Statistically speaking, most of you reading this will probably drift off to another distraction before the end of this blog. In fact according to recent research, goldfish now have a longer attention span than humble humans. Our ability to focus for more than 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds in 2000) compares badly with our fishy friends who manage 9 seconds. (Read article here
Given that we are all seeking as much of that valuable concentration pool as possible, this does not bode well for those who have complex or indeed, less than compelling messages to sell.
Spare a thought for the election pollsters who got the results in the run up to the election in May so wrong. A report launched this week by the Royal Statistical Society concluded "they had been speaking to the wrong people". Whilst desperately trying to capture the accurate intentions of those who were going to vote, it seems that they paid undue attention to young, mobile-connected people who didn’t actually vote and neglected the views of the silent majority who did.
Satire can often sum up sentiment well; a cartoon in the press read, "I can’t believe Labour didn’t win. We tweeted, we Facebooked and Instagrammed. Perhaps we should have voted?”
David Cameron famously said, "Britain is not Twitter" reflecting on the stats that only 3-5% of the population are regular Twitter users, and yet in organisations throughout the land boardrooms are paying huge attention to disproportionate voices, particularly in the area of complaints. It is of course hard to ignore because it is so very public and "loud" - a bit like an angry, important person standing in a long queue furiously shouting about what's wrong; the imperative is to deal with the issue pronto.
These issues were highlighted at our kick off meeting for CCA Industry Council Leadership Forum this week, kindly hosted by National Australia Group in London. The group
whose collective reach is about 25% of all customer contact today, were in a buoyant but busy mode as we shared what challenges lay ahead for each brand in 2016 and what their priorities are.
Conclusions were that Digital Transformation, which is high on every agenda, is generating huge interest into contact centre strategies by boards, as most organisations struggle to operate in a digital world in a 'business as usual' fashion. Old issues with a new twist such as (surprising) rising call volumes, personalisation in a digital age, and service segmentation were raised, and the group was given an up to date consumer review from Ben Page at Ipsos Mori. Ben presented some compelling research about consumer behaviour when their efforts was deemed higher than that of the organisation they were dealing with; together with a reminder that our beliefs about many big issues in society are wildly at odds with the facts.
In our consultation poll with the leaders’ forum (yes we spoke to them all!) we concluded that a priority topic was ‘Leadership in a Digital Age’. Again an old topic with a decidedly new twist, the need for organisations to reduce their reliance on linear thinking and learn agility: to pick and mix from as many useful sources as possible, to make good decisions in faster time-frames than ever before.
Being in the present matters now more than ever and is especially the case for existing and emerging leaders. Test and fail quickly is a new skill which doesn’t always fit easily with traditional structures, but is vital to survive and thrive in our new world where we are just ahead of the gnat but behind the goldfish in our concentration span - hello are you still there?!