17 de January de 2017 in Blog, Career, How to, Productivity, Satisfaction
The American online store Zappos sells shoes and clothing over the internet. It was bought by Amazon 1.2 billion dollars, it is one of the great cases about customer service, worth knowing.
And today the company is not only impressed by its customer service but also by its curious management model, the so-called holocracy: a distributed authority system – a set of “rules of the game” that place empowerment at the core of the organization.
In this model, basically authority and decision making are distributed by self-organized teams, rather than at the top of a hierarchy.
Is this all or not enough reason for any company to pay attention to the famous “Zappos culture”?
The company has always focused on good customer service / support and is proof that a quality customer service can put a business really at the top.
At Zappos there is no middle ground, the customer is a priority and service is a reference.
Ony Hsieh, CEO of e-commerce since 2000, started with a shy company that only sold shoes on the internet. However, in a short time, the store grew, started selling other products and generating more and more profit until, in 2009, the company was acquired by Amazon.
This impressive growth was only possible because Tony put the customer service as the organization’s priority instead of profits (can you imagine that?).
This made the customers, extremely satisfied with the service, indicate the company to their acquaintances, the famous word-of-mouth marketing and thus, of course, Zappos has been gaining more and more consumers and consequently higher billing
And why are we talking about this company? Simple, as we have said, it is a case of success, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Then, follow what you can learn about Zappos’ customer service, and focus on service so your organization can succeed.
Customer service and support of quality is a matter of business culture!
You do not necessarily need to create a lot of rules of conduct for your employees when it comes to delivering good customer service, Zappos has shown that a set of rules is not as effective as having a business culture that truly values the customer (after all, Your business only exists because of it).
Depending on the circumstances of your business and context, we know how manuals and scripts can be disempowering, to use a buzzword.
Many say categorically (including Tony Hsieh himself) that Zappos is a “customer service company that happens to sell shoes and clothes.”
And one of the core values of its service culture is the delivery of the “wow” factor (in Zappos’s own words) to its clients, through services, stimulating creativity and change, creating fun, being open to innovations, seeking growth And learning, build open and honest relationships, have team spirit and family, do more with less, be passionate, determined and be humble.
These principles should be accepted by everyone in the company and only people who had affinity with these values were hired.
Imagine the scene: a strong team of 600 employees who take care of phones, e-mail, and chat lines is not just any call-center but the more autonomous customer service team across the industry – And this works wonderfully well!
The service at Zappos was completely personalized, no customer was served the same way and as has been said, there was no script to follow.
Every person who contacted the company should get full attention from the clerk, who would create a close relationship with the consumer and talk to him as long as it takes to solve his problem.
When you do not have customer service goals to beat, employees can focus on quality of care, as they do not need to dispense the customer as soon as possible.
And this is much more important, since the customer feels really special and ends up being loyal. Within the reality of your company, could you implement this practice? Think about!
Loyalty before, profit later.
The idea behind the title of this topic is quite simple: before you think about the financial return, you should think about how each attendant can satisfy the customer of your company.
At Zappos, for example, it was worth everything, employees had the autonomy to do whatever they thought necessary to please the consumer, from sending personalized messages to customers to sending new products and gifts in case of any problem.
Even if the customer was looking for a product that the company did not have, the employee could look at the competition and tell the customer where to find the product (take courage to do that, right?).
You may be wondering, “But wait, does not that make a sale go away?”
At least within the experience of the company, it seems that by doing so, the customer feels valued and consequently will be loyal to the company, because, because of the attention given to it, it will return at an opportune moment.
“Errare Humanum Est”: everybody make mistakes the important thing is to admit and improve.
An interesting point to highlight within the Zappos culture is the encouragement of admission of error.
The important thing is that if an error is made, it is assumed and resolved, even if it means financial loss to the company at first.
How about stimulating that same stance in your company?
In practical terms, it means that if customers are harmed with a thoughtless discount promise, for example, if the mistake is made and the promise is fulfilled.
You can be sure that you will get their trust and respect.
