Bruno LeBron was recently assigned as the technology officer for a midsized, business-to-business (B2B) consulting firm. His company offered other businesses help with planning locations for new stores, restaurants, and the like. While great service to clients has always been a core value of the company, Bruno was concerned that his people were spending too much time with e-service to customers or prospects who were not profitable. And, too often, they were gabbing among themselves instead of working efficiently with clients. “How can I get my people to spend time and effort only with the clients who matter?” he wondered.
Then he hit on an idea after reading an online “white paper” about business rules4 and the Internet. That’s it, he thought, I’ll put certain rules into place that prevent a lot of wasted time. As he thought this idea through, he decided to have his tech people configure the call-handling systems so that his employees (1) could not use electronic chat to gab with other employees internally, (2) could not deal with customers outside the employee’s assigned specialty, and (3) could handle calls only from clients and potential clients who are deemed as high value. “That should do it,” he thought. “I’ll minimize the jibber-jabber (his term) and keep people focused on real clients and real problems.”
1. To what extent do you think Bruno’s approach will work?
2. What are some possible negative side-effects of implementing such a system?
3. If you were Bruno’s boss, what would you recommend?