Transforming CX Through Evolution: Gall’s Law of Complex Systems
This is the third and final tip from the ’50 Shades of CX’ speech given by Premier Contact Point CEO Sol Rabinowicz, at Customer Contact Week in March 2019.
The overarching theme of each of these tips has been the importance of using CX strategically. It’s important to use emerging technologies intelligently so you can boost your brand while you work to improve your business’ efficiency, and its bottom line. To attempt one without the other would be a false economy, particular in a market where customer expectations are higher than ever.
We often talk about transforming CX. And so we should – we must transform in order to compete.
But how do we transform in an organisation that has lots of moving parts? One that needs executive sponsorship from the CEO down, as well as the support of just about every division – IT, customer service, products and sales and marketing? How do we achieve all this when we’re under pressure to cut costs, compete for resources and manage other projects?
The answer is Gall’s Law, which states:
“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.” Gall’s Law is founded on the idea of transformation through evolution – of developing prototypes and improving on them through iterations.
Transforming CX is no different. It’s a bit like climbing a mountain. Climb part of the way, stop and acclimatise, then climb to your next stage. It’s more achievable, less painful and you’ll be more likely to reach your end goal.
Creating the human connection
Bringing these ideas together, here’s an example of how you might evolve your CX into a human-connected experience using the smartphone – the one device that’s unified all channels and is used by most of your customers to contact you.
Bobbi’s simple and impressive experience
Bobbi is moving house and wants to notify her energy supplier, Green Powered, about her change of address and find out if she can stay on her existing plan. She calls Green Powered from her iPhone.
- Based on her caller ID, Green Powered’s system recognises that she’s calling from a mobile number. It plays a message acknowledging this and sends her a link to help save time on her call.Of course, Bobbi still has the option to stick with the voice IVR if she prefers, but for this example, she activates her speaker phone and clicks on the link she has received by SMS.The link takes Bobbi to a visual IVR on her phone. Using the rich features of a smartphone, the visual IVR shows Bobbi all of her options at a glance; no sitting through the recorded options and needing to pay careful attention to which number she needs to press
- Bobbi selects the change address option. She is taken to the change of address queue, where prior to playing hold music, she’s given the option to enter her new address details. Having completed that step, she’s then presented with a personal queuing page that shows her wait time and includes other options, including virtual hold, call-back, self-help and FAQs.
After a short wait, an agent comes onto the call. The agent has received a screen pop with Bobbi’s existing details from the CRM and the new address details that she entered.
- The agent greets Bobbi, acknowledges her request, and asks her the identification confirmation questions to verify her account.
- The agent thanks Bobbi for the information. He confirms the services are available at her new address on her existing plan and asks the date of her move. He enters the details and confirms they’ve gone through.
- Her agent also sees that her last account is two days overdue and asks whether she would like to pay now over the phone using her credit card. Bobbi agrees, and the agent sends her a payment link by SMS. She can key in her credit card details via her phone or using Premier’s MerchantSuite Apple Pay solution, which accepts thumbprint or FaceID recognition.
- After the call, Bobbi receives another SMS, which invites her to click through to a contact summary that shows a record of her request.
What just happened?
Let’s take a high-level look at what has just happened.
At the end of the call, Bobbi is happy: she’s processed her change, confirmed the service’s availability at her new address on her existing plan, and she’s avoided the inconvenience of having to make a separate call to make her payment. As a Green Powered customer, she has had a positive experience.
From Green Powered’s standpoint, being able to have the customer handle part of the process has drastically reduced the agent’s talk time, and using MerchantSuite has also made it quicker – and more compliant – to process credit card payments over the phone.
Build on a simple system that already works
In our example, Green Powered had been operating their contact centre like many service organisations: customers make a call, wait in a queue, speak to an operator. It’s simple. It works.
But as customer calls increase, so do wait times, and along with it, customer frustrations.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, Green Powered uses Gall’s Law to address the problem. They evolve their existing systems by increments, introducing new processes and technologies to enhance the customer experience and improve their own efficiency.
Over time, as the new system begins to reach its limits, Green Powered once again turns to Gall’s Law. Using this approach and taking advantage of available technologies like Premier Contact Point and Merchant Suite, Green Powered (and businesses like them) can adapt and change over time at a pace that serves them and their customers, evolving their complex systems to continue working effectively for both parties.
Want more CX tips from Sol?
If you’ve enjoyed this article and want to read Sol’s other Contact Centre Strategic Management tips, make sure you read parts 1 and 2 from this series.