99: Process Improvement with Ash Rhodes

99: Process Improvement with Ash Rhodes

Ash Rhodes and I talk about the importance of a feedback-welcoming culture and how empowering your folks to examine all things is the key to improvement.


I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!

Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello and welcome to Episode 99 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 Ash Rhodes, Ash, it is lovely to have you back for Episode 99 of the customers. Yay. And this week we’re talking about process improvement.

Ash Rhodes 0:49
By all means, let’s improve these processes. Thanks very much for having me back.

Charlotte Ward 0:55
Processes a very key part of any support organisation aren’t they? I think that’s where I feel I’m coming from with this topic is that support relies so heavily on process there, that those processes have to work for us?

Ash Rhodes 1:08
Absolutely. I think that the refining of those is always going to necessarily be a key feature. Because you can, you can roll out a new process and think that it is just the bee’s knees that it’s the perfect solution to your problem. And, wow, once the rubber hits the road, it’s not that perfect fit, or in fact, it’s it’s the exact opposite thereof. And so it’s all about being nimble. It’s all about refining it and getting it to be that perfect thing.

Charlotte Ward 1:41
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I think it when you’re rolling out a new process, you have to be accepting of the fact that it won’t be perfect. You know, I mean, I mean, there’s this old adage that perfect is the enemy of done, isn’t it? But if you say we’re going to get it to a point where it’s good enough that it will Probably work. And then

Ash Rhodes 2:04
MVP minimum viable product. Yes

Charlotte Ward 2:06
Minimum Viable process one might say, see what I did there?

Ash Rhodes 2:14
 I see it. But by the same token, I think that’s really what we’re talking about is that you don’t want to stay with that MVP. And you want to be iterating. You could have that, that process that is just barely good enough. That’s getting it over the finish line. But it’s so important that you really take step back and view it and bring in extra eyes to get that outside view of

Charlotte Ward 2:44
Yeah, that sort of validation that exactly there is sort of a balance isn’t there between the MVP and perfect, that is probably the one you’re going to run with

Ash Rhodes 2:54
it. And there is no perfect Why, why? When will you ever know that? It’s perfect. There’s There’s there’s no way to know, one of my favourite things to do when I am onboarding new reps is to very strongly empower them to basically take that outside view as they are being run through all of the different processes and procedures that they are going to be doing and say, Yo, dude, this is dumb. And let me tell you why. And to to give that feedback, they should always be looking for ways to improve it because they lack the it’s always been this way in air quotes mentality. That’s the most valuable possible point of view,

Charlotte Ward 3:39
that onboarding thing actually is a really good one. And I know we’ve talked about this, actually, in previous episodes how people who are onboarding are actually a great resource to refine your onboarding procedure, right?

Ash Rhodes 3:54
Yes, yes, as again as long as they feel safe and empowered. To do so, they have to have that reassurance that their feedback is welcome that you as their boss want to hear their unvarnished opinion when somebody comes in from the outside and gives feedback on the process, even if they do feel relatively empowered to do so relatively free and supported to do so.

Charlotte Ward 4:25
Their suggestions aren’t necessarily going to be sensible because they do lack a lot of that contextual knowledge. There is a big piece here I think about developing a culture where everyone is free to make suggestions on how things can be different. Even if they’re a bit outlandish or a bit under

Ash Rhodes 4:44
informed. You’re You’re one you’re absolutely right that they’re they’re unvarnished and completely new opinions may very well be just kind of a generic Located let’s go with an educated as to like the reasons why it might not be a sensible solution to a problem or what have you. But But the second half is also completely and totally true as well, by setting them up for being that this is an environment where in all opinions are welcome to pay out later on, is untellable. Like, if everybody always feels like your door actually really is open to feedback. That’s, I mean, I would assume that everybody actually wants that. I know that I do. And I know that you do. And I hope that that all your listeners do as well. So that’s you, you have to start early in putting your your proverbial money where your mouth is.

Charlotte Ward 5:52
So I think I think there are two parts to this. I think the first and big part is that culture that welcomes feedback But I think that the subtly different part of this is a culture that encourages examination of the status quo.

Ash Rhodes 6:09
Yes, absolutely. And Mmm hmm. I have to admit that I haven’t always worked in companies that welcome both. But those companies that do welcome both, those have been the ones where in the the employees have, without fail had a much higher happiness, like employee happiness ratings, and that have like, longer, longer tenure.

Charlotte Ward 6:40
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/99 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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