By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
I haven’t followed baseball much in recent years, but I still periodically check how my state’s Detroit Tigers are doing. This past Sunday, going into their final scheduled game of the regular season they still contended for one remaining wildcard slot in this year’s playoffs, but a 0 to 1 loss eliminated them from further play, with one win too few for the season. Though this final game in a 162-game season made the difference, any additional win throughout the season would have resulted in a different outcome.
I have to wonder if during the long, grueling season, they might have given up on one or two games, more content to finish it then win. Or how many innings were there when an errant play allowed the other team to score a few unearned runs or turn a couple of potential runs for themselves into an out that squelched a rally and notched a loss. I’m sure it happens for every team now and again.
The same applies in the contact center, with the grueling pace of call after call, agents sometimes may be tempted to end the call quickly instead of end it with a win. In the big scheme of things one call seems inconsequential, yet each call is a potential tipping point that can result in a patient win or a patient loss. Too many losses and our contact center will miss the playoffs. No one wants that.
While a healthcare contact center doesn’t have million-dollar player salaries and millions of eyeballs watching every move, it has more at stake: people’s lives. Each call can make a difference in the future of the caller, the success of the agent, and the trustworthiness of the contact center. Strive for each call to be a win; anything less is unacceptable.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time. Read more of his articles or his book, Healthcare Call Center Essentials.