Gemini … The Twins

Kathleen Peterson Rants & Raves by Kathleen Peterson

In late May and throughout most of June the sun is in the sign “Gemini.” I have great affinity for this sign; both my sons are Gemini’s. My sister and some of my very best friends are also born under this sign. Space programs, astronomical endeavors, and I suspect even projects have operated under the name Gemini. The sign is ruled by Mercury and characterized by the words “twins” and “duality.” According to web sources, “Gemini governs communications, intellectual matters, and gossip.” This is quite a trifecta!

You may say, “So what!” But I bring this up because I believe there is a driving force of duality that Contact Center leaders must acknowledge and act upon. “Vision” and “Visibility” are twin forces that influence decision, action, and perception.

Vision emerges as part of the C-Level’s strategic plan. Visibility emerges as how you choose to report on and influence the perception of others regarding the Contact Center. These dual forces, when combined, create a solid foundation for managing your identity and your operation.

Vision is the north on our business compass. When Vision is dispatched from the Executive Suite, the message must reflect “Vision Clarity.” Vision Clarity is the deliberate effort to specify, clarify, and operationalize the Vision itself. Without this clarity, all involved move blindly toward an unknown destination.

Business leaders must identify specifically what the Contact Center contributes to the strategic initiatives of an organization. For instance, cross-sell and up-sell initiatives must be organized around contributing to top line growth. Efficiency improvement efforts (e.g., process analysis) must align with bottom line goals. This involves the Contact Center in shaping and intellectually aligning with the Vision.

This approach inevitably impacts your reporting strategy, the single most influential factor in Contact Center Visibility. If you believe that your operation is all about quality, but report only on productivity, your Visibility will be that of a factory … a cost center … overhead. You will sit among those that fight very hard for budget dollars and feel more on the defense than on the offense.

When Vision Clarity is adopted, reporting on performance becomes more robust and aligned with strategy. Service level is not presented as simply the achievement of X% of calls answered in Y seconds. There is excellence in planning, cross-functional collaboration, effective use of technology, commitment to quality, and a more defined role in shaping the Customer Experience. And honestly, there is more fun and creativity!

Bring the dual forces of Vision and Visibility together and you will be aligning with those three Gemini forces – communication (what you tell people about yourself), intellectual matters (taking the routine and redefining it), and gossip (what others are saying about you)!