Can It Wait Till 9:30?
Once upon a time, there was a CSR who was so critical to the operations of her company that she was constantly being barraged with questions. Some of them were urgent, time-critical issues because a job was on a press. Most, however were small, ticky-tack queries that interrupted anything that she was trying to get done.
Do you know anyone like this? Is this you?
The CSR was expressing her annoyance to me and severe frustration over this constant avalanche when I asked her a question: "How many of these issues really need to be handled right away?"
Silence ... then, "I’d guess less than 5%."
“Okay, then, this is what were going to do ...”
My suggestion to her was that she post a sign on her desk that pointed in the direction that allowed those approaching her to read it. The sign read, “Can it wait until 9:30?” The idea was very simple: Would this action serve to carve out a small sliver of time that would allow her to do her work?
It wasn’t easy. There were complaints and frowns and looks of disgust, but when the CSR calmly reminded people that the work she was going to be doing up until 9:30 a.m. would benefit them, people learned to give her some space.
If you think about it, most everything can wait until 9:30 a.m. There’s still plenty of time in the day to handle critical issues. If you can relate at all to this CSR, try hanging a sign on your desk and see what a difference it makes.
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Bill Farquharson can be reached at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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