May 20, 2013
The fading technology. Old School perceived by most everyone.
Whatever you want to call it, the phone has gotten a bad rap in the face of technologies such as IVR Systems, Voice-to-Text, Email, Text Messaging and Social Media.
The pendulum has swung from a phone-centric world to a world characterized by “let’s-use-every-technology-possible-to-avoid-having-a-conversation-with-another-human”. Sarcasm intended.
For me, the irony is anything but subtle.
Every organization wants to have “more effective communications” with employees to share information, provide strategic direction and direct action.
With customers to explain a value proposition that hopefully will result in a sale.
Unfortunately, however, they are employing solutions that REDUCE communications effectiveness.
Relevant information to individuals is lost in mass media technologies.
Organizations are distancing themselves from Humans by inserting technology in the middle.
Intended outcomes from communication are not achieved as employee and customer reaction can’t be heard and acted on.
The phone is Old School from a technology point of view, but it is now the New School from the point of view of connecting and engaging with people.
With developing a “high touch” culture like Zappos. They actually encourage their customers to call them. An invitation that The Herd generally avoids for cost reasons. How crazy is that?
Inject a healthy dose of the “H” (Humanity) Factor back into organizations.
Invite people to call. Have a conversation.
Go retro. Go phone.
May 18, 2013
Ever heard this one before?
“Due to heavy call volumes we are unable to answer your call at this time. But stay on the line and we will get to you with the next available agent. Please do not hang up. Your call is important to us.”
CALLS are important I guess. People not so much.
If the call was so important why wasn’t someone there to answer it (on the 3rd ring)?
Oh I know. Because the Call Center is considered a Cost Center where the prime directive is to keep costs as low as possible.
It’s not viewed as a “Serving Center” where delivering Unforgettable Moments is the raison d’être.
May 13, 2013
A message to Leaders.
Want to find out what is REALLY going on in your organization?
Venture into The Pit.
A Bear Pit Session is Managing by Wandering Around (MBWA) on steroids. It is not a casual experience. It is not an event involving your entourage.
It IS about the Leader with no support engaging with employees in a no-format session.
An opportunity for people to “tell it like it is”. What’s working and what’s not.
The incredibly stupid things they think are going on.
The ridiculous way they treat customers.
The “Dumb Rules” that prevent them from doing the job they want to do.
I did The Pit every week. It was on my calendar.
It was one of the most important drivers of my effectiveness as a leader.
You’ll like it (or not).
May 12, 2013
NBC King5 Morning News Seattle, Washington