The biggest lesson you can learn from Zappos is: in customer service, make it clear that the customer is your priority. You will see that this will win many more consumers and leverage your business.
Don’t forget your employees.
Promote the training of your employees or in the words of Zappos founder Tony Hsieh: “Empower and trust your customer service representatives. And believe them they want to do good service … because, in fact, they do. “
Do you already apply any of these actions to your business? Does your company truly prioritize your consumer? Do you invest in good practices in customer service? Tell us about!
06 de December de 2016 in Blog, How to, knowledge, Productivity
Your expertise and technology credentials can make you strong in an IT manager position. Learn how certain non-technical attributes can help you stand out. The 10 features listed below extend beyond the required competencies and can help…
# 1: Proactive attitude: Take initiative and do a good job. Being proactive is an excellent feature as long as it is consistent with the mission.
# 2: Adaptability to change: Our IT world is constantly changing and those who are adaptable tend to achieve more. Managers need to adapt to change and maintain high levels of productivity, even in difficult times.
# 3: Appreciation of good customer service: People who understand the importance of customer service know that customers or users are the reason why we have a career in IT. They also know how to take precautions when working with problems that can cause downtime and loss of productivity.
# 4: Teamwork: Many excellent IT technicians lose their value to an organization when they cannot effectively work in a team environment. Demonstrating an ability to work successfully with mixed teams of IT staff and users is a tangible asset.
# 5: Commitment proven: work and work! When called upon to take care of a situation – one who will do whatever it takes to succeed individually and for the team. True artists work under pressure.
# 6: A strong desire to achieve: It is difficult to teach people to want to succeed if they do not have the desire. Having a desire puts an emphasis on getting important issues solved, and it is known when a situation demands the maximum donation to the tasks.
# 7: Ability to solve problems: Erasing fires is a big part of the role of any IT manager, and competence does not necessarily mean that a manager has to have all the answers. Good managers are willing to work hard to find answers and take the challenges that come to their tables.
# 8: Communication skills: Having the ability to communicate effectively with others is necessary in most IT management roles. IT managers communicate with you every day – from the CIO and from the internal user to the external customer. Strong verbal and written communication skills can make you stand out.
# 9: Strong Follow-up Skills: Nothing is more frustrating for a CIO than having a manager who does not do task tracking and called properly. It probably undermines the credibility of the IT organization more than anyone else. The tracking capability shows commitment and an understanding of customer service.
# 10: Low Maintenance: Managers who can operate individually and solve problems that will not create unnecessary personal or professional problems.
03 de May de 2016 in Blog, How to, Productivity, Satisfaction
Customer reviews can be a great benefit to the company and you need to know how to use them.
Organizations face many challenges in their day to day, many of them are linked to the customer and the perception that they have of the services/ products provided by the company and the way the consumer sees the company.
Your opinion is formed based on purchased goods and services, but also, based on the service / post-sales / support being provided.
When treatment offered meets consumer expectations it is likely to be favorable to the company, but when the quality of service leaves to be desired, certainly will remain critical to all sides.
And the question is: How can companies take advantage of the negative reviews to improve, evolve?
It’s time the companies see customer critical, negative or positive character, as a diagnosis, as precious data that the consumer shares after all, believe it or not your company makes mistakes.
This client-side feedback can be very valuable if you consider and take advantage of it as it should be.
Identify the errors.
Customer opinions must serve primarily to identify errors that the company commits (of service, quality of product and support).
And usually the sector in charge of dealing with these dissatisfactions (both those related to their own work, as in other sectors) is the service area (either support, or SAC) and this is responsible for managing these critical and use them as a metric of improvement.
Identify improvement mechanisms
When the client issues a negative opinion, this is valuable information, because the message between the lines is “Improve, otherwise will lose to the competition,” this means that there is still hope to be able to meet customer expectations and remain in the market in spite of everything.
