Once in a while you run into a new way of doing things or a new technology that is "game changing". I ran into one of those last week. It’s called "Interactive Voice Messaging".
If you remember Credit Card Activation services, that, when you call, starts out with "Press 1 if you want to activate your credit card".
Where it is truly game changing is when it is used in Contact Centers, especially in collections call centers.
As you probably know, collection is not a very pleasant process for Agents. Interactive Voice Messaging asks first " I am trying to reach person X. Press 1 if you are person X. Otherwise it leaves a message for Person X with the person who is listening in. It records a voice message if it senses an automated Voice Message system on the other end.
However if the person acknowledges that they are person X, it does the connection to a live agent!
Agents love it since they are not dialling one number after another with the hope of reaching anybody live! And they speak only to people who acknowledge that they are person X. So their productivity goes up.
From a Process Perspective, there are many technologies like the one above or simple Internet or Web based interfaces cut out entire manual steps in a process, making it more convenient for the service provider as well as the consumer.
When doing process improvement, it pays to keep tabs on all these emerging technologies and leverage them appropriately.
When processes execute faster, no one is going to complain. If you can get the passport you applied for, in 3 weeks, instead of the usual 6 or your Vehicle Registration is done in a week’s time instead of the usual three, everybody benefits! And many new technologies can effect these Process Leapfrogs.
Process Leapfrogs beat tweaking of this metric or that metric in a process. It cuts out entire branches off a process. Could not beat that!
The most successful people are good at Plan B — James Yorke