38: Looking Beyond the Numbers with Jenny Dempsey

38: Looking Beyond the Numbers with Jenny Dempsey

Jenny Dempsey loves a story! She woos her execs using their own ‘number language’.


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Charlotte Ward 0:14
Hello, and welcome to Episode 38 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is looking beyond the numbers. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. Today I’d like to welcome back Jenny Dempsey. Now, my discussion with Jenny was originally to be a discussion around metrics. But as you might expect with Jenny, things got a bit more interesting and I felt it fit much better here in looking beyond the numbers. I know you had some particularly strong feelings about metrics. I know that because you gave a very interesting answer in your interview over on customer support leaders.com. So I would love to hear your views in person.

Jenny Dempsey 1:06
Yeah, I think my answer the first three letters, were u g h, ugh. So, I mean, I was an English major, and I specifically changed to an English major in college because I didn’t want anything to do with numbers. So, I do have very strong feelings. But I have shifted a lot of beliefs over the years and become a little more friendly with metrics, simply because metrics tell a story, and I love stories. And stories help us grow and improve. And so I’ve tried to do things a little differently because there are some very general metrics. Yes, we want CSAT, we want NPS we want to know how many tickets we get how many tickets each agent is doing the you know, first response time yada, yada. Yes, of course. There are some that are very basic and very important. But I You know, we don’t necessarily, we don’t judge our agents on, you know, call time or email time and all this stuff. So while we have those metrics available, we don’t really do anything with them. And that might make us weird. That might make me like maybe I will learn in the future that I need to but right now and is not important. But what is important, again, goes back to the story. So one of my biggest and most favourite things to do is to see what types of tickets are coming in. So I work very hard, like for example, with the development team, on making sure that what the options in the drop-down menu that the customer select when they reach us are clear and make sense and we can measure those. I look at all the macros that the team uses and every single macro is tagged with a particular ticket or with a particular ticket type. And we measure those I measure Help Desk articles, how many views are on each of those what types of words do people Search for, because that’s what’s going to help me build the new article that’s going to help me write an informative casual blog post. That’s what’s going to help me build a new training page for the team. I look at things, metrics just a little bit differently. And I would choose that because that tells me more of a story.

Charlotte Ward 3:17
I mean, I love what you’re doing there, you’re concentrating more on the quality and the effectiveness of the solution, you provide maximising your agents’ opportunity to succeed as much as your customers. How do you utilise those when it comes to doing something that we quite often do with metrics, which is justify our existence as a department in the business? I think I think the fallback for a lot of leaders is to say, we had 1100 tickets last month, and this month we did 1200. So we’re doing better. And that becomes the report to the board. Right?

Jenny Dempsey 3:57

Charlotte Ward 3:57
How do you use the different set of metrics? Or do you do that as well? Is it somewhere between the two?

Jenny Dempsey 4:03
Oh, that’s a good question. And, you know, honestly, I haven’t done too much of that as far as like having to showcase it to like, higher executives on the team. If we need another agent, most of the times we like, we were considered an environment that we could walk in there and show, just say, you know, we need to hire someone. But, you know, for other jobs that I have had other roles that do require, you know, the story of like, well, we had X amount here, and now we have X amount. So we need this. And so being able to really always just go back to like, what does that, you know, executive need to see what’s their language? What’s their kind of like, you know, there’s love languages, how do we communicate it to them? And so I always just try to figure out what’s going to speak to them and that metric, may be ticket volume and may be ticket time response, it may be tags and maybe whatever and peace And maybe CSAT. I know for me in the past, I’ve just used the very basic numbers to be like, Hey, here’s our volume over last month, here’s our over the last six months, I usually do longer than a month. I want to see things over time. And so but I’ve researched everything, I know exactly what that individual’s looking to see, I know how to speak their number language, because I’ve talked to them and tried to understand what’s important to them. And so for anyone in this type of situation, maybe I hope this is good advice, talk to that person. And if you can’t talk to them directly talk to someone who’s close to them, and really get into their head and try to like, not manipulate but like really understand where their perspective is to under be able to communicate exactly what they want. Because you could go in and be like, we need this, this and this because it’s important to you, but if it’s not important to them, they’re not going to give a crap so hope it’s okay to say crap on here, but they’re not going to care. And so how are you going to first do your research and understand what’s important to them. That’s really what has helped me in other roles in anything communicating any type of need to any department is understanding what they first want to see.

Charlotte Ward 6:11
Hmm. I couldn’t agree more. I teach a mastermind session on support. And one of the key takeaways from one of the sessions there is when you’re talking to the wider business really understand what the other individual’s measures of success are, because that’s what they want to hear about. They want to hear about how you are going to influence their measures of success.

Jenny Dempsey 6:36
Yes. Totally

Charlotte Ward 6:40
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/38 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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