Prem Kumar – People need information to be able to take decisions

If we are taking about agility in terms of responding to the social customer, umm… What it means is two things, one is the speed, and the other is the ability to take decisions. And people take decisions not just based on gut feeling though it does help, especially once you are experienced enough, but people need information to be able to take decisions. So is the information, the right information reaching the right person at the right time? That’s something that we need to look at from an information systems standpoint. But, at the same time, even if the right information is reaching the right person at the right time, is the person empowered to take the decisions? Empowered not in terms of just, you know, giving him the powers to take a decision, but also enabling him to consult anybody if required, on the fly, in real time, to be able to take a decision, or at least be able to respond back to the customer even it not be able to take a decision immediately at least, respond to the customer that he would be definitely be able to come back.

So, it might mean that in addition to the information that is being provided by the systems, the person might also need a support system, which means that he should be able to consult with others in the organization. So, is the organization structure, is the team structure, modeled in a such a way, or designed in a such a way, that people can reach up to this kind of people who might be able to help? So, I am not necessarily talking about expert discovery services here. Umm… here I am talking about the immediate team. You know, somebody in the team might have already faced such a scenario, whereas this person who is addressing it might not, so can this person reach out to the team in real time, and figure out and let the customer know, so… I am having a video chat with you, but can I power up a window in my laptop right now and chat with somebody and get a response back and then I am able to tell you, okay, this is so, and so.

I have seen… in call centers, I have seen people actually use the chat system with their team members, they do that on the fly when they are speaking with the client, with the customer, over the phone. Right after the call, maybe they are just standing up across the desk, and they are just having a conversation, and continuing with that. So, there is a switch between the real life and the digital platform.

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