Most of us have experienced this feeling. You’ve been slaving away over a problem, you’re fatigued, and you can feel that familiar pulse of a headache about to take over. You’ve done all the right things; you’ve looked over the data, you’ve thought about it, you’ve tried to explain it in your own words, you’ve analyzed all possible options. And yet, you’re still coming up blank. You’re missing that ‘aha!’ moment where everything just clicks into place and you become filled with a sense of victory and an excitement to put your new idea into action. These moments have shaped our history since the beginning of time, and yet, we haven’t found a shore-fire why to grab them before they’re ready to reveal themselves. You can’t force an aha moment to come to you, but you can learn to look at what’s in front of you, and that’s what we’re going to be focusing on today.
‘Aha’ moments are sudden insights or discoveries that change your path. It’s a moment of sudden realization or comprehension, where something you couldn’t see before comes to light. ‘Aha’ moments are also sometimes called ‘Eureka’ moments.
Our history is littered with aha moments that have changed the world. Here are some exciting ones you should know about:
Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz theorized the ring-like structure of the benzene molecule after a dream where a snake floating in space seized its own tail.
Dmitri Mendeleev invented the periodic table of elements, also after a dream. At this point in time, he understood individual elements and their properties but couldn’t think of a way to arrange them. He then had a dream where each element flowed into the next, like a musical sequence. He woke up and created the periodic table of elements.
Neils Bohr’s structure of the atom came to him after he started to imagine the atom like the solar system. He pictured the nucleus of the atom like the sun, and the electrons as planets orbiting the sun. The realization led to the modern understanding of the atom.
Brian Chesky invented AirBnB when he was broke. He couldn’t afford rent, so he turned his living room into a bed and breakfast for travelers wanting to experience the local area like a local. He then realized that this could be a business – not everyone wants the impersonal experience of a hotel.
IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad came up with the idea of flat-pack furniture after seeing a person removing table legs to squeeze the table into their car.
Recent research into the psychology of ‘aha!’ moments has shed light on how these moments occur. In a study titled Insight solutions are correct more often than analytic solutions, a team of researchers analyzed participants’ brains at different points in the problem-solving process. Some problems dealt with linguistics, others were visual, and some were a mix of the two. They found that when participants had time to incubate their thoughts, they were more likely to come up with ‘aha’ moments.
This is what incubate means in this context:
Having data is great, but having clean, structured, and readily usable data is even better. By labeling every incoming case in your customer service function, you can start to build a picture of common trends and issues. Doing this will also help you spot new trends and issues as they are emerging. As discussed in the last section, having time to incubate your thoughts is crucial for having an ‘aha’ moment, so the earlier you start looking at the data, the better. If you see what looks like a new trend starting to form, you can begin to look at ideas about why this is happening. For example, let’s say you notice an increase in customers asking a specific question about your product. This could be for many reasons:
Here are some best practice tips for tagging your support tickets:
For example, if you have a tag for “login” and “login issues,” agents might use these tags interchangeably. They’ll likely use whatever label comes up first when they start typing. The problem with having overlapping concepts in your tags is that it makes it hard to see the full picture when you use filters. If you filter on “login issues,” you might only see a handful of tickets, some open and some closed. This might lead you to believe that login issues are uncommon and not something you need to address with any urgency. If you filter on “log in,” you get a different picture, but this picture can still be unclear. For example, it might capture login technical issues as well as feedback (positive and negative) and just confused customers.
The way to combat this is to define each tag clearly. Ideally, it should be evident to agents which tag applies to which ticket because the definitions are clear.
Sometimes you come across niche or unusual customer problems that only occur a few times. In these situations, sometimes we create a new niche tag to reflect the issue. However, the problem with this is that machine learning algorithms put very little weight on infrequent or niche data. These issues can become lost in the noise and be assigned low priority or not be reflected adequately in reports. The best thing to do is to combine tags, using multiple tags that relate to each other.
There are a few reasons to automate your tagging process:
One of the critical insights you can gain from tracking your customer service data is the most popular communication channels. If you find that 40% of your customers prefer to use Live Chat, you know that investment in your live chat service is paramount. You can improve the service, increase awareness, and reshuffle your operation to account for this change.
We can split communication channels into four categories: face-to-face channels, chat channels, voice channels, written channels. Here are some examples of the channels that fall into each category:
Creating comprehensive customer profiles is about leveraging all the data you have on your customers. It’s also about breaking down those pesky silos that cause gaps in your data insights. If you want to find more ‘aha’ moments in your data, your data must be unified and easily accessible. For example, if you want to find out why certain customers prefer one product over another, you need key insights about them. You can do this by creating comprehensive customer profiles that utilize as much data as possible about the customer. This data can come from a combination of sources, and sometimes you’ll have to ask the customer for more information about themselves. A comprehensive customer profile will contain the following data points and more:
By analyzing data like average handling time, average resolution time, and issue resolution rate, you can begin to discover who the effective communicators are among your agents. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and this isn’t about pitting some agents against others. Instead, the goal is to find why some agents are able to resolve issues more effectively and faster and learn why. Once you know why some agents are excelling, you can adapt your training so that all agents develop these necessary skills. The answer might not be immediately apparent because there are so many nuances to communication. Sometimes simply using a different word can change the customers’ understanding and spark progress. By analyzing this data and listening to the recorded calls, you’re sure to come across an ‘aha’ moment where you say, “So that’s why Jamie has the highest resolution rate!”
Eliminating friction in the customer service process is a top priority for many businesses, but recognizing where and how friction exists isn’t always easy. When you know the process intimately, everything seems easy, and you struggle to see where customers are tripping up. By asking the right questions, either through customer service calls or surveys, you can find out what your customers like and what frustrates them.
We’re extremely excited to announce that we have changed our company name to CommBox. It’s still the same company with the same awesome people! just a new name, a fresh look, and a brighter future.Read full story