Don’t Stay in Your Silo or Function in Isolation
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.
I once needed to call a company in the healthcare sector. With their call center I encountered long wait times, surly representatives, and little help in resolving my dilemma. I made many unsuccessful phone calls. At last, one rep transferred me to a different department. My experience with that call center was the opposite of the first one.
The employee answered quickly, was cheerful, and offered help. In one phone call, lasting but a couple of minutes, she resolved my concern. I thanked her for her helpful resolution and remarked how difficult it was to get to her department. Her response took me aback.
“No one knows we exist,” she laughed. “We’re our company’s best kept secret.”
It seems she worked in a silo within her organization. Her silo functioned wonderfully, in contrast to the organization’s primary call center. What made the difference? I assume it was management, but that’s a topic for another time.
Today’s discussion is about integrating your call center with the rest of your organization.
It’s Us Instead of Them
When you integrate with your organization you move away from the mindset of us referring to the call center and them referring to the rest of the organization.
Instead, everyone in the company becomes us.
Making this mental switch is key. Without it, any plans to integrate with your organization will not succeed. Embracing a holistic us mentality is the first step to successfully integrate with your organization.
It’s Focusing on Others Instead of Self
As you make this mindset shift, you also shift your focus. By redefining us to include the entire organization, you encompass a greater set of employees who can band together to serve patients and callers. Isn’t that why your organization exists? To help patients and callers? To best accomplish this the focus must be on callers and what you can do—with your whole company behind you—to best address their concerns or needs.
It’s a Team Approach
This reformed focus embraces a team approach to problem-solving. The goal isn’t to make yourself look good or even your whole department. The goal is to work as a team to make your organization look good. When you do this you and your company win, and—more importantly —so do your patients and callers.
This grand vision to integrate with your organization is easier to visualize than to realize.
Though you can start it from within your call center, it will take time to permeate through your entire organization. It’s easier when the initiative comes from the C-suite. And, of course, some managers will resist this change. But this reveals their selfishness. They’re more concerned about maintaining the status quo than about what’s best for the organization and your customers.
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.