And often it can also be a sign that there is still hope for that complaining customer, who doesn’t leave the company, but warns upon his criticism
But what should be done? Talk, ask, about the mechanisms of improvement on actions the customer believes that they can optimize the product or service, as regards their expectations, because may be the dissatisfaction of many other customers / users and nothing better than feedback to give that help in time to improve.
After all, who better than our customers to shows us the way to improve quality in our products and service?
12 de April de 2016 in Blog, Help Desk, How to, Satisfaction
Manage talent, people, is not the easiest of tasks, especially in the case of IT; people management is an area that we should not overlook, whatever the size of the company.
You can always achieve something else (from any area of your business), provided that seek good solutions. Follow some advice to improve the human capital management in IT.
1. Know your talents
Google is a company recognized for its innovative management processes; call your human resources department of “People Operations”. The industry works through an approach of constant monitoring of the motivations and aspirations of its employees.
Obviously your company does not need to keep sophisticated Google’s data system on each member of your team, but you can follow the example seeking to know them.
The easiest way to do this is with regular meetings (and objective) with feedback and organizational climate research.
2. Understand what drives your employees
From the first advice you’ll know what motivates each member of your team and it will be easier to get the best of each.
Remember, not always money is everything. The preparation of a good career plan and reward programs can be more motivating for some employees.
3. Show your own mistakes
A sui generis advice is true, but consider the following: to submit to the team your own mistakes transmit to them more confidence to work, as well realize that they can also make mistakes, a good way to humanize before his subordinates.
This time can also be educational. It will show the subordinate that the important thing is to work to correct these errors as soon as possible. Actively working to solve the problem is more important than doing nothing.
4. Organizational climate.
The good relationship between employees is critical to increase productivity.
Invest in events, trainings putting together different sectors of the company, enabling the interaction between them, through a relaxed mood, outside the corporate environment.
06 de April de 2016 in Blog, Help Desk, How to, knowledge, Productivity
Believe me, if you manager of an IT project has not yet had the luck (or misfortune) to cross with someone hard to deal with on a project, do not worry, it’s just a matter of time.
This implies that you will need a lot of patience and strategy to cope with this kind of person in a friendly way (for good design!) Despite the possible obstacles.
But before, a very important notice: do not destroy bridges! Independent of genius difficult of their interlocutors, remember that all the people who collaborate in the project they want the project go well and reach your goal.
However, many times the war of egos can come to lose everything, if in a day you offer unconditional support, in the following may create a genuine turmoil because the progress of work is not being done exactly as they want, etc.
And doesn’t mean that they have changed their goals, they still want the success of the project, just for professional issues or character (or both together) move to the confrontation.
Don’t take this attitude as something personal and remember that business is just business, professional relationship apart. Whatever happens (of course we are not referring to the extreme, with blows, for example), do not burn bridges and dispose of these people just because they seem to be hindering the progress of work.
You must at first find ways to work with them to break the deadlock.
Now that we have this clear, we will focus on the tips (which can save your team).
4 Strategies to deal with difficult people
Identify and observe them carefully.
It must be done continuously, as stated before, if at first it is an active advocate in another moment can become a stone in the shoe.
But if you are attentive to the signs, his comments on the latest state of reviews, for example, you will not be surprised and have time to formulate possible strategies to minimize the influence of this turbulent personality before the team and the project.
Therefore it is very important to ensure that all channels of communication are always kept open to prevent possible negativity.
Listen carefully to what they tell you.
Try to be aware of where proceed negative comments and use of empathy to analyze this point of view, that’s right, put yourself in the person’s place. In this way you may be able to understand their motivations and goals and who knows even adhere to his or her logic (if it really comes to add to the project).
Make a conscious effort to understand the point of view and ask yourself: How much the opposite view affects the project? Is this perhaps another way to accomplish the project will bring no benefits? Among other issues … The idea is to try to find a meeting point.
Meet with the “rebels” one by one.
Try to gather or when possible to talk to the “rebels” individually.
In this way these people do not feel cornered against others involved in the project; it is important to avoid confrontation, avoid asking brusquely why they opposed the way the project was planned or is running.
