Everyone who works has a thing or two to say about what they do and how they do it. But not everyone gets a chance to contribute that knowledge back to the organization. Even if what they have to say might make a big difference to how the organization performs.
And that’s because the old way of asking people about work is broken.
We don't like to use the 'F' word or the 'S' word at Joyous. That's right, you guessed it - 'Feedback' and 'Surveys'. The truth is everyone hates them.
I was lucky enough to chat with Melanie. She's a division leader at a large telco with more than 20 years working in the industry. The topic was repeat visits – when a service job doesn't get done right first time. It is a multi-million dollar problem that she owns. "I am on the hook for it," as she puts it. "It's a big cost and its must come down. Fast preferably!"
Melanie explained that she always knew that most of the answer to the challenge lay out in the field. "When you're solving for this sort of problem you need to talk to the people doing the work. The field technicians doing the job first-hand. That's where the fix is."Yet how to get to those field technicians, quickly and at scale, was an unknown.
"Repeat visit is a complex set of problems. There's a whole history of solutions that we'd come up with. But it wasn't until Joyous that we could systematically include the field workforce in sourcing the solution. And that has made all the difference.
"An important thing about Joyous is that it's fast, very fast, for a field tech to reply. An SMS goes to their phone, it takes less than a minute to reply. Just a very simple ask."
This isn’t a new kind of survey, and it’s not simply feedback.
The way in which Joyous conversations are started is more than an art form - it is part of our science.
Joyous has an impact framework that covers all sorts of big problems. All Melanie had to do was ask for a campaign to go out to the field technicians to help reduce repeat visits. That was it.
Within a week thousands of conversations were started by Joyous. All focused on reducing repeat visits.
Each campaign Joyous runs addresses a problem or challenge from three distinct angles. First Joyous gathers ideas, then it identifies blockers, and finally determines resources needed.
Each conversation starter focuses on just one of these angles. The starter consists of a rating scale, followed by a related open text question. And that's it.
Rated statements do a good job of priming people to answer the follow-on open text question. It also helps quantify which problems are bigger than others.
A Joyous open text question encourages a person to respond with comments and/or images.
Traditional surveys and feedback tools send information to and collect data from people. It’s a transactional process: ask and answer - the end.
Conversations are more interactive and nuanced, and encourage human connection. When we’re communicating with people, there’s more engagement, responsiveness and reciprocation.
Now, if the idea of communicating with a bunch of people at scale sounds daunting - well that's because it is.
"For us responding is another thing Joyous made easy. And it's not bots. I am not a fan of chat bots. We assigned real people - area reps - to respond to the techs in their region. We selected about 3,000 techs across those regions, they were our audience.
Joyous then spread the delivery of the weekly conversation starters. So techs were getting the questions on different days. This allowed the reps to manage both responding and their usual job.
Every tech who answered heard back from a rep. Sometimes the reps could give them information on the spot. I remember some techs asking how to correctly pull the fibre. So the reps could send a link to our existing video.
Others said they needed more time to fix issues. So, reps could ask them for more information. Like what specific issues they were referring to. How often it was happening. And what they would do differently. It was great."
Once a three-week campaign ends, Joyous serves up the actionable themes. The ones that will make the biggest impact to solving the problem or challenge a leader is facing.
"The three big insights we got from the Reduce Repeat Visits campaign were things we could do! We now allow more time for the technicians to diagnose issues. They can also fix damaged cables they spot while out on a job. This was huge. It saves them returning for another much longer visit down the track.
Finally, we learned the Care team were booking repeat visits for equipment issues. So, we ran targeted training on equipment issues. No surprise it immediately reduced the number of incorrect visits booked."
Joyous AI detects the actionable phrases from the conversations. This is very different from what other conversational AI solutions do. Others will theme all the phrases. Their theming is generic, broad and therefore not useful. To get to the good stuff you just expect you'll need an analyst to go digging through data. With Joyous' unique solution, this is no longer necessary.
So, was it enough to fix Melanie's problem?
"From the Joyous campaign alone we made a huge impact. We got about a 9.8% reduction in repeat visits over 3 months. It was pretty spectacular."
Every challenge we have gets run through Joyous, it's just how we do things now. With Joyous we get to include our people in a way that wasn't possible before. There's just nothing else out there like it."