All Hands on Deck

Empowering Agents to Use Tacit Knowledge and Exceed Customer Expectations

Dr. Susan Reisinger of the US Navy’s Global Distance Support Center

“If you don’t give them the opportunity to fail, you won’t give them the opportunity to succeed.”

With these words, Susan explained how management just has to get over the risks that empowered service agents might make mistakes, might go too far…because this is the best way to get FCR up, employee morale up and turnover down. In her talk she described how the Distance Support Center gets the job done well often in complex circumstances connecting elements of the Navy family around the globe.

The cornerstone of their success in empowering their agents? Use of Tacit Knowldge.

What is tacit knowledge? “It’s our agents know, but don’t know they know,” explained Susan.

The Support Center systemtically captures and shares cases describing how tacit knowledge is used…but does not try to turn these cases into cookie cutter scripts. The goal is to expand the scope of what an agent can and knows how to do.

Results are clear -
Their customer sat ratings range between 92 and 95% every month and
FCR averages 96%!
And agent satisfaction is up and turnover down.

Keys to this approach:

  • Go beyond a scripted, procedural approach -Use cases for training – real-life scenarios
  • Use a WIKI to share these in real time -Goal is to share what works
  • Consider peer review as a way to evaluate what works and what does not
  • Delineate when it is okay to go outside the box and when it is not, and how far they can go.
  • You can get to these guardrails through trial and error

Empowered agents like their jobs better and do a better job for the customer. Not a surprise, perhaps, but how the Support Center gets there is something special.