Ed Lamb

Inspect What you Expect!

Sounds simple enough but most customer service organizations fail to do so and the results can be disastrous. In our collective experience, we know that companies who fail to establish an 'accepted' vision for their customer service organizations end up with 'reactive' type organizations vs pro-active work culture that drives performance. The result being a workforce focused on what it needs to do to get by vs what it needs to do to excel.

An 'accepted' vision is one that is derived from shared values that are bottom-up as well top-down statements of what an organization's purpose is with an ideal but achievable goal. Every department will buy-in and every initiative in the organization will relate to this 'call-to-arms'. Establishing what you expect and having that expectation understood and accepted is an important first step in establishing a pro-active work culture whose momentum will be self sustaining.

Establishing an accepted vision also sets the stage for defining what activities are truly important in reaching that vision. Companies that focus on activities unrelated to the vision send the wrong message to the work force and can result in misdirected efforts. Management's focus on activities peripheral to the main objective will unknowingly shift the workforce to focus on problems vs solutions. People have a strong tendency to focus on the negatives (what is wrong) vs the positives (what works best to reach our goal and what can we do more of to make it better).

Your organization can refocus on what is truly important to reach that shared vision. You can implement tools and processes to help you 'inspect' what you 'expect' to ensure that your organization is on track, and not side tracked. It is also important for organizations to understand and resolve which 'soft' issues are present and impacting their success in resolving the 'hard' issues.

Companies can identify and understand the 'hard' issues. They know what they are. Where they have the most difficulty is in identifying and understanding the ever present underlying 'soft' issues that exist within their work culture. Resolving the 'soft' issues sets the foundation for resolving 'hard' issues quicker. Even 'soft' issues can be tracked and measured with the right metrics, so from top to bottom, measure everything, so you can inspect that performance and make it match your expectations.