See around corners with your Service DNA

We believe it’s always better to improve a process than simply follow it. But, many times, we see one of two things: First, organizations try to automate a process before optimizing it. Unfortunately, automating a mess simply makes it messier, faster. The second scenario, which is harder to spot, is when the process itself may be optimally designed, but it is unnatural for the organization to follow the process. There are too many obstacles that set them up for failure.

Over the years, as we worked with leaders to get a sense of their organizational capabilities, we really struggled to find this blind spot. We focused on the usual suspects—people, process, and technology—as we assessed the state of their business and their overall capabilities. But we found that these three elements weren’t enough to give us a sense of who they were and what they were capable of achieving as an organization.

Read moreSee around corners with your Service DNA

Seek to understand before you seek to solve…

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.

2020 has gummed up the gears of business even more than usual

Read moreSeek to understand before you seek to solve…

What’s Your Time-to-Smile Number?

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.”

Read moreWhat’s Your Time-to-Smile Number?

They Can’t All Be Winners: 4 Tips for Avoiding Chosen One Syndrome

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.

Read moreThey Can’t All Be Winners: 4 Tips for Avoiding Chosen One Syndrome

Free resources from Roundtables with Phil — Developing Leadership Skills

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.

Read moreFree resources from Roundtables with Phil — Developing Leadership Skills

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 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.

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

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).

Read moreGuidelines and Guardrails — the better way to lead