A Call Centre Christmas Carol

Stave 1: A yearning to modernize


As heavy snow covers the streets of London, Steve Crooge dozes noisily in his office, brandy in hand, dreaming of outbound call targets and a happy boardroom. Crooge, the manager of a call center, built his business from the ground up, using the very latest mainframe system – at the time.

Despite his cold personality and solitary nature, Crooge is respected and even admired by his call center staff for his ‘no nonsense’ attitude. At least you know exactly where you stand, even if it means your ego ends up a little bruised…

Every year, his hopeful IT support engineer, Bob Cratchit, asks if he can modernize their user interfaces. They’re looking more and more outdated with the tired green and black display and more and more customers are ‘bearing’ with an increasingly bear like Caller squinting at the screen and switching between applications. Training costs are spiraling too and Cratchit has a bothersome IT backlog to deal with. He’d like to crack this modernization task easily without cutting any new code or breaking the bank. Unfortunately, this Christmas Eve is no different to any other. All Crooge does is yell at Bob (and the call center staff to work the phones and screens harder to meet those sales projections.)

That night, Crooge’s former business partner Jacob Marley visits him as a ghost. Marley’s spirit has been moping around the server room aimlessly as punishment for keeping the business the way it’s always been, and disagreeing that he should be providing his call center staff with what they really want and need by keeping up-to-date. With a cumbersome 3270 green-screen monitor chained to his ankle, Marley has come to warn Crooge and try to save him from the same fate. He tells him Three Spirits will come to him over the next three nights.


Stave 2: Haunted by ‘change’

Crooge falls asleep and wakes up to find the Ghost of IT Past floating over him. He shows Crooge scenes from the past that his career from a happy young lad , to a cranky old-fashioned call center manager. “The only constant is change”, says the ghost of IT Past. “The way you do business has changed. Your application needs have changed. Your customers have changed. Even your staff have changed. Change is unavoidable, you either embrace it, or you fail.” Crooge had never been spoken to so bluntly before. He is used to doing the blunt talking.

The Ghost of IT Past tells Crooge that by embracing change, his ‘green screens’ can be invigorated to better suit the digital age. Outdated terminals are inefficient and new starters don’t stand a chance of learning the system quickly. These older technologies don’t readily integrate with the latest generation of devices and interfaces which today’s business users’ demand.

“Your staff want modern, clear interfaces which will improve customer service efficiency. ‘34% of senior IT leaders believe that green screen applications negatively affect staff retention’”, the ghost says. “So, easier navigation through a single screen view will improve speed, efficiency and productivity”.ChristmasCarol5

Stave 3: An important realization

Crooge nods off again only to be rudely awoken by a freezing snowball being thrown at his face. It’s the Ghost of IT Present.

Laughing insanely like a Grinch in a barrel of eggnog, the ghost shows him his call center staff, frantically fumbling with multiple screens and key stroke commands, meter-long telephone wires, and irritated customers. The Ghost informs Crooge that unless the future is changed, his crippled call center will be no more – and Crooge will be snowed under with an avalanche of backlog, chaos and complexity.

Finally, two ragged telesales trainees crawl out from the Ghost’s robes. The Ghost calls them Mr Price and Lacey Bones leaving Crooge with the warning that they will drag his company down, with poor productivity and customer service.

The ghost explains how modernization will help. “This is what happens when green screen apps meet smart, modern interfaces. Staff gain access to core business processes through a modernized user interface. In your call center, it’s all about efficiency, productivity and great customer service. Rumba+ reduces the need for multiple keystrokes across many screens eliminating clumsy look-up functionality to improve the efficiency of your teams. What I suggest you do is have a look at this demo to see what I mean.”

After a productive, pain-free demo day, without a single “bear with me one moment”, the call center staff happily leave work on time for the first time in months and decide to celebrate with a relaxing tipple or two of mulled wine.


Stave 4: A better user interface for greater productivity

Interrupting his realization, a silent Ghost of IT Yet To Come replaces the other ghost. He shows Crooge several scenes of people discussing the company’s tragic downfall; no-one seems pained by it, and most are happy about it. However,  Crooge doesn’t know which company it is at first.

He foresees that the call center staff are all long gone, having moved on to more efficient, productive call centers which have embraced change and brought their systems right up-to-date. Crooge finally realises that it is his company which failed because he didn’t invest in the code-free modernization solution from Micro Focus that could have helped his staff handle more calls, reach desired targets and smile more.

Micro Focus Rumba+ is efficient. Instead of switching from screen to screen, staff are able to gain instant access to all the information they need in just one screen. This boosts productivity and improves customer service.

Rumba+ offers mobility. Users have the flexibility to work from home on the web, on their office desktop, or remotely with an iPad. They can easily gain web access through extending mainframe applications quickly and easily to web initiatives, just like Aviva has.

Finally, Rumba+ provides simplicity. With a wealth of functionality, it makes your business apps easier to use and understand. As it’s more intuitive, your staff will find it easier and quicker.”ChristmasCarol1

Stave 5: Green screen modernization – the core of happiness!

With a somewhat theatrical rush of enthusiasm, Crooge now realizes what he needs to do. Provide an intuitive interface for his staff, with single screens which are easy to navigate around. Applications are available 24/7 via web, mobile and desktop interfaces, for high operational flexibility.

Grinning like a snowman with a few too many pieces of coal for its mouth, he finally gives his team the gift they have longed for: modernization. Crooge’s deluge of happy customers speaks for itself – as does the immense improvement in his staff’s efficiency and customer service. With a glass of brandy in everyone’s hands, Crooge declares a toast: “To modernization!”



Start your journey to better business efficiency now.


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1 Comment

  • This is great- very creative! And the message is clear- if you don’t adapt and utilize modern technology you will fall behind. This is especially true in the call center!

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