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I think our Reports Person has lost the plot

I think our Reports Person has lost the plot
by OmniTouch International

When you’re not sure why the reports you generate matter, or wonder if they even make sense, it’s time to take a step back.

“I think our Reports Person has lost the plot.”

That’s what one of our Participants said to the group after we had finished working through the Contact Centre metrics topic in a recent workshop.

“They generate these complex reports that no one really understands. It’s a big relief to know I don’t have to just accept them simply because we’ve always done it this way.”

That share prompted another Participant in the course to display a report that was being used in their Centre.

As we all stared at the screen trying to figure out what the report was meant to achieve, here is what she said:

“My predecessor who created this report had been in the role a long time.

So our big bosses and everyone in the team assumed that they were an ‘expert’. And that this report was industry standard or at least ‘right’ in some way. 

Based on what I’ve learned in this course so far I’ve already emailed our CEO and told them that we’re going to redefine some of the terms we use and present our performance to them in a better report.

I got a very positive response to that!”


I had my own story to share

I shared the story of how, after delivering a global workshop on-site with a Client, the reports person for that company spent nearly two hours explaining one metric that they created and used to track performance in their Centre.

That explanation was so confusing that even to this day, with half a dozen photos of the whiteboard in my phone, I still can’t quite make heads or tails of it.

And as it turned out – as I met others in that same company – nobody else could understand it either.

The calculations presented may have been highly accurate.  And may have served a higher level purpose.

But complexity in place of clarity is never a good idea.

If you’re running a Contact Centre or Customer Experience group and your folks need a PhD to understand a metric that’s supposed to guide their behaviour, you’ve already got a problem.

Because the very people who are supposed to make it ‘happen’ can’t explain it.Which means they can’t understand it either.


Sometimes people who are new to the role have an advantage over those with years of experience

I sometimes find that people who are new to the industry have an easier time to stand up and ask, “Why do we do this? What is this report supposed to help us with? Is it actually helping?”

Experience is great.

But be cautious about assuming that years of experience – and doing the same thing over and over – is a reliable indicator that we’re doing the right thing.


Reports are more than just reports

It’s easy to say they’re just reports. But that’s a big oversimplification.

Reports – and especially what’s on them – tell people in a formal and structured way what matters around here.  If we measure it, then it must be important.

Which guides people’s behaviour. And people’s behaviour informs the work culture.

Challenge yourself from time to time to be really clear on which reports matter and which ones, perhaps, don’t.

Because it’s so worth it to get it right.


Thank you for reading!

Thank you for the time you took to read this today.  I appreciate it!

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Daniel Ord

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