97: Process Improvement with Kaylin Bailey

97: Process Improvement with Kaylin Bailey

Kaylin Bailey does a Five Whys analysis when examining the way a process currently works, and whether it’s a good candidate for change.


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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 97 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is process improvement. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome back to the podcast today, Kaylin Bailey. Kaylin It’s lovely to have you back. Thank you for joining me again, and this week, we’re talking about process improvement. Support is a really process heavy part of the business, isn’t it? We really rely on our processes to get us through any part of the day and it’s really important that they they work for us, right.

Kaylin Bailey 0:56
Absolutely. Yep. I think that support is very driven by processing isn’t always telling other teams that just give us an easy process to follow that you can’t really mess up and support is pretty happy to do it just give us a process that we need to follow.

Charlotte Ward 1:10
What do we do when a process isn’t working quite as well as we hope it might? And how do you spot that actually, like, what are the what are the red flags? That we should give something a bit of attention?

Kaylin Bailey 1:20
Yeah. So I think that there are some red flags and some yellow flags, some easy to identify process improvement means or when something isn’t getting done, right, you think you’ve got this process lined up and it’s good to go. But the results of the process are not coming out the way you expect. And consistently not coming out the way you expect would be a pretty big red flag that something is wrong there. But it could be as mild as Oh, I’m getting a lot of questions on this particular part of the process that I got needs to get cleaned up and I can reduce those questions because an ideal world a lot of practices are easy to follow without a lot of hands on attention once you’ve got it rolled out. So anytime that something happening, I think there’s a time to step back and realise that process may need to get a group.

Charlotte Ward 2:04
That’s a really good point, just the number of questions that a process is attracting is a really good indicator of how how good the process is, but how well it’s documented and understood, definitely, how do we tackle those flags red or yellow.

Kaylin Bailey 2:18
So for me, I always like to step back and make sure I’m talking to all parties involved. So if it’s a process for another team, make sure a team lead on support and maybe someone from that team is in the room. And then I like to ask a lot of questions that are saying around illuminators find the question behind the question and easiest way that I found to do that is together in a room into a meeting and ask why. And then ask why again, and then ask why again, and again and again. Because oftentimes, you’ll find there’s a root problem that may be linked to three or four issues with multiple processes. And if you can really get to the bigger issue going on. Oftentimes, you can solve multiple things at one time

Charlotte Ward 2:57
Actually, we often arrive at these roles. Software processes have been around for a while, and we run with them. And we kind of accept for a little while. That’s the way it’s it is working. So it must be the best way to do it. But actually, that and kind of drilling down is is really helpful

Kaylin Bailey 3:16
Here at Illuminate we’ve had a lot of mergers, a lot of different companies come in. And it’s always a good idea to take a look at your processes at that time and really figure out if you’ve got the best process or you just got the process you’re the most comfortable with, because it’s a comfort level thing. It’s worth addressing and potentially changing the process.

Charlotte Ward 3:32
I had never thought about that that process might just be moderately effective, because it’s comfortable, but it’s worth getting uncomfortable with. The process improvement is worth getting uncomfortable with and I think asking those questions when you get everyone in that room can be an uncomfortable experience, right?

Kaylin Bailey 3:49
Absolutely. Yep. For a lot of people, especially with the smaller group coming trying to change a bigger process that can be Rocky. It’s definitely worth exploring and making sure that it’s the right thing. Do but oftentimes it is. And at the end, you know, six months down the line, people aren’t gonna remember the pain of the process changing, they’re gonna realise, oh, this is easier and it takes less time or I slipped up in it.

Charlotte Ward 4:11
How do you deal with that pain when you’re going through it, though? Because I think that I think you hit the nail on the head when it’s a big process and a small early stage team. These discussions can feel enormous and and there’s actually a lot of stakeholder responsibility in that room. Isn’t that because these processes tend to be such a big part of the business?

Kaylin Bailey 4:34
Yep, yep. So I think you start with lots of questions and making sure that the process really does need to change and if a decision is made, it’s all about documentation for us. So we’ve been rolling out a process with Confluence where there’s a support hub, and one of the main categories underneath it is processes and that’s broken down by leads and agents and other teams. That way, it’s really easy to document what is going on what steps are in the process and if anyone has questions They can always reference back to that page on Confluence in particular, you know, you can watch a page and get an email when when the page gets updated. So, but it’s been really effective in communicating updates to processes. Obviously an email or you know, I mentioned it in the meeting is also important, but documenting it has been really, really helpful and having it all be in one central location, along with all the other things he might need to reference has been huge.

Charlotte Ward 5:24
Hmm. That’s actually something that I’m going through right now. Like putting, putting processes in place or refining them or documenting them and putting them in conference. I’m starting to some of I mean, I’m really early stage with some of this stuff. But I’m starting to do some of the same things that you’re talking about there. Documenting processes and role descriptions and things in Confluence and having those change over time. People can watch the page that’s reliant on them watching the page. You can push the information out through email and in meetings, but How to ensure the message gets to everyone that really needs to know that something key here is really changed.

Kaylin Bailey 6:07
When it’s something key, I always like to bring it up in a meeting. So we’ve got a lead meeting that happens every week. So if there’s a huge change to a process, we’ll address it there. If it’s only on a particular team, I also do one on one. So making sure that in that one on one with the league, we go through I show the document, they have time to look through it. Oftentimes I’ll say, Hey, take a look at this Confluence page before we meet and come to me with thoughts so that we can talk it through because for me if you can get someone to internalise the process, internalise the why behind it, that’s really when they can go out and communicate it to their team effectively.

Charlotte Ward 6:41
That’s it for today. Go to customer support leaders comm forward slash 97 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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