Are You an Information Litterbug?

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litter 2It happens innocently enough. The marketing director showcases 60 PowerPoint slides of a new customer campaign during a contact center staff meeting. Afterward, you say, “Wow! That’s great information. The agents should have this because a customer may ask about it.”

Without stopping to think of the consequences you just became an information litterbug.

Do we really expect agents to review a slide deck during a customer call?

And, it gets worse. As more information accumulates, another SharePoint site is created. Now the training area gets involved to develop training materials for agents on how to use the site. Eventually classes on accessing this valuable information are developed and scheduled.

This scenario repeats itself in contact centers around the globe every day, and it has far reaching impacts to your customers, agents, QA, and training—not to mention operational costs. Have you stopped to ponder how much of your new agent training revolves around teaching agents to memorize where documents are located? And even after the agent becomes seasoned, locations change and the numbers grow, subsequently negating the training.

Document location training should not be at the forefront of your training classes. In fact, stepping back to see the bigger picture reveals that we need to think differently about supplying agents with information.

Guided Navigation tools address this challenge and will make a difference for both the agent and customer experience while also reducing operational costs. These tools store information in one location the enterprise can use as a single-point-of-truth. What’s more, these tools transform into answers and guides agents through tasks.

Shift to guided navigation as soon as feasible, but in the meantime, stop being information litterbugs. Contact centers are busy places. We need to realize the impact to agents and customers when we don’t vet information value and simply throw it into the existing information landfill.

The marketing director’s slide deck probably does contain valuable information. But is it valuable and, more importantly, pertinent to contact center agents in its current state?

I’m not picking on the marketing department because information litter comes from many parts of any company. Regardless, we need to stem the flow of information and discern what agents need to provide concise, correct answers for customers.

So, the next time you’re in a meeting and someone says, “Let’s give that information to the agents,” take the initiative to question its value and volunteer to condense it. Stop being an information litterbug.

About the author: Chris Lawson is Director of Strategic Partnerships at Lawson Concepts and a regular contributor to the inContact blog. For more from Chris, please read his earlier post, Danger! Information Overload Kills Customer Experience