Thinking about new ways to add value this year? Whether personally, professionally, or both, you may not have to look farther than your own words to make a positive, major impact in 2015, and it is probably much easier than shedding those extra December pounds at the gym!
I can admit freely that there have been times in my life where I have not tried something due to my fear of failing, but I have learned that the benefits to trying something new far outweigh the feeling I get in not giving my ideas the air they deserve. This was probably one of the life lessons that took a little longer to sink in, but channeling it has been one of the best things for me personally and professionally, hands down.
I have been working with a large healthcare company putting together a strategic contact center investment and three year road map, and the team has been discussing how to frame up the approach. The company historically has managed investments as a bottoms up series of “projects” and the team was inclined to use that same approach for this effort.
For some background, the project is focused on moving the contact center in the following direction:
- Single channel to multi-channel
- Homegrown desktop systems to an agent portal (using packaged software)
- Improved First Call Resolution
- Reduced transfers
- Segmented levels of service
- Reduced contacts per customer / handle time
With the amount of change involved in this project, I suggested we take a different approach that defined the overall goals of the project in a way that will build momentum every stakeholder in the organization can get rallied behind. By defining what the project will deliver for the company, each department, and each individual involved everyone would have a “North Star” that would help guide them in support of the series of projects over multiple years. These simple messages can be woven into executive presentations, status updates, company communications, and in a B to B type company it can even be customer facing.
These statements or messages don’t have to be complex, but should define the essence of the work and has meaning for all stake holders. Some examples that I have been thinking about for this specific client:
- Good to great! – Preparing for the next wave of growth
- Customer first – Allowing customers channel of choice
- Process to profits – Designing a more efficient and effective customer interactions
A good message will help every stakeholder get more emotionally involved in the bigger movement and provide support beyond their current roles and responsibilities and on a great day, these stakeholders will become advocates for change. So next time you are framing up a project or initiative in your company, think about how this will impact the company as a whole, all stakeholders, and customers who use your projects and services. Start top down, before thinking bottoms up and think about what the “North Star” is. You just might be surprised on how many people start to get on board without being dictated by company priority or leadership decree.
Now, go change something!
I have been in a reflective mood as of late and I have been thinking about my past, what led me to start Infinite Green 6 years ago with my good friend Jon, and what were the specific inflection points in my career that enabled me to have a point of view others would find value in. I am not sure what started me on thinking about my past, but perhaps it was the trip last weekend to a start up contact center company called Corvisa based out of Milwaukee.
Corvisa was started for one simple purpose, design a contact management system that companies can use that isn’t complex to manage, provides flexibility, and allow the end user to design and create awesome customer experiences that doesn’t require an army of expensive IT resources to keep running. Sound like a dream? I would like to introduce you to Matt Lautz, the founder and creator of Corvisa. He started the company out of pure passion, and maybe a little bit of frustration. He was sick and tired of being limited by the systems of choice in the market. Ones that didn’t allow him to dream up new experiences for his customers. After all, with all the technology on the market today getting simpler and simpler to manage, why wasn’t there a contact management platform following that same evolution? Matt levered this passion to start something special. His product is on the verge of revolutionizing the contact center industry by putting the power of easy to configure software in the hands of contact center operators around the globe.
Meeting with Matt and his team, I realized that this company was going to be great and will continue to grow. Not because Corvisa has the best widget in town, but because he and his team have passion. Passion to solve a business problem that he has come to realize most companies have. The ability to dream up and EXECUTE great customer experiences without hassle, time, and the need to spin up an expensive company project. His passion is contagious and it’s obvious that passion has spread after interacting with various leaders around the company.
This brings me back full circle to my passion and to Infinite Green. Our company was created out of our passion to share our knowledge and unique perspective to the rest of the industry. My specific passion was developed over the years taking calls, managing teams of agents on the phone, and eventually managing 2000+ seat customer care organizations. I had to constantly justify spending for technology, people, and resources through the use of story telling, business models, customer metrics, and voice of customer research. It was a great proving ground constantly having to defend ones reason for being. I honed my messages, created visuals, and used the customer as a shield as I charged the hill demanding changes up stream that would fix the root cause of angry customer’s issues.
Thanks to the downturn in the economy, Jon and I had the opportunity to focus this passion towards others. Others seeking a new way to operate their service operations. A new, more valuable way to operate a contact center. One that is led with passion for improved customer experiences, without having to wait for project dollars or a top down company initiative. That is the core of what we do. Our goal is to help companies design, build, and execute great customer experiences that add company value. That’s what drives me, gets me energized to start early each and every day, and connect with as many companies as I can to get our word out.
This is my passion. Now I ask you, what’s yours?