Wallboard Wisdom Part I
Wallboards and LCD flat panel displays remain an effective method of informing the contact center team of what’s coming in and what’s going on in the center. So, whether you have a traditional readerboard or a brand new LCD or plasma, read on. The following applies to both.
1) What should I put on the wallboard?
Let the metrics work harder! Service level, number of calls in the queue, number of calls abandoned...those are some of the metrics that we immediately think of when we imagine our new wallboard, blinking away. They are important metrics, to be sure, as they represent the basal metabolism of the center. But today’s technology enables us to deliver a much richer set of metrics that can be a product of several combined sources of information. Consider adding in an additional source of data. Think revenue in queue, or value of promises to pay.
Keep a tight leash on thresholds: Thresholds should be created that cause the metrics to change colors as performance is impacted. You should always create an upper and lower threshold, so that you can reward positive goal-reaching behavior and adjust poor performance quickly. Don’t ignore differences in call volumes for different times of the day and days of the week. Take the time up front to set intelligent thresholds and you will be rewarded by less data, but better data.
Go light on messages: There are situations where a full length message is necessary. Keep the variation of messages to a minimum. Also, keep them uniform and consistent. This is not a place to get creative! Save that for team-building, motivation, campaigns and parties.
What should I ask my vendor? It’s all about software. Kick the tires, by having your vendor share a demo of the software with you. If the software can combine and create meaningful metrics, the demo will show it. Ask how many levels of thresholds are possible and how easy it is to make changes to these thresholds. Beware of vendors who spend more than 25% of their time talking about pixels and special effects. It may be a pretty face with no brains behind it!
2) What should I not put on the wallboard?
Equally important is what you don’t put on the wallboard! Try not to fall into one of these common traps.
Data overload: Eliminate more than six metrics at any given time. Information should be flashed, not scrolled. Scrolling requires the viewer to "wait and watch". It wastes time and is tiring on the eyes. Keep it simple and consistent.
Entertaining images: The exploding stars and cute characters walking across the wallboard are so much fun. But they do one thing only.....distract your expensive workforce. Either don’t use them at all or save them for that after hours party to celebrate a goal met or a birthday.
Beeps and Buzzes: Often described as "audible tones". They are tempting, but try to resist. If your thresholds are set properly (see below), you won’t have to jolt your team into awareness with an audible tone. Tones will distract, even for a few seconds, which will have an impact on performance.
One-size-fits-all thresholds: If you are not prepared to take the time to set proper thresholds, don’t use a wallboard. Period. It is demoralizing for a team to sit and see all red or all green metrics. That tells them that a) they are not making a performance impact and/or b) you don’t care enough to give them good information. The result is to ignore the display altogether and mentally "check out" on their jobs. What happens next? Higher turnover!
The Long and Winding Messages. Phew! What did that say again? Don’t use a wallboard to teach or entertain! Think of the dollars you spend every second on your workforce. There are training videos and programs that can be scheduled, there are parties that can be organized. The wallboard should have no personality except to briefly correct or encourage. Keep messages short and clear. "Great job, keep it up!" Rule of thumb, messages should be readable in 2 seconds. Anything longer than that belongs in a phone call, report or memo.
What should I ask my vendor? Ask if they have classes or web-casts that will help you learn how to maximize the software that drives the display. Ask for some references of clients who can demonstrate just how well the software works and how flexible it is. Ask them to let you try to set up some thresholds on a demo. How intuitive is the system? A system won’t work unless it is updated and maintained regularly.
There’s more wallboard wisdom where this came from. Visit our website or contact us for more ideas. Or, stay tuned for Wallboard Wisdom Part II, coming soon.