Archive for the ‘organisations’ Category

Capturing tacit knowledge

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Organisations have both formal and informal or tacit knowledge. The first is written down in training manuals and case studies, the second floats around in employees’ heads. The risk with this is that if those employees leave, that valuable knowledge (often practical know-how) leaves too.

A photocopier company was worried about its staff training. Their copier repair guys operated solo, going on-site to fix jammed printers without much time in the office for formal training sessions. But in this process they picked up experience of specific and how to solve them. A corporate ethnographer shadowing the repairmen found that in fact they did swap tips and tricks at the favoured cafe they met for lunch. Knowledge was being transferred, just not formally.

A famous example of deliberately ‘scripting’ knowledge transfer is Steve Jobs insisting that the Pixar toilets were placed in the centre of the building so employees would be forced to interact with each other (on the way to the toilets not inside them).

Transferring knowledge from employee to employee is a way to keep tacit knowledge within the organisation. This can be enhanced by tools, like nativeye, that allow managers to capture ideas and insight from employees whenever and wherever inspiration strikes.

That tacit knowledge is then constantly being encoded in 1s and 0s and is not at risk of being lost.

Find out more about the nativeye app

Happy to help?

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Great customer service happens at an individual level – when you deal with a rep or customer assistant – but is enabled by the overall company culture, tools and happiness of that company’s employees.

Happy staff

It’s obvious when someone is not happy, and when it’s customer-facing staff this unhappiness spreads like a malevolent virus making for an uncomfortable customer experience. So we need happy staff. But what else?

A customer-centred culture

Great customer service is embedded in a company culture. It’s written in the manuals but more importantly it’s evidenced in everyday practices – the visible ‘what we do around here’, and managers lead by example. Organisations with customer-centred cultured plan and invest with the end customer in mind and train, equip and reward their staff to act in a customer-centred way.

Empowering staff

One of the most important tools is giving staff the discretion to act as they see fit on the ground. How many times have you phoned up a customer service line and had to be referred to the rep’s line manager? Contrary to what you might think, the first person couldn’t deal with your enquiry or request because they were a moron, but because they had clear areas of power to act that they are not allowed to exceed.

 

Coming soon – PART II Monitoring the employee experience

See also: Are you being served? nativeye’s experiment tracking the best and worst customer service out there