It’s the time of year when organizations review what they’ve accomplished, evaluating achievements against goals set in January. Often, this navel-gazing will result in revised projected budgets, staffing changes, or executive bonuses. Even when things seem to be going relatively well, it’s easy to (mistakenly) assume there is a good alignment between what the leaders project and what employees experience in the trenches.
Customer success and support execs often are the bearers of bad news for an organization. When things go wrong, they are the proverbial “one throat to choke.” In an enterprise, this is particularly galling because many of the issues are not within the control of the customer service/support person. Buggy products, incorrectly calibrated expectations during the sales cycle and disruptions anywhere in the delivery process can cause frustration for customers. It’s no wonder that “customer satisfaction” is not a measure they like, particularly if too much of one’s bonus is tied to this measure.
To help the organizational silos better understand that everyone exists to care for the customer, there is a new metric that requires your attention. We call it “Time-to-Smile.”
It’s rooted in the idea that “we’re all in this together.”
Is it possible for someone to be too customer-focused?
Why, yes, it is.
I’m reminded of a company we worked with a few years ago. As a highly respected global leader of specialty equipment that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the total annual contract value of the sale reaching much higher than that, its customers expected immediate responses, focused attention, and superior service. The manufacturer’s team of experts spent a lot of time and money ensuring the customers got exactly what they wanted and needed.
The definition of “a leader,” specifically in the corporate world and western hemisphere, has morphed and evolved quite a bit in the last century or so. Early in the 19th century, a business “leader” was a titan of industry, usually a once-poverty-stricken lad (and yes, way back when, it was a young man) who pulled …
In 1998, the Harvard Business Review published an article entitled, “The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome,” which described a scenario where employees perceived as weak performers “lived down” to their detractors’ lowest expectations. The syndrome was compared to the “Pygmalion Effect,” by which someone achieves greatness because others believe they are capable of doing so.
Service leaders often are the pillar that others lean on when things descend into chaos.
But what happens when everything collapses around us, and we too feel the crushing weight of a pandemic that upends all our plans and stresses our systems, our people, and ourselves to the limit?
We can muddle through, or we can build on the foundation that marks our profession—the willingness to help each other—to know that all of us are better than any one of us.
Introducing Roundtables with Phil
That’s why we invited 28 service leaders — colleagues, customers, industry leaders, and thought gurus to orchestrate a series of roundtable conversations to explore ways to help each other and share tips, “gotchas,” and new best practices as we navigate our way to surer footing.
As leaders, we have grand plans: those that will help our organizations, our customers and dare we admit it—our own careers. Unfortunately, we don’t have much time to translate strategy into practical projects for our operational managers to implement. So, we end up with statements like: Here’s what we need to do by X date, …
I’m a big fan of collaborative games, games where you need to work together to achieve a goal. I play a couple on my iPhone and the best of them combine individual rewards and community involvement. If I contribute 10 archers to the next battle, I get an individual medal and my team captures the Black Knight’s castle. I love that I am being recognized and that the team benefits.I haven’t always been a fan of recognition programs for knowledge-sharing practices. I believe that sharing knowledge requires a change to behaviors. That change is only sustainable in the long-term if team members understand how sharing knowledge benefits them, their customers and the organization.
(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?
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 …