A really powerful employee measure you should be tracking – but probably not the way you do it

In a world where leaders have seen the payoffs of modernizing how they onboard customers, why does onboarding employees seem like it is still stuck in the past century? I’m not talking about the cool new ways to show appreciation — but in terms of perhaps the most important measure in a team-based environment.

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What does Drinking Champagne have to do with building modern enterprise software?

When we brought together leading organizations and leaders in companies to create a modern, open, balanced measurement scorecard — the Open Customer Metrics Framework (OCMF) — there were some measures we called ’emerging measures’. These are measures we felt were important, but we didn’t really have specifics on how to capture them. I’ll walk through one of the more intriguing ones, and how we use this internally at Klever Insight.

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The Klever Insight Manifesto

We work with leaders in service and support organizations who believe that support is more than just taking care of a customer after they have a problem.

We believe every company can learn how to listen to their customers, employees and their business and apply what they learn. We also believe that champions of these efforts shouldn’t have to take this journey alone.

Klever Insight was born from deep hands-on expertise in intense support environments where survival depends on what you know and how fast you solve problems.

But, we know that while the principles of modern customer support are simple, putting it into practice in the interrupt-driven world of support is really hard. Solving problems as well as root causes. Taking care of employees as well as customers. Creating an environment of listening and learning instead of control and compliance.

Traditional solutions think technology alone is the answer. It requires a focus not just on tools, but on people and process.

That’s why we created Klever Insight.

Klever Insight creates empowered experts everywhere. And enables you to earn and demand respect on behalf of the customer from the rest of the organization.

It was developed by experts who are passionate about helping your organization get the most from the people and knowledge you already have.

Only Klever Insight combines technology and methodology. Process and principle. Powerful tools built on a foundation of deep hands-on expertise and award-winning techniques. Delivered in a way that brings the best of your organization to each customer interaction, lifting up your people with it, providing lasting value to all.

Together we help you take customers beyond something to be taken care of. Or even managed.

With Klever Insight, knowledge about your customers, employees and your business becomes a lever. To solve problems faster, create more value, and lift your organization and the people within it.

Sophomore Slump at work – how do you compare?

In the US, a sophomore is someone who is in their second year of college, with two more years before they (hopefully) graduate. The term ‘sophomore slump’ refers to the significant drop in morale many sophomores feel after the initial excitement of college (and the elaborate on-boarding process) is replaced by the reality of harder courses.

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Guidelines and Guardrails — the better way to lead

In the intense, interrupt-driven world of customer-facing operations, very few organizations can consistently deliver outstanding customer experiences and provide a truly fulfilling work environment. Those that do have one thing in common — teams that know how to approach unexpected problems even during inevitable moments of chaos.

How do we get more people to be like the few that know what to do? As leaders we end up on one end of the spectrum — creating nice-sounding but vague statements like ‘whatever it takes’ (yes, I was guilty of this) to the other — creating soul-crushing rigid rules that inevitably don’t cover all situations.  To address the many gaps in between, we either send people to training (50 – 80% of which is forgotten within 24 hours) or parachute senior people in to avert disaster (the hero complex).

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Measures, Metrics & Madness

Background
For a few years now, leaders at customer support organizations have talked about moving customers from a ‘transaction-based’ service and support model to a ‘relationship-based’ one. This involves changing customers’ perceptions, from contacting you only when there are break-fix or how do I questions, to one that understands their business, including the technical and business context of their queries.

With this new approach, you don’t just wait for customers to contact you and then react. Your teams embed knowledge sharing into their practices to reduce or eliminate the ‘known’ issues that customers call about, leaving time for ‘new’ issues or queries that need a personal touch to resolve. You help your customers’ business become more successful by improving the way they use your products and services. This evolution in turn is an important first step in moving from
an expert for hire to a trusted advisor.

After early successes in this journey, many organizations run into a seemingly impenetrable wall. Your senior team ‘gets it,’ but this understanding does not seem to trickle down to most mid-level managers and frontline teams. You are able to get people to share knowledge to tackle the proverbial low hanging fruit (answers to simple issues or frequently repeated questions), but you can’t seem to convince other groups to share knowledge around complex and rarely-repeated processes.

Do they just not get it? What exactly is going on?

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Welcome to the Smartest Next Step in Taking Care of Your Customers (and Employees)

Wow. It has been almost 30 years since I began a career dedicated to taking care of customers, and with the upcoming launch of Klever Insight Beta, I feel proud that everyone who takes care of customers can benefit from the next digital leap forward: with Klever Insight. The world’s first digital advisor for Customer Success and Support teams connects strategy to execution, so everyone always takes the smartest next step.

Strategy must be guided from the top, while the changes required are done by front-line managers. Klever Insight helps with both, plus places at your fingers the experience of an entire industry–because we’ve applied open-source principles to running operations. We’ve seeded the platform with customer success and support expertise and templates, and everyone who uses it helps to improve it–paying it forward by improving results for the next group of people that uses it.

Klever Insight:

  • Recommends the smartest strategic focus for your department or group, based on the success of other organizations and your ability to execute.
  • Guides managers to execute by doing just one small thing every day.
  • Measures success with an open metrics standard.

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An AI-powered HiPPO with Big Ears: A Better Way to Plan

Quite often people ask me why on earth I decided to move from my (allegedly) lucrative consulting practice to become a tech start-up co-founder and CEO, with all the hard work, heartache and risk that it entails.  Well, because I experienced for myself and saw the pain my clients went through without the time, data and directions to actually do the right strategic work that would make a difference. Not to mention the constant struggle to properly implement it and sustain success (always a challenge), but also to prove it generated the right results.

Nowhere was this more evident than in the annual planning process, currently underway at many organizations.  My last post walked through my flawed past approach to annual planning, and in this post I’ll share my learnings and abject failures, all leading to Klever Insight’s birth.

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“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Yes that’s an attention-getting line, famously coined by boxer Mike Tyson. But it really is something to think about, especially since it’s that time of the year for most of us – when we are neck deep in planning. A time when hope still springs eternal – *this* is surely the year when we will duck those right hooks and our fancy footwork will guide us to success. Or, when some of what we plan for gets completed rather than smashed by a flurry of incoming urgent issues.  

If you are anything like me, here’s how you would approach this task :

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