotz Monthly Bites (New Zealand)

4 thoughts on “Why does ‘Tunnel Vision exist amongst clever Contact Center people

  1. Lorna Ferguson says:

    I too agree that this issue is not insurmountable and it is up to the contact or call centre leadership to ensure that tunnel vision does not happen. All levels of management must ensure that they are aware and current in contact centre technologies and visions for the future. This can be achieved by ongoing engagement in vendor consultations and contact centre associations.

  2. Stephen Fishman says:

    Seems that some supervisors tend to be very lax in directing to staff to excellence. They feel secure in their position and forget what their purpose is. They get their paycheque, enjoy the perks of management and just coast through the year with minimal effort. They need to refocus.

  3. Kerry Weiner says:

    Thanks for writing such a sspot on article. With 20+ years experience in call centers, I think you nailed the issue of tunnel vision. And I also think that this tunnel vision is fueled by a strong resistance to change. As the townsfolks said in the movie Hoosiers, “we don’t like change much around here.” As a result, change can come slowly in this environment. At the end of the day, though, senior leadership vision and support is critical — it has to start at the top!

  4. Garry Schultz says:

    Conflicting objectives – yes, a big challenge in many organizations but not insurmountable. Explaining the tension points and then attributing costs to re-balance the tension points is an effective approach I have had great success with. Lead with science and budget will follow (or not… but at least an informed decision was made).

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