slowing down at work the turtle police

The Importance of Slowing Down (and Embracing the Office “Turtle Police”)

The fast-paced tech startup world usually demands that things get done on a tight schedule.

“Hustle Culture” is common, and many founders and employees pride themselves on constant focus and long working hours. To stay ahead of the competition, many businesses prize getting work done quickly.

Of course, there is something to be said for a strong and dedicated work ethic. However, once your employees begin to prioritize work speed over quality, it can damage customer relationships and completely negate the upsides of a fast-paced workplace.

At the Receptionist for iPad, we take a bit of a counterintuitive approach to the usual startup work pace. We actively remind employees to slow down throughout their workday and believe that we actually gain a competitive edge as a result.

Here’s why slowing down not only makes our team stronger but also improves our customer service.

The Repercussions of Working Too Fast

It’s not always easy to grasp if your employees are working at a reasonable pace. But there are a few common red flags that indicate your team is unnecessarily rushing through work.

  • Errors – Of course it’s not possible to complete work perfectly 100 percent of the time. But trying to solve problems as quickly as possible inevitably leads to preventable mistakes. Sometimes even small missteps can do significant damage to a customer relationship — damage that could have been avoided with just a few extra moments of an employee’s time and though.
  • Over-reliance on shortcuts – When pressed for time, employees will understandably look for the quickest possible route to an answer. Typical workday shortcuts could come in the form of scripted responses to customer service requests, auto-replies to inquiries, or immediately transferring a request to another department without taking time to find the solution themselves. These kinds of shortcