Re: Managing Expectations

Subject: Re: Managing Expectations
From: Smokey Lynne L Bare <slbare -at- JUNO -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 01:22:26 -0400

Damien,

You may wish to redirect what group you are going to define as your
audience (based on the frustrating scenario you presented). In this
case, the installers you described seemed to be carrying an agenda of
their own. But the Tech. Support Desk would seem to me to be your SMEs
in this case for providing you the client information you desire.

I worked on a project for one of Toledo Scales International groups
several years ago. During this time, I watched in amazement, as the Help
Techies sat in front of volumes of various manuals, and drilled through
tons of paperwork to ascertain what the answer was to the clients'
problems. Most of the time, with headsets on, they floated from manual
shelves, to the PC, to wandering around the room talking to these
clients. Perhaps the walking around relieved the constant stress due to
the volume of calls they had, but they really tried to research the
answers. Now comes in your question. Taking that scenario you mentioned,
I would say your Help Desk would be your source or SMEs. Knowing the
volumes of information they fill out daily, I would make it an easy task
to pull your information in order that they don't kill the messenger -
you!

Make a table with the headers listing the type of perceived information
you feel the clients might ask assistance with or problems they
encounter. Design it in order that the phone techie only has to place a
mark in the column to log the number of calls related to that problem.
And of course, if enough calls come in on one problem, the phone techies
can add a header or two of their own to be counted along with your
listings. The easier the reporting processes involved, the more response
you should get back in a timely fashion.

After reading your message for the second time, my concern which raised a
'pink flag' (I edit in pink) is your second to last sentence. "We had
one new installer who hadn't used our products before and so had no
preconceptions, followed what was said in the lit and had relatively few
problems." I know if my direct report would see the three words
"...relatively few problems," well let's say I would be working a few
nights late with my team to find out what material was missing which
caused those "...few problems." But I did want to let you know there is
a successful way to pull your information. It just has to be designed in
a non-interrupting-of-my-daily-job type of format. Once gathered, then
everybody should be a happy camper, or kicked out of the tent into the
woods.


live from the bare's den.......

Smokey

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