Ask open ended questions about their opinions and what they think about the project, stage, etc, remember this is a professional relationship, isn’t personal.
Discover their concerns and motivations.
Discover the motives behind the opposition are a great asset. They are concerned that it will exceed the budget? They are concerned with more technical questions of order or personal? Anyway, many may be the reasons and if you achieves success in discovering the reasons guiding this approach therefore might create a strategy so that everyone is satisfied and continue despite difficulties.
If you can manage the people involved in a project effectively, listening to them and satisfying their needs over the course of a project, you can then benefit from the trust placed in you and your methods.
And that goes for everyone, not just for those who create conflicts…
Have you ever had to deal with difficult people in a project? How did you deal with the situation? Think about it!
29 de March de 2016 in Blog, How to, knowledge, Productivity
No matter how much experience you have, when it comes to projects you will often make a mistake, that’s a fact.
In this chat we want to address some bad practices or mistakes that appear in dealing with IT projects. True, there are many others, we can’t cover all these possibilities in a single text but is a warning.
And although we refer to essentially the management of IT projects, nothing prevents also serve for other types of projects.
Incorrect estimate/project planning
A very common mistake depending on many factors not always a solution at hand. For example, a customer with no clear goals, no official specifications, technical inability to set goals too optimistic or risky (surreal delivery times, reduced staff, unfulfilled tasks, zero quality management etc.).
In the case of this item we know that the sky is always the limit.
Bad distribution of roles in the development team.
This error is usually present when assign roles for availability and not competence.
The risk of delegating an inappropriate person for the job increases as higher is the level of responsibility of the same. A person can be excellent in a function or task and bad in others, so stay tuned.
Some simple measure can perhaps reduce this problem, for example to assess the professional profile of your employees carefully, keep in mind that as a project becomes more critical, the greater should be the empowerment of the managers, engineers, analysts, programmers, etc.
Assume instead of prove.
Dealing on the projects you should have maximum certainty. It is a classic fact that many managers when don’t have the information or it is incomplete assume they know. This is more dangerous to decide in uncertainty.
In the case of ignoring the essential factors, inquire them and formalize them. Get specific, realistic and measurable objectives of the project, time to start and delivery, available resources (technologies, budget, and personnel), requirements specification, risk, among others to prevent surprises or not if they occur, are limited.
Plan does not include all those responsible.
At this stage you should include all employees responsible for the project. In the case of missing responsible for the accuracy of the planning will be affected and this may hinder the understanding of the schedule and setting of targets.
This is particularly delicate in the case of directors. So it must have complete description of the roles of each team member in this project, design of the program, its phases, activities and tasks, the resources required for each activity, a good communication plan and risk management and the visible support a the least one of the company managers.
Embrace many tasks at the same time.
Be multitasking is today an advantage, mainly in terms of qualification. However, assume many tasks/projects concurrently can make the lowest performance and turn a brake for the whole team.
But then what should do for that not happen?
Well, in case of proven damage to productivity, reduce projects / tasks open at a 25% -50% (WIP – Work in Progress) is an alternative, you can also (if there is no other way) pause or even shut down some projects / tasks to keep open several that are never completed (question of priorities), using agile methodologies that save time without losing quality finally use quantitative methods of planning and control to enable a better distribution of work.
Lack of communication.
Communication is essential in a project. To establish communication is elemental needs a transmitter, a receiver, a message and a protocol.
The absence of these causes confusion, apathy and disorganization and to avoid this some initiatives are very important, such as planning meetings and most important interactions (so there is no loss of time with endless meetings), establish the standards, protocols and technologies to communicate.
Also ensure that any team member involved in the project meet the planning and means available to it, not rely on the software to implement the project, personal contact is often necessary.
Not knowing how to say no.
A project manager may be able to have all the data and tools needed to develop a good plan, manage it, ensure follow-up and achieve a good product.
However a personal characteristic of yours can place to lose the whole team, which is not able to say no. If a manager says no doesn’t mean that it is negative, saying not means that if recognizes the context, conditions and requirements and what is requested cannot be delivered in a timely manner.
