Permission To Say Yes

boss-say-yesProcesses are important–really important.  Without strong processes within our organizations things often don’t get done consistently or at all.  In customer service, processes ensure that we deliver a consistently awesome experience to our customers.  There’s absolutely no way around them.

The Backstory

I was recently asked to revamp a specific team in our customer service organization.  Vaguely remembering something called “stakeholder analysis” from my school days I decided to call and speak with some of the key people in our organization that interact with this team.  When I asked what they needed from that team, the resounding themes were a “can do attitude” and avoiding pushback or saying no when they are approached for help.

This team just happens to handle some of our biggest customers and most complex issues.  It goes without saying that they need to be able to solve a variety of problems.  Awesome customer service IS required.

How Process Can Get In The Way

In a customer service organization, there’s no way around it.  Whether it’s internal or external support, the team must be in a position where they can find solutions to problems.  Any process that requires the team to consistently pushback or say “no we can’t do that” is not sustainable.  If the team and processes are not consistently meeting the needs of stakeholders, this needs to be rethough–and fast.

Permission To Say Yes

Now it goes without saying that no employee with aspirations of career advancement wants to be put in a position where they have to consistently say no to someone senior to them in the organization.  That would be ludicrous.  In talking with my team, I advised them to always err on the side of saying YES and being helpful, creative, and working toward a solution.

If they are ever in a position to do something they don’t feel is within the scope of the team, they should speak with me, the manager.  If it’s a battle worth fighting, I have their back.  If they fight the battle without the support of the team and management, they will not last long.

What I find is that when it comes to serving our customers both internal and external, the scope of our work is very broad.  As long as you work for me, you have the permission and responsibility to say YES.  We can work out the rest of the details after the fact.

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Jeremy Watkin is a Product Marketing Manager at 8x8. He has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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