Nasty Evil Wallboards

Call centres fall into two categories.

Some have wallboards, they show how the operation is performing

They show call centre agents how many customers are in the queue, how many customers have been answered, how many have hung up, how long customers are waiting…

You get the idea

Other call centres don’t show wallboards, it is a point of principle. They don’t let their agents know how many calls there are in queue, how many customers are frustrated. The managers of these centres believe that not having the wall boards makes the centre a more relaxed place to work. Only a sweat shop would have a wall board.

Are wallboards any different to train departure boards at a station or a score boards at a football game?  All they do is pass on information, they let people know what is going on.

A good thing? Or intrinsically evil?

Acting on your performance is a good thing

Hiding your performance; well that is just hiding your performance; isn’t it?

Maybe not intrinsically evil, but certainly not good.

Read another opinion

Image by JohnSeb


  1. Hello James

    A fascinating topic that we could explore at length. Yet we can get to the point: human beings are meaning making machines that tell stories to themselves and each other continuously. The question is when the information is displayed what meaning will your call centre people make and what stories will they tell?

    If the meaning and the story making is positive – inspires agents, team leaders and manager to pull together and find better ways of working to reduce/deal with the demand then that is a great way to use the data. If the meaning and story making is negative – we better take more calls, close the calls promptly even if the customer is cut-off half way or not given the accurate answer – then the data is not useful. Which comes back to Deming: “Drive out fear”.


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