Enterprise startup hack

(or how to get results from a Pilot in 30 days)

When we walked prospects through the results they’d see in just 30 days using Klever Insight software—a digital coach for tech support managers—the most common reaction was: “Sounds too good to be true. Can you prove it works?” And we were stumped.

Klever Insight is the world’s first digital coach that uses augmented intelligence—a human-centric application of artificial intelligence—to provide tech support managers the confidence and time they need to implement strategy, in just minutes a day. So how do we  prove that a digital coach helps managers achieve a better outcome than managers that receive no coaching?

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A new metric to show the effectiveness of internal documentation – the looper

For those of us who have worked for years with customer-facing documentation, we have found a wealth of information (not always accurate, but a lot of it) about how valuable the knowledge we deliver is. Some examples are the number of times a bit of knowledge shows up in a search result, how frequently it was clicked on and how well the bit of knowledge was rated.

Inside organizations, it’s harder to determine the value of different types of knowledge. We all know that the amount of knowledge that is available inside an organization dwarfs the amount available outside it. People need extensive knowledge from the organization, much of it is being created by another person or team outside their own organization. But, along with that wealth of knowledge, there’s a lot of opportunity for tension between the team that creates the knowledge and the team that receives it. How often do you hear?

“That document (project map/policy) was dropped in our lap without explanation and doesn’t help us.

“Every time we complain about that document (project map/policy), we hear that it works as designed (WAD).”

It’s hard to design a measure for internal documentation that truly reveals its effectiveness. Sign-offs often devolve from their original intended purpose to evaluate if the document (project map/policy) works for the receiver to a cursory read-through and box check (that rarely rejects anything). Quality measures often focus on adherence to the style guide or template, not on the usefulness of the document (project map/policy).

So, how can we measure the effectiveness of internal documentation?

The biggest challenge for the effective flow of knowledge is the overhead in delivering the knowledge required by the team receiving it. The team receiving the document (project map/policy) has to process it and determine whether it fulfills what they need it for. They identify a gap (or multiple gaps) and ask the delivering team to clarify (or add) knowledge. The clarifying team adds knowledge (or clarifies it), then the process repeats itself.

This loop isn’t about the quality of the document. It doesn’t matter if the document works as designed. It matters if the document effectively serves the needs of the receiver. These loops are hard to uncover and are often hidden in emails, phone calls or instant messages. But they represent significant challenges to organizations trying to effectively share knowledge (and deliver value for their customers). There are not only hard costs of lost time for both the delivering and receiving teams, but also soft costs in frustration on both sides (leading to less cooperation and lower employee satisfaction).

How do you measure it?

If we could start measuring the number of times a document (project map/policy) loops back and forth between the receiver and the deliverer (clarifications, fixes, etc.), we can start to determine the efficacy of internal knowledge. The biggest challenge to measuring the loops is that they are often informal and outside official knowledge sign-off or hand-off processes (if these processes exist, at all). Measuring these informal loops requires four steps:

  1. Ask both receiving and delivering teams how much time a loop takes to complete.
  2. Establish a process to track when knowledge (documents/project maps/policies) is handed off from one team to another. The process doesn’t have to be a formal sign-off or a complex workflow system, but a list of what knowledge started in one team and went to another.
  3. Establish a similar process to track when there are required clarifications to the document (project map/policy).
  4. Work with the delivering teams to reinforce the importance of all clarifications or loops being put into the system. Make sure to give them some context around why this will end up saving time (and check to make sure they don’t use the process as a way to get around providing clarifications).

After a few months, patterns will start to emerge. Which documents (project maps/policies) loop frequently? Which ones never loop? Are there teams that create knowledge that is easier to receive than others? If so, what are they doing better? Make a list of positive attributes and apply them to those that loop more frequently (prioritizing the ones that loop the most).

After six months, quantify the number of loops required per handed-off knowledge bit. Multiply that by the time estimate provided at the beginning of the process and you have the hard cost savings you have achieved. Ask the receiving and delivering teams how much easier the knowledge hand-off processes is (this might be an informal conversation or a formal survey). That will help uncover the soft costs. Together, they give a picture of the overall savings possible through implementing a simple measure that truly gets to the effectiveness of internal knowledge.


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

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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