Should we approach KCS in a more positive way? For me, personally, the answer is yes.
Service and support people thrive on finding problems and fixing them. That’s how we’re wired. We often approach KCS the same way—as a series of problems to be solved:
- Middle managers are undermining the program!
- Everyone says they’re too busy!
- Our organizations are slow to change!
- Links aren’t accurate!
- So many articles are junk!
Sure enough, these are real problems, and KCS has tools to address them all. But I’m concerned it’s hard to inspire people with a vision that’s all about overcoming challenges.
I became aware of my own focus on the negative while working with a talented producer. I’m writing scripts for a series of short videos about KCS, and my producer kept asking me, “Can’t we tell people the good things they can achieve? Do we have to start with all these problems?” My instinct the first few times she asked this question was to say, “Of course we need to start with the problems! Everyone faces them, and everyone knows they need help with them.”
After enough of these conversations, though, I was forced to reconsider my response. I mean, do you want to watch a series of videos telling you how to avoid one failure after another? Me, neither.
When we do coach workshops, we use Beth Haggett’s KCS coach training material which explores Appreciative Inquiry. By asking questions that focus on what’s going right, we learn and highlight the practices we can use and expand to grow KCS success in the organization. With Appreciative Inquiry, we set aside the problems for a moment and highlight the bright spots.
My script-writing experience reminds me that I need to embrace this approach. I resolve to focus more on the paths to KCS success, and the benefits that follow, rather than problems you might encounter along the way. Sure, when problems come up, we know how to deal with them. But let’s start with how we
- Empower customers to feel smart and help themselves
- Build confidence and competence in every team member by giving them access to the collective experience of the whole team
- Free the team from repetitive issues so they can sink their teeth into meaty and interesting problems, learning as they work
- Help customers receive and perceive value from our products and services
- Drive improved financial results while we lower customer effort and increase customer loyalty
That’s a movie I want to see!