Decision Velocity Will Determine Digital Age Winners and Losers


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Speed has long been known as the ultimate weapon. In a recent post, Constellation Research CEO and bestselling business author R. “Ray” Wang discussed Alexander the Great’s success on the battlefield, and how it is often credited to the rapid decision-making capabilities of the leader’s armies.

Notes Wang, “British military strategist J. F. C. Fuller, writing on Alexander the Great, explained, ‘Time was his constant ally; he capitalized every moment, never pondered on it, and thereby achieved his ends before others had settled on their means.’”

The decision velocity advantage

While the stakes may be entirely different, businesses are also waging battles today, including one for customers and their loyalty. The winners, notes Wang in a recent webinar, will be those that empower their employees, especially contact center agents, with machine-augmented contextual information and rapid decision-making processes so they can capitalize on every moment without pondering it.

Says the analyst, “You and I make a decision per second, and an agent makes decisions in a split second. But how long does it take them to make a resolution? How long does it take them to get to the answer that a customer is looking for? It could take seconds. It could take minutes. It could take hours, depending on how much friction there is, but more importantly, how much information they need to resolve a request or an incident.

“Machines, on the other hand, are making hundreds or even thousands of decisions per second. And what that means is we have an asymmetry between what humans can do and what machines can do.

“Those who can create and scale machine decision making processes end up with a competitive advantage. That’s what we call decision velocity. That’s where we augment agents with the machine insights from analytics, automation, and AI, so that resolutions don’t require unnecessary approvals.”

Humans and machines learning from each other

Decision velocity isn’t entirely machine-driven, however. For digital-age winners, agents and other employees will play a vital role in sharing and building their collective knowledge into their organization’s decision making models.

For example, in the contact center, agents may learn or be aware of when a general exception to a system rule or decision can be made. But if they don’t build that tribal knowledge into the model, it limits decision velocity. Notes Wang. “What we’re instrumenting for the future is the ability to take an approach that closes the gap between what humans can do and what machines can do, and learn from each other.

“The higher the number of users, the higher the number of interactions, the higher the amount of data, the higher the quality of insights that AI can learn from, the higher the level of automation of your decisions in your organization. The higher the level of automation of the organization’s decisions, the higher chances you’ll rule your market.”

Want to learn more about decision velocity? Read the analyst’s post on Constellation Research’s website or watch him in the on-demand webinar, How to Transform CX with a Design-led Agent Experience.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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