What I learned from Thoreau came from stumbling across his quote in a science fiction book I was reading –
“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
There’s so much wisdom packed into these few words. And for someone like me who teaches, it resonates. Because I think great teaching helps people ‘see’ more clearly.
In the domains of Customer Experience, Customer Service & Contact Centers, folks look at and see a lot of different things.
Let’s have a look.
Here are some examples of the difference between looking and ‘seeing’
– When you listened to that call recording or read that email reply from Customer Service, what did you ‘see’ (hear)?
Quality opinions tend to be all over the place – even amongst folks who’ve worked together for years. Was that a good email or a not so good email? What was great about that call? What could be improved in that call?
Getting people to ‘see’ Quality and align around a common understanding for Quality makes Customer lives better (yeah – predictablity & consistency!).
And it makes Employee lives better too (yeah, we know what we’re supposed to deliver and we get quality help from our company to deliver that).
Interpreting Metric results
– When you look at those 32 Contact Center metrics you report every week – what do you ‘see’?
Because I work inside so many Centers around the world, I see the level of variation in the ‘what’ people select and look at in their Contact Center KPIs.
So many Contact Center metrics are either unnecessary, secondary at best, interpreted incorrectly, are weighted too much (or too little) or are interpreted in different ways amongst the Team.
And because a Center is an ‘interrelated system of causes’, it’s important to understand the interrelationships and trade-offs that exist between metrics – not just metric performance in isolation.
Looking at a dashboard of metrics, and having the entire Team accurately interpret what they see – unlocks a world of potential.
What I learned from Thoreau? Don’t just look at dashboards – see and understand what they’re telling you.
Interpreting how Customers behave
– When that Customer scolded you while you were serving at the Counter what did you ‘see’?
Don’t be surprised when some Frontline folks – after being scolded by a Customer – say they saw a ‘jerk’. Or that they were being ‘abused’.
Some discussion on how to better manage difficult Customer situations can change the way folks ‘see’ some of these situations.
Because there is a distinction between Customer behaviour that is indeed ‘abusive’ vs. Customer behaviour that we just happen not to like.
Helping your folks see that – and manage those situations better – is an important leadership responsibility.
And for those in leadership roles, our job is to help others see things too
In management workshops Participants ask the following questions:
– How can I get my bosses to ‘see’ that our Contact Center is a profit center, not a cost center?
– How can I get my Employees to ‘see’ that the values we’ve chosen for culture change really matter?
– How can I get other departments to ‘see’ how important CX is?
The cool thing is that when people see better, they do better.
They make better decisions. They align & unite around common language & goals. They improve their ability to influence & persuade others.
Not once in the 21 years I’ve been training has a single Client said, “Dan, we’d like to fly you halfway around the world and pay you some money to stand up and share your opinions with the Team for 1 or 2 days.”
Even writing that sentence makes me wince.
The way Clients put it sounds like this. “Dan, we have a challenge or an opportunity we’d like some help with.”
“Can you help our people see how to run our Center better? See what CX means and how to bring it to life. See how to be a better boss. See how to improve coaching outcomes. See how to communicate better with Customers.”
Not just look. But see
I like what I learned from Thoreau. And I came across his quote purely by accident – in a science fiction book I was reading.
But it helped me reflect on what I do in my own work. And see it more clearly.
I hope in some way it is helpful to you too. Thank you for reading!