IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Synchronized Goal Setting

By pointing everyone in the company toward a shared goal with easily identified objectives, Bazar Solutions is speeding growth and process improvements. By Mike Bazar

AN AIM TO IMPROVE our help desk led Bazar Solutions to a more intentional way of goal setting that simplifies objectives and aligns every role in the company toward a common theme. When everybody is focused on individual goals, you can move the company forward, but the pace will be slower because they’re not synchronized. But when each employee’s goals relate to an overarching theme, your company can move faster toward the desired outcome.

A few quarters back, our leadership team determined that too many help desk calls were going to voicemail and our ticket backlog was bigger than we wanted it to be. As a result, we weren’t providing the customer experience we pride ourselves on. We determined that we were giving people too many different goals, so we wrote very specific, simple scorecards for each job description that aligned with improving the customer experience. For instance, Tier 1 techs were focused on two numbers: response time and close time, and we changed their dashboard to reflect that. We gave ownership for aging tickets to our lead tech.

To get the ticket queue back to a baseline, we held a one-week voluntary “ticket blitz” where we set a collective goal of shrinking the backlog. Anyone who wanted to participate, from Tier 1 techs to engineers, got paid to come in before or after working hours. We also held a contest for who could close the most tickets. By the end of the week we had gotten the ticket backlog to 25, which is where it has pretty consistently stayed since.

As we honed in on the help desk, we realized that customer experience is impacted by everything we do. Instead of just setting goals for the support team, we could set goals for sales, billing, admin, and procurement—all around improving the customer experience.

Take procurement as an example. From time to time we were misordering parts, we didn’t always deal with returns in a timely way, and sometimes it delayed a project. Or, we wasted money on overnight shipping for the right part. None of that was good for the customer experience, so we implemented some guardrails to make that process goes more smoothly.

We also looked at the experience of ordering a new computer from us. We realized there were too many hops between quoting the system, ordering it, and scheduling the setup, and that we could probably shave three or four days off this whole process. Now when an order is placed it goes right into a tech’s calendar for setup and the result has been that customers get their computers faster.

The goal we set for sales was to get quotes to customers in under 24 hours and prospects in 48 hours, versus the three to four days it had been taking. We even revised our 2022 service offerings by looking at it through the lens of customer experience.

Bazar Solutions still has weekly and quarterly goals for individuals and departments, but the customer experience goal we’ve set transcends those. We’ve made it easy for everyone to ask themselves, Does that goal impact customer experience? If the answer is no, then they know that it's not the most important thing for them to do.

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