House of the Dragon, HBO’s latest foray into the epic, George R. R. Martin–inspired Game of Thrones universe, has officially concluded with a shocking finale in classic Game of Thrones fashion.
And we’re diving in to see what the fated tale of the Targaryen family can teach us about contact center leadership.
At first glance, you may be wondering, with a raised eyebrow, just what lessons a fantasy series like House of the Dragon can hold for contact center leaders.
Well, just like Jon Snow’s true lineage, all will be revealed shortly.
Before I continue, I should say, spoiler alert! Do not continue reading if you have not finished the series and wish to do so without knowing how certain things end. You have been warned!
Ok, now where were we?
Lesson #1: Quality Assurance and Training Are Essential—Especially for Dragons
The big shocker of the season finale happens when Aemond Targaryen’s dragon, Vhagar, completely obliterates Lucerys Velaryon and his dragon, Arrax, likely kicking off the greatest war in Westerosi history and undoing decades of peace.
During the pursuit, Aemond does not appear to actually want to harm Lucerys, but loses control of Vhagar, who instantly kills Lucerys and Arrax with a single chomp.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, and I completely agree: This might have been avoided with the proper dragon quality-assurance (DQA) and coaching protocols.
I mean, do we even know if Aemond had provided adequate training to Vhagar? Had he observed Vhagar interacting with other dragons before this flight and provided timely and relevant feedback? Had he even thought about the regulatory fines of a noncompliant dragon?
We never saw it onscreen during this season, but my guesstimate is: not likely.
And this will lead to grave consequences for the rest of the realm.
If Aemond had a proper quality assurance solution that allowed him to better see Vhagar’s past interactions with other dragons, he would have been able to proactively create a targeted coaching program that could have curbed his dragon’s temperament.
And the realm would have avoided being plunged into war.
It’s really that simple.
Lesson #2: 100% Visibility Is Critical for Making Strategic Business Decisions
In the final scene of Episode 8, King Viserys I Targaryen begins to ramble to his wife, Alicent Hightower, whose son is named Aegon, about a prophecy from King Aegon I Targaryen, the conqueror of Westeros.
King Viserys: “Aegon…”
Alicent: “Our son.”
King Viserys: “The Prince that was Promised.”
Alicent: “Prince Aegon?”
King Viserys: “To unite the realm against the cold and the dark.”
Alicent was never told about this prophecy and so confuses the dying King’s last words for something she’s wanted all along: his blessing to make Aegon, her son, his successor to the Iron Throne.
This sets in motion the complete destabilization of the current succession plan—and is a precursor to the inevitable war.
Had Alicent received 100% of the context from King Viserys, she would have understood that he was talking about Aegon I’s prophecy, not her son Aegon. Yet, with this incomplete information, Alicent moves to take the crown from Rhaenerys.
Similarly, when contact center leaders are not given 100% visibility into agent-customer interactions, they are forced to make critical business decisions with incomplete data.
Contact center software like conversation intelligence helps in this area, providing contextual insights to improve agent performance and drive better, data-driven business decisions.
According to our 2022 State of Contact Center Conversation Intelligence report, 96% of contact center leaders say conversation intelligence increased transparency and 92% say it helped them make more strategic business decisions.
In addition, new innovations in automated QA solutions, like Auto QA, are giving contact center leaders unprecedented visibility—that is, the ability to see into 100% of interactions—so they can confidently make decisions based on data.
So the next time you need to make a major business decision, ask yourself this: Is this decision based on the ramblings of an overly medicated king, or is it grounded in data from 100% visibility into contact center interactions?
For the sake of the realm, I hope it’s the latter.
Lesson #3: Frontline Agents Are a Wealth of Data
After the king dies, the race is on to crown the next king. However, no one can find his successor, Aegon—except someone known as the White Worm, who leverages a network of child spies to bring her information.
These children are often overlooked, but the White Worm sees them for what they really are: a wealth of data.
Just like your contact center agents, these children observe the kingdom’s “customers” firsthand and relay valuable insights to their master, the White Worm.
Nothing is more powerful than getting data directly from the source.
Don’t view your contact center as a cost center. Consider it for what it truly is: a massive wealth of data into customer wants, needs, hopes, and dreams.
Your contact center agents are on the ground, on the front lines, day in and day out, hearing the voice of the customer.
With a proper reporting and analytics dashboard, you can easily make sense of that frontline data to drive better business outcomes, just like Tod Kehrli, senior director of technology services at Accolade, does: “Observe.AI Reporting and Analytics allows us to deepen our understanding of the member experience with greater precision. With their timely and contextualized insights, we’re able to rapidly promote successful behaviors across our team, and ensure we’re delivering the highest quality healthcare experience.”
The Fate of Your Contact Center Is in Your Hands
Unlike the Westerosi politics that fuel the entire Game of Thrones franchise, contact center operations is not a game to be played.
Contact centers are critical to business outcomes—and the ability to derive meaningful insights that drive better performance is at your fingertips.