Involves a good knowledge of the project and the team, the capabilities and estimates and what you want, what quality level you want to achieve.
Here we have the application of the previous item carried to the extreme, we refer to use the “no” in excess and not adapt to changes properly.
Many managers follow blindly the initial plan, underestimating communication, ignoring suggestions and criticism, forgetting to oversee the mechanical team and adjust your attitude and the plan to the inevitable changes that arise.
This type of manager will never be leader: little by little will feed the antipathy, fear and apathy of its staff members. Your projects can only be met if you have excess resources or a development team of extreme quality.
Too much macro or micro-management
Control freak, unplanned checks, integration solutions off schedule. These problems are usually quite common for managers without much experience or ignore the current tools of control and integration.
The micro-management is negative for the project and fatal for the whole team: not opens space for the development of the employees and nor for the initiative of these and generates widespread discontent.
These are just some of the mistakes and bad practices common in project management, of course there are many others that are out of this list and do so much damage to the project and the team.
What do you think about the issue? What others practices were left out? Do you agree?
11 de December de 2015 in Help Desk, How to, ITIL, Productivity, Satisfaction, Software
Managing a call center requires skill and a good knowledge of the area metrics. But after all, which even are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that any manager must know, even?
In a quick list, we can say that these are six basic indicators (at the least).
And we’re not talking about complex metrics, but simple actions you can take to make sure you have a real-time view of the success of your team:
Know your customer satisfaction score: For each customer satisfaction score, there is always a key indicator of performance. Create a list of information per company, manager or process to obtain the most accurate picture of your customer satisfaction, noting the areas that are in need of improvement.
Think about your level of service: Next, you need to clearly define your ideal level of service. From this baseline, you can question any shift in customer satisfaction.
Note the problems of yesterday to spot trends: The key performance indicators here are dropout rates, average waiting times and adherence. By looking at your past issues you can see if there are trends in changes in the types of calls you are getting and how its agents are dealing with them.
Using these data can also allow you to make sure that the team is properly closing the incidents. If on the other hand changes occur in the types of the tickets, this data can help you focus on these areas and reprioritize.
Review the session support to better understand your customer’s needs: To analyze the patterns of records issued the day before, you will have to observe the changes in the types of incoming tickets and how well agents are operating these tickets.
To hear the first calls of the day you will have a few tips, say, fresh on customer needs. What are the most common problems and what is the approach of the agents?
Follow the team: Another tip is to track your team this will give you a moral sense of team and the qualitative state support.
Any comments and techniques that make your team the most successful members are the key performance indicators.
Know where your team has quality and where you can improve: Finally, your overall assessment should identify the level at which the team is successful or needs improvement.
In this case, the key performance indicator is a quality score of two parts, divided between the business impact and the impact on the customer.
Like all businesses operate in different ways, it is important that as service manager / help desk you set your KPI according to specific strengths and weaknesses, track your performance and set realistic benchmarks for the future.
To ensure that you understand what these metrics really mean and how they impact your center means that you are on track to achieve this goal.
08 de December de 2015 in Career, How to, Productivity, Satisfaction
The team concept originates from sports, however, the corporate world knew incorporate very well this concept in the mid-twentieth century, when different authors star to recognize the importance of teams in organizations, focusing on companies and particularly in projects.
So, in the current days we hear so much about Team Building, Team Work, and Team Leadership.
Teamwork is not just a sum of individual activities, but there is a collective energy that produces a different effect to the simple addition of tasks.
For those who lead teams and not only wishing to build teams, but mainly learn to obtain the full potential of the synergy between all its members, here are 10 keys that will be fundamental to achieve this purpose.
That isn’t just for Help Desk teams or IT projects, but for any other area where teamwork is vital…
- Formation of teams with a purpose and a task. For a team to be made there must be a purpose, a task. The common goal is the league. Sense of purpose is all!
- Scope of the purposes in a specified period. Teams have a specific time to do their work. And these time limits may be set by a higher level of organization, the team itself, by the driver or by a process of negotiation between the many stakeholders in the organization.
