Fast Company digs up an interesting piece of choice architecture at the informational technology hosting company Rackspace. Several years ago, the company was brainstorming new and different ways to encourage employees to spend more time helping customers. It settled on a unique solution.
The cofounder, Graham Weston, made the dramatic decision to remove the call queue — the automated system that picks up the phone when customers call, assuring them that their call is important before it prompts them to press 1 or 2 or 3. Without this system, the environment changed. “Now when the phone rings, somebody has to pick it up,” Weston says. “There’s no safety net anymore.” Needless to say, Weston’s action made speedy customer service the new “default option” for employees at Rackspace. (Whether this constitutes a nudge or a shove is up for debate, but Weston says that it works.)