Some years ago, we worked with a government agency to help them better support their call centre staff. The central team were skilled, and the content was apparently well-structured. The team assured us that they were in constant contact with the call centres, and understood their needs very well.
This agency had their call centre operations split across two different locations, each reporting to a local leader rather than a centralised division. We went out into the call centres, and spent time conducting what we call needs analysis: questioning, listening, watching and understanding staff needs.
What was immediately apparent was the two call centres worked very differently, with different training and resources. (This is despite the two locations managing exactly the same types of customer calls. Hmm.)
We also quickly discovered that while the support content was highly structured, it had been structured at the wrong level: 50 page documents, rather than the short-and-sharp answers that staff needed.
What really took us by surprise was a piece of paper that was pinned to every wall in one call centre. It has been created by the call centre manager, and it was titled “Things you will not find on the intranet”. Divisional leaders were unaware of its existence. Ouch.
Now this isn’t a criticism of the intranet team, far from it. What it does show, however, that it’s easy to lose sight of the realities out in the business, and where the opportunities lie.
We take the time to understand your staff
As consultants, we have helped hundreds of intranet and digital workplace teams determine a strong strategy. The short (but still real) story above shows why we will always endeavour to inform our strategies with real field research.
Our research techniques include:
- one-on-one interviews
- workplace observation
- contextual inquiries
- and (sometimes) surveys
The good news is this: because we’ve already spent thousands of hours conducting this research, we don’t need to spent months of time at your organisation. We seen a lot, and know common patterns, so our research gets straight to the point.
In most cases, just five days of time spent with the information consumers (rather than information producers) will uncover an enormous amount of valuable insight.
We then shape these findings into an insights workshop, where we walk through what we’ve found, and what it means for your strategy. This is the starting point for us working closely together with you to shape an appropriate and effective strategy.
We love spending time with staff, and you’ll value the insights we can provide.