- Individual specialization and specialization of the team. While members have knowledge and skills in one or more specific subjects, they should also be prepared to exchange functions.
- The selection of team members. Organizations select their members focused on individual skills psychological conditions, etc.
- Evaluation by process. Evaluation by results. Some teams are measured only by results. Other also measure the shape and case in which the task was accomplished
- Team style. Each team has a style that characterizes and is formed by internal agreements, for resources, for personal style, knowledge and previous experience of the members and the team leader, for his stories, etc.
- Quality standards. Teams are required to meet quality standards. For example: an orchestra can’t tune.
- Reliability. It develops over time. In ephemeral teams confidence is often implicit in the professionalism of its members.
- The oath of the team. The agreements score the team’s limits, generate cohesion.
- Ethics, motivation and training. The satisfaction of certain ethical principles – of which the continuous training and competition are not excluded- is a motivator for team members.
And to you which factors unite and improve the performance of a team? Share with us!
08 de October de 2015 in Blog, How to, Productivity
For the professionals of all sectors is important to know what habits will give you what you need to have a day more productive, this state is almost magic that leads us to complete the task in time and without distractions.
Let’s look at some of the most recurrent myths about productivity that can be responsible for the opposite effect.
Separate complex projects into smaller tasks don’t work out.
Program each pending from beginning to end can cause wear, and productive people are more comfortable with the certainty in the short term than with the long-term uncertainty when it comes to managing tasks.
Try to separate the big projects in two or three jobs at once.
Is a matter to get used to, but more realistic approach to complex projects will provide a broader range of ideas, the ability to overcome obstacles and have better point of view from which to make good decisions.
The fact is you don’t know which challenges or opportunities will come across at some point and needs to be flexible enough to handle them.
Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today.
Use a time line for organize your work, doesn’t matter how many you have on your list.
Productive people are always reviewing what they have to do in the next few weeks, because they know it is a marathon that takes time.
Trying to do everything in the same day can be frustrating and you may be disappointed with the result rushed, so it’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve.
Look for your list and try to put the same number of pending issues every day. The key words on this case are: essentiality and priority.
Reprogram again and again until it’s over.
Do you think that reschedule pendency will not prejudice you?
Think again, there is a big emotional cost that comes with reprogramming.
Productive people know how to eliminate things that are not so important to remain focused and not have the worry of having to do something.
Do commit yourself only what you know you can finish and what you can spend your time during the day. It’s not just about finishing things, but about finishing them well.
After all, the productivity is a personal quest.
What works for some may not work as well for others as not all have the same success settings.
About it, pay attention to your habits and ask yourself what works for you.
Perhaps the most important rule is that professionals more productive create their own “truths” on the road.
18 de February de 2014 in Blog, How to, ITIL, Productivity, Satisfaction
Knowledge base is where you store all relevant information about your work done in your company, so you can access it later. But how to create an effective knowledge base in your company?
First, to build your knowledge base you need to keep in mind your goal, because the term is too wide and everything eventually may become a knowledge base. For example, if the average time for solving problems in your Help Desk is high, you need a base to streamline this process. That needs to be started for each incident. In this case, a set of records of incidents can be the foundation of knowledge you need , with known errors and technical workarounds that can be found easily. On the other hand, a database where are stored all manuals and operating procedures of a particular technical support is also a knowledge base.
But the question is: how to make this efficient knowledge base ? How to relate all this information to quickly find the answers I seek? To have a base of knowledge organized and effective, you need planning and control. One way to optimize your base is the indexing of the content that needs to be registered on the basis of criteria to facilitate your search, such as the due date for questions and model registration ( title , problem , cause and solution ). Hold people responsible for base and to measure their use to achieve constantly make improvements.
Owning a knowledge base will help you establish a pattern of response to the calls , increase the solution at the first level, the possibility of direct technical support Level 2 for more complex jobs that generate more value for the business , plus shorten troubleshooting and enable service 24 × 7.