Attention To Detail Is Everything…Unless…
I am very fortunate in that I really like the work that I do in customer experience (CX). I have both mathematics and an operations background. The analytical side of me does enjoy getting data and discovering those hidden insights. However, my operations background tends to win my attention as I like solving operational problems for my clients – and also internally.
My confession: I really enjoy putting together a great foundation and framework, but getting into all the details requires me to focus only on that one thing for an extended period of time to work out every detail, otherwise I’ll get distracted by the next challenge.
A principle of our founder is “80% done in 3 days is better than 100% in 3 weeks”. Of course, this statement can be read in several different ways, and some may disagree, however, I find this to be a good construct for approaching work with my clients.
Failure is Inevitable
I can explain my reasoning simply, and it comes from my operations experience. Getting “80% done in 3 days” provides the following benefits:
- It is an interim milestone and demonstrates progress
- It is an opportunity to pause for client feedback
Those checkpoints along the way are critical for both me and the client. If I disappeared for three weeks putting my head down to get something out at 100%, then I suddenly have a nervous client wondering if I’m making progress. On my part, I’ve had my share of producing a product a couple weeks later that meets the specifications of a statement-of-work, but then didn’t capture the unwritten needs of the client. As such, you can see why attempting “100% in 3 weeks” will fail.
However, even “80% done in 3 days” will fail. Why? Because anyone looking at an unfinished product will have concerns. Imagine me out your CX solution on our QuestionPro platform. I have added all the questions you want to ask, constructed the custom variables & reporting hierarchy that will be used for filtering dashboards, and even setup notifications for closed-loop feedback.
That is quite a bit of progress at that 3-day checkpoint, but what if the client’s concern was seeing the manager dashboards? At that point, there will be concerns again. Are we heading in the right direction? Why wasn’t that part done first? Can I see that on day 4?
Maybe I should have just delivered “100% in 3 weeks”.
The Right Approach
Regardless of the efforts put in, there will always be a slight disconnect between customers’/clients’ expectations and what we deliver. The root cause can be a disconnect between the marketing/sales, sales/delivery, delivery/account management, or simply a misunderstanding with how the client sees the process.
If we were to look at that statement “80% in 3 days versus 100% in three weeks”, then what is the correct approach? In a word – communication. Failure will happen even with the best planned approach. Expectations will vary wildly between stakeholders and customers. And I can admit, sometimes I just get distracted by the next bright and shiny object – it’s ok to admit, we all have done that at one time or another.
Whether you’re in a B2B environment or a B2C service offering, the single most important thing is “communication”. It is why we conduct surveys with customers in the first place – to give them an outlet to communicate with us, even if the customer doesn’t realize a touchpoint journey has been completed.
Parting thought: Tomorrow, on June 30th, you’ll want to attend a QuestionPro event hosted by Dan Fleetwood and Vivek Bhaskaran. Join them as they announce how we democratize research with QuestionPro Insights Hub. Click here to register.