'S e obair latha t˛iseachaidh- It's a days work to get started
I came across these wise words; ironically as I was finding other things to do rather than getting down to the task of this week's blog. The old proverb about procrastination was written in a diary by my late dad, in Gaelic which was his first language.
Talking to a GP friend recently she described her aversion to paperwork, putting it off as long as she possibly could preferring her passion for face to face patient time. In my first role after university with PwC I remember the dread of looming deadlines for time sheets to account for my efforts; and indeed my tendency to endure caffeine fuelled midnight hours before an essay deadline; which could have been completed weeks before.
A common trend in today's world is the need to account for all our efforts in a myriad of seemingly over complex systems. Consider the challenge facing customer contact managers and directors, who are required to summarise, analyse and report everything that happens between an organisation and its customers, in an always on multi channel mobile world. Working at the fast paced interface between customers and company at a relentless pace and scale, demands total dedication; how tempting to spend as little time as possible on the dreaded reporting back. And yet the risks of not excelling at the skills of effective and timely reporting are high; the biggest of these surely is allowing performance to be judged by reams of figures generated by machines rather than a considered narrative by experts who are living the experiences day and daily.
When you consider the array of measures that are used to describe customers' experiences it can be quite bewildering. It takes skill and experience to balance a single loud angry tweet with 1000 happy callers or efficient web chat exchanges. Dissuading boards from defaulting to comfortable simple measurements like average handling times (or that tweet) without considering outcomes takes confidence and support.
Without proper analysis and a clear and simple report the value of customer interactions is likely to be buried deep under a deluge of stats. This issue is high on the agenda for delegates of CCA MBA for Customer Experience, where we are tacking this issue head on. Liz Barclay, a seasoned broadcaster and Chair of CCA Standards Council is leading a session on the how and why of effective communication at our next session in November in Glasgow.
I've been so impressed and learned loads, with some of the simple rules, media tricks and of course the do's and don'ts. Learning how to engage a team or Board with a concise and informative review is an essential but overlooked skill in every organisation today. Mastering this art will pay huge dividends, not least in winning investment bids and helping to steer disparate parts of your organisation to unite behind the customer.
So let's get rid of the fear, ditch the hard work and reap the rewards of telling your own story of what's actually happening as only you can.
Now time for that coffee and cake!