The 7-T Success System
In the first blog of this series, I introduced The 7-T Success System, an easy-to-use guide for leaders at all levels of the organization, from supervisor to CEO. As a reminder, the seven T’s are:
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
The 7-T Success System is designed as a guide for those who have the desire and drive to become a leader who inspires others to work toward a common goal. The 7-T Success System provides a comprehensive framework to help leaders identify the right things to focus on and provides a roadmap for doing those things in the right way. The 7-T Success System helps employees at all levels identify what comprises great leadership, how to achieve it, and how to leverage it to drive accomplishment and build high-performing teams.
In the last blog, we focused on TECHNIQUE and discussed the importance of both doing the right things, and then doing those things right. Each day your employees do things to get the job done. They execute what they have been instructed and taught to do. It’s your job as a leader to make sure those things are the right things and that there isn’t something different, better that they should be doing. You’re your people are doing all the right things, then a leader’s job is to ensure everyone is doing those things the right way. This means doing them as efficiently and effectively as possible to ensure the best outcomes for customers and shareholders.
In most cases, your employees us TOOLS to execute these techniques. For example, if your frontline supervisors are responsible for coaching their employees, the technique refers to how they conduct the coaching session. The TOOL(S) are the materials and technologies you have provided them to use during those coaching sessions, to optimize the outcomes. Do you give them paper and pencil, or maybe a computer or notebook? Do you provide access to relevant data? Have you invested in communication systems to facilitate seamless, 360 degree interactions? Have you digitalized rewards and recognition programs they can use to drive behaviors? In other words, what are the TOOLS your supervisors have at their disposal to use to execute their coaching duties?
“If the only TOOL you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” – Mark Twain
You can have all the right Targets, Talent and Technique in place, but if you don’t have the right Tools to execute your strategies, you won’t maximize your organization’s potential. And, the longer you operate without the right ones, the more ground you’ll lose to your competition. Replacing current tools with better options isn’t easy, but it is necessary.
Airlines continuously build lighter planes to improve fuel economy and save money. Automobile manufacturers have added countless features to improve comfort, dependability and safety over many decades, including seat belts, airbags, power steering, cruise control, and digital display systems. Businesses transform office spaces to improve employee productivity by providing enhancements like indirect lighting, ergonomic desks and chairs, dual monitors, nursing rooms and exercise facilities. Physicians of every specialty employ newer, better diagnostic and treatment options to better serve patients. All these improvements are intended to improve performance.
“You cannot mandate productivity, you must provide the tools to let people become their best.” – Steve Jobs
In the 1990s, I was head of reservations for a large travel agency. Our CIO introduced me to a new technology he had seen at a trade show, called Screen Pop. By linking employee computers to the phone system, caller information—including name, address, and travel history—could “pop” onto our travel agents’ screens at the same time a call came in. Our CIO asked me how long it currently took for an agent to ask the customer for this information, type it in and wait for the computer to bring back the data. It took around 30 seconds per call.
At that time, we answered more than one million calls per month at a cost of approximately $0.25 per minute. I calculated that we could save around $0.125 per call with the screen pop technology. Using 10 million calls per year for simple calculation purposes, I estimated this technology would save us over $1.25 million, not to mention that it would also make the agent’s job easier and the customer would receive faster service. The technology would cost us around $250,000. This was a no-brainer. We implemented the system over the next several months and the results were fantastic. As expected, we saved more than $1 million per year, employees loved the system’s ease of use and our customer satisfaction scores improved.
The current pandemic has caused many contact center organizations to evaluate the tools they are using to communicate with customers and employees. In particular, the migration to remote workers created a huge communication void between managers, supervisors and frontline agents. The use of video conferencing, virtual training rooms, modern/digital performance management systems and other technologies designed for remote worker management have exploded out of necessity. Most contact centers figured out how to get their employees set up and working from home within days, but most of these companies still haven’t figured out which TOOLS to use to optimize the performance of their new remote worker groups.
As Information Technology (I.T.) departments were able to get employees set up at home to handle customer transactions, very few organizations were contemplating what would be needed to ensure managers, supervisors and frontline agents were able to interact with each other in order to maintain the same level of performance realized inside of a facility prior to the pandemic. The first sign there was a problem with the new remote worker model was much higher answer times caused by lower agent utilization rates (less time actually working). No longer could supervisors physically “see” their frontline agents, and without technology to let them know who was doing what and when, the agents quickly realized that they could spend more time away from their desk without anyone realizing it.
Supervisors had to figure out how to receive and disseminate data/reports, set targets, track performance, conduct coaching sessions, document performance improvement actions, facilitate games and contests, motivate employees, provide rewards and recognition, answer questions, etc. all from their own home office to their agent’s home offices. Many contact center organizations expected the supervisors to make these dramatic changes without any new technologies. The cost of this oversight was, and still is in many cases, lower levels of engagement, higher absenteeism, higher attrition rates, lower productivity all which negatively impact customer experience and the profitability of the business.
Companies that have high employee engagement enjoy 17% more productivity. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
The best organizations quickly realized they had to provide their supervisors and managers with new technologies to meet the challenges of remote environments. One of these technologies is referred to as “modern performance management systems”. These systems gather relevant data from all the disparate systems used to track contact center performance, from HR data, to ACD/transactional data, to CRM, sales systems, marketing/NPS, etc. Once all the data is housed in one system, customized dashboards and reports are produced for each employee level within the organization with 24/7 real-time access. This way, everyone is able to see their (and their team’s) targets and performance in real-time. In addition, these systems are able to identify trends and performance gaps, offer coaching tips, facilitate 360 degree coaching sessions at any level, provide gamification solutions and rewards and recognition activities, all within one system. These modern performance management systems give the supervisors, their managers and frontline agents a way to engage and optimize performance efficiently and effectively in the new remote environments.
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis
If you’re already a leader, or are an aspiring leader, you don’t want to simply manage your team or organization; you want to lead it and build a winning team. The fact that you have taken the time to read this blog means you’re ready to accelerate your organization’s success journey and demonstrate your value as a leader. The 7-T Success System can help you accomplish that. Let’s go, leaders!
Casey Kostecka is an award-winning thought leader and expert in sales, customer experience management and contact center operations within BPO/outsourcing, healthcare, travel/hospitality, and government arenas. His proven track record in leading $500M+ organizations to record-breaking growth and profitability makes him a sought-after speaker and consultant. Casey’s extensive experience with process engineering, leadership cultivation, and team and customer engagement led him to develop unique, highly effective tools. Casey is the founder of TouchPoint One and its award-winning ACUITYTM Performance Management System, multiple proprietary gamification applications, and the 7-T Success System™ are all of which are employed by Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States. Learn more about his work at www.touchpointone.com and www.7TSuccess.com.