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Handling Complex Scenarios

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by

Ruth O'Loughlin

on 17 June 2015

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Transcript of Handling Complex Scenarios

Handling complex scenarios
Aims
Impact of a 'Bad' customer experience
Icebreaker
Out of your comfort zone
Protect the individual
Protect the team
Protect the department
Protect our reputation



I would class a challenging situation as one where the manager is clearly set on one path of action and that action would be a risk to the business or not appropriate action to take and we then have to either steer them on to the right path by explaining the risks or we are unable to do this and they are informed by the advisor that they are proceeding against our advice. An example of this would be where either a first or a first and final warning is appropriate and they are looking to close contract - usually in a performance situation or where they have a real beef with a Partner and haven't previously addressed the problem.
In relation to a Partner challenging call I find those are more often than not when they are very angry and won't let you advise or you can't get a word in edgeways - or they firmly believe they have been treated badly when the manager has followed policy and procedure.
Impact on the individual
Impact on the department
Impact on the business
Loss of confidence
Demoralising
Angry
Upset
Time spent
1) 'post-mortem'
2) corrective action
Damage to reputation
Risk of 'doing it alone'
Time
Cost
Damage to reputation seen
outside the business
Charter
Additional changes
Moving forward
Example: BM calls - 2 of my DMs have both been given varying advice
Defensive
Oh dear, that's not good
I need to look into this, it only takes a small variation in information to affect our advice
Professional
Explain next steps and manage expectations
Consider
Acknowledge
Resolve
Escalate

Why?
Bigger picture - training across partnership services


Enhance our reputation


Become a provider of choice


PPA
PPA Workshop


Where the Line Manager does not wish to follow the advice given.


Line manager doesn't want to follow our advice
Manager is frustrated; paying us lip service
Manager complains that they have received inconsistent advice either no way we would have advised that way or it is a little grey
Angry partners that won't let you advise
Partner doesn't understand either due to health reasons; or language barriers
Threatening Suicide
Your feedback
- Where a manager believes we have given inconsistent advice within the team
- Where a Partner is mentally ill and is angry at the Partnership (ill health closure) but is unable to understand the advice we are trying to give
- Where a manager is frustrated with a case / Partner and would like to take stronger action than employment law would allow. When PPA deliver this advice the frustration is directed at PPA as the manager feels restricted by the advice (even though it is only advice).
- Where a Partner has been paid incorrectly and has become verbally abusive
Customer 's challenges us and not understanding that we are not the right department to support the query/customer not wanting to go through customer channel

P'ner saying they were going to commit suicide - due to how their manager had treated them - giving support and advising on the best direction to get the support they needed.
I believe that the reputation of the team is damaged when we handle calls about conflicting advice and it sounds as if we are apologising for giving incorrect advice - we should always be able to mitigate these incidents and if we have actually got it wrong, I believe we can handle that very differently and have a much better outcome without discrediting ourselves.
The only challenges I have on the phone is where the manager has an issue with the advice. An example of this is if they have a P who is sick during holiday the P wishes to have their holiday re-instated but the manager doesn't want to do that. Or they really want to close a contract but the risk is too high.
I would class a challenging situation as one where the manager is clearly set on one path of action and that action would be a risk to the business or not appropriate action to take and we then have to either steer them on to the right path by explaining the risks or we are unable to do this and they are informed by the advisor that they are proceeding against our advice. An example of this would be where either a first or a first and final warning is appropriate and they are looking to close contract - usually in a performance situation or where they have a real beef with a Partner and haven't previously addressed the problem.
Best Practice for when things are starting to go wrong
I can hear you are unhappy with what I have said, talk to me...
Explain to me why you are struggling with this...
I can understand why you want to take this action, but I would be failing you if I didn't tell you the risks
Let me speak to a colleague in the team
who often sees things very differently to me, I want to be sure I am approaching this in the right way
Comprehensive logs to support next steps
Process
Timescales:
24hours?
Same working day?
48 hours?
3 working days?
Case by case basis?
Who will we resolve it:
'I'?
Allocated to the team?
Whoever took the initial call?
Particular team members more comfortable with this?
Escalation Spreadsheet?
Canned response?
Peer to peer feedback
Essential Questions
Dealing with the emotions?
Don't take it personally - we are seen as a service
Take time to 'offload'
Damage limitation - how can we stop it getting worse (escalation/ further action / reassurance etc)
Full transcript