Summer Reading: Four Books to Reshape Your Contact Center Strategy

I’ve always had a deep fascination in what makes people tick. I also enjoy following how technology assists our behavior and motivations to achieve our goals. And I was surprised to learn that my amateur neuroscience studies are more closely tied to the contact center world than I originally thought.

We all pay close attention to local and global trends, gaps between new facts and our current knowledge, and hints that guide us to the most optimal and successful path to our goals. And these are the same patterns of behavior that every leader in the contact center industry follows. They seek the right customer, at the right time, with the right value and all in the most optimal path. I work with some of the most fascinating technologies—and they’re all built with these foundational behaviors at their core.

The Lost Art of the Book

The human attention span is much shorter these days. In this click-bait world, you only have about three seconds to grab someone’s attention. But the summer gives us an opportunity to relax, unwind and reflect on the thoughts and ideas that a book promises to unlock. It’s also refreshing to dive into books that help us find new and optimal ways to reach our contact center goals.

These four books, which have been widely discussed among Genesys Altocloud designers and engineers, cover everything from optimization strategies to customer behavior to emerging technologies like data science. And anyone building the next-generation contact center could benefit from reading them.

1. Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity

Summary: Why do some companies get so much done?  This book by Charles Duhigg provides eight key concepts from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making are explained to help you read your business goals.

Your contact center has a core purpose, and you need to focus on that. To do this, you need the right tools to optimally support your customers and your employees.

2. Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are

Summary: We have vast amounts of information at our fingertips. But everyone, including your customers, says one thing and then does another thing. We need to ask the right questions to reveal the truth behind the mountains of information we collect about ourselves and our world. Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explores how the internet, and what we do here, is a source of truth. Being able to see what your customers are doing—before, during and after an interaction—will make your agents smarter and your customers happier. And it will help you achieve better business outcomes.

3. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Summary: This book by Charles Duhigg is one of my favorites; it explains why habits exist and how they can be changed. Within the contact center, machine learning and bots are used to identify good patterns and then repeat them to get the outcomes you want.

Think of patterns as habits; a habit has three parts: a trigger, a routine, and a reward. If we identify a customer behavior, such as abandoning a shopping cart, we can use this as a trigger in our contact center. We can change the routine, using a chat offer, content offer or a callback, to prevent high abandonment rates and achieve a positive outcome—the reward.

4. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

Summary:  We can always find data or a pattern to confirm what we’re looking for—it’s called confirmation bias. But real data science is objective. While it sometimes confirms what we assumed to be true, data science should be about finding the signal within the noise. Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is an investigation in understanding our world of decision making through the vehicles of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, and risk.

Mathematical models and algorithms within the contact center protect us from our biases, even when it’s tempting to emotionally cherry pick data from a large dataset. But be wary of amateur data scientists—and amateur neuroscientists—and check their credentials.

Write Your Own Story

If you’ve read a book recently that has helped make sense of your job as a contact center provider, we’d love to hear from you. Tweet us @Genesys and let us know what’s on your summer reading list and why.