A day has 24 hours, 1,440 minutes and 86,400 seconds and yet many times the phrase “I wish the day was longer so I could finish everything that I have to do” becomes increasingly repetitive among most workers. Is what I´m doing really getting me closer to the objective? If the answer to this question is not a positive one, then you should reconsider the way you are performing your tasks. When this situation occurs and we believe that the day should be longer and that we will not meet our objectives, we start to run multiple tasks simultaneously.
Many people call this Multitasking. But if we fully analyze the meaning of this word and compare it with what a human being is really able to do, it makes little sense. A person may be complying with the requisition of a customer over the phone and in the meantime developing his business unit forecast for the next quarter. Truth is at least one of the two tasks, or both, will not have the expected results.
Multitasking comes from computing and originally refers to the moment when the system independently performs more than one process simultaneously. Consequently, what most workers do is not Multitasking, but rapid task changes because even though they are performing more than one task at the same time, they are not optimizing time and resources.On the contrary, this time that they thought has been saved, must be later used to correct errors that might have been committed by not focusing on one single activity.
On the other hand, Multiskill is a quality that can mean significant added value in the labor market. This is the ability that some individuals have that allows them to perform different tasks, not at the same time, but at any given moment of the day. Just as Multiskill enable workers to maximize their skills and bring huge benefits for organizations, Multichannel Contact Centers look forward to implementing processes and building agents with this feature to provide excellence in customer service.
A Multichannel Contact Center manages customer service through any channel of communication, opening up possibilities for interactions with less cost than phone. Everything through a united interface which simplifies the service provided and integrates it with backoffice task management that is generated during the execution of campaigns. This is why in the era of Multichannel Contact Centers applied in customer service, agents must be Multiskilled in order to be able to manage interactions through any channel of communication.
But, what value does a Multiskilled agent brings to the Contact Center? Companies are always trying to do more with less resources, and in the case of Multichannel Contact Centers, this is a feature that is fully maximized. A Multiskilled agent has the ability to manage an interaction with a client by chat, for instance, and then switch to interacting with another customer on a voice channel and keep email managing, everything on a single unified queue and configured according to the client´s business rules.
By my experience visiting clients in Latin America, I have learned how they by seeing the benefits of the implementation of a Multichannel solution, believe that their agents can manage 3 or 4 different interactions with different customers simultaneously. This dramatically affects service provided. The most skilled agent could not concentrate on serving a customer on chat, at the same time speaking on the phone with a different customer and managing requests by email. This would result in fatal errors in the operation, loss of productivity and low service.
This is why we should not confuse Multitask with Multiskill. In Multi-Channel Contact Centers, customer service is handled by Multiskilled agents but not through Multitasking.