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Don't sleep on it, automate it

Interesting article in New Scientist - 'Sleeping on it' best for complex decisions. While this is mostly about how people make decisions about things that affect them directly, it made me think about businesses who are relying on staff to make complex decisions on behalf of their customers - or indeed about who to accept as a customer and who to reject.

The research suggests the conscious mind should be trusted only with simple decisions

So what if the decision you need your staff to take, while they are working with a customer or prospect, is a complex one (whether to offer them credit, allow a payment holiday etc)? Well this article would imply you have three choices:

  • Tell the customer you will call back tomorrow so your staff can "sleep on it"
  • Make a bad decision
  • Rely on automation to eliminate the need for your staff to make the decision at all

No clearly the second option is no good and the first one has some risk - you might lose the customer in the meantime. The third one is the subject of this blog - using business rules and analytics to automate complex operational decisions.

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