Please complain, but only if you have a solution

A complaint not followed up with a solution is whining.

A complaint followed up with a solution means you have a valid complaint. Here’s why.

If it can be fixed then something is happening that is causing stress. This stress is causing an emotional stir in the ocean within. This stress could be showing up in physical symptoms.

This is about emotional and mental health not about anything being right or wrong.

What is causing the stress?

Why is it causing stress?

What can realistically be done to change the situation to discontinue the feeling of stress?

When I was working in the corporate world I was asked since I had seemed to think I had all the answers to go with all my complaints to do something about it and was given the project of redesigning the operating model for customer service for a fortune 100 company.

Using this as an example let’s walk through my thought process and see if we can find the holes.

Most of the complaints centered around not enough face time between supervisors and representatives and supervisors taking up to 30 escalated calls a day.

Before redesigning this model I was such a regular at the bar I went to after work that after I had stopped going for a year, I made it one night and before I could even open the door my usual drink was on the bar waiting for me.

Anyone think this is healthy behavior?

I was stressed out because my people were in my face about needing my time and my bosses were in my face because my people were in my face. I was getting yelled at 30 times a day by customers. I was not the only one. It had become the norm in the call center.

Most of my leadership material came from the my design model to make it better for everyone involved. The solution I came up with was to add something old and give it a twist. A few years before I started at the company they used to have a lead position to assist the supervisor so they could focus on the people.

Adding the lead I added defined roles and responsibilities for us to work in a synergistic union with the core idea being training the lead to be me. I always felt part of my job was to train my replacement and if I was as good as I could be I would have more than one waiting in the wings for when I moved up.

Adding the lead gave me more float time to float from representative to representative to check in and see how they were doing. It gave me more time to get to know them as human beings and see the stress they were under and gave me opportunities to alleviate that stress if possible. With this company I had spent a year on the phones as a rep and understood the pressures of the job. Did I mention it was health insurance customer service?

When dealing with peoples money and their health empathy was at the core of everything we trained our people to provide our customers with. Taking my favorite interview question and my favorite answer to that question left me with some integrity to walk.


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