You Can’t Clean the Soup! An insight to Call Center Data

14 / Apr / 2013

By Paul Liljenquist


On a recent humanitarian trip to Ghana, Africa, I was introduced to fufu. Fufu is a staple food of Ghana. It is made by boiling cassava and plantains and then pounding them into a dough-like consistency. Fufu is eaten by pinching some of the fufu off in one’s fingers and forming it into a round ball. The ball is then dipped in soup and swallowed whole. Fufu itself really has no taste or flavor. The flavor is found in the various soups that you eat with the fufu. Pretty simple meal. As we were seated at the restaurant, our waiter provided each of us with a bowl of hot water and dish soap to wash our hands and make sure they were bacteria free before eating the meal. The meal was fine. Nothing spectacular, just as described above, a staple meal. The following day my stomach was not feeling well. I believe it came from the fufu. In talking with other members of our trip I made the connection. Ghana is known for not having clean water. We drank bottled water the entire trip. The only non-bottled water we drank was in the soup. I concluded that, “You can clean your hands all you want, but you can’t clean the soup.” “Cleaning the soup,” I have learned, is an effective way to look at and fix issues within call centers.  In doing business it is crucial to not only look at the outcome and results of our call center data, but we need to look into what kind of data we are gathering. The “ingredients of the soup” must be perfectly measured, cleaned, and properly handled in order to get the results we expect. When we are looking at, and learning from the right metrics and information, the outcome of our efforts pay off in dividends never imagined.  On the other hand, if as a company we are unable to see and evaluate the right metrics and data the chances of failure increase simply because the root cause of the problem remains unaddressed. In call center work we must constantly monitor and amend quickly the issues that arise on a daily, hourly, and even minute by minute basis. It is essential to know how agents are performing on a detailed and personal level in order to improve the quality and performance of each individual agent. With the right software and data delivered on a timely basis, a company is much more likely to meet and exceed expectations of the clients. Just like the ingredients of the soup we must ensure that everything going in to our business is of good semblance and fits into the “recipe” of the advancement of our business. This is why we created ClearView™ from the ground up. ClearView™ is the revolutionary business solution that brings new levels of visibility and accountability to all levels of your organization. By allowing you to see the weaknesses and strengths of each individual agent, ClearView™ enhances communication with employees, increases productivity, streamlines the work process, increases customer service and loyalty, and drives performance to new levels. Continued and precise monitoring of all aspects of our call centers is what will be the axis upon which a company turns to success or failure. Much like the Fufu, there is immense value in making sure the right procedures are taken before delivering the product to a client. Precise monitoring of how our company is functioning on a detailed basis could save a lot of headache and disappointment, just like using clean water could have saved me a terrible stomach ache.