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.”
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.
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.
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).
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.
- 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.
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.
This is the final post in a six-part series on each of the Categories of Focus suggested by the new standard Open Customer Metrics Framework (OCMF). Learn more about this modern, open framework and its five categories of focus in my first post on this topic.
OCMF suggests that executives should spend about 10% of their time on things that make a difference — the “Acceleration category”.
You know how crazy this sounds. We barely have enough time to deal with our day-to- day (and overnight) emergencies as it is.
This is part five of a six-part series on each of the Categories of Focus suggested by the new standard Open Customer Metrics Framework (OCMF). Learn more about this modern, open framework and its five categories of focus in my first post on this topic.
OCMF suggests that executives should spend about 20% of their time on knowledge management – the “Knowledge/Collaboration category”.
For those of you keeping score at the office, this is the *same* percentage focused on customers and employees. Yes, it is that important. Your employees know this.
Klever’s State of Knowledge Sharing 2016 survey asked the following question: “If people in your workplace were sharing knowledge as well as they possibly could, it would improve productivity by:”
Nearly 50% of respondents believe that their organization could be at least 30% more productive if they shared knowledge better. Think about that the next time you think knowledge management is too fuzzy a concept to address.
This is part two of a six-part series on each of the Categories of Focus suggested by the new standard Open Customer Metrics Framework (OCMF). Learn more about this modern, open framework and its five categories of focus in my first post on this topic.
OCMF suggests that executives should spend about 20% of their time on the needs of the customer, which we’ll walk through here.
A good measurement system:
- is simple enough to focus attention on a few key elements.
- is fair enough so that people at every level believe they can affect the measures.
- facilitates an environment of learning and dialogue – not of control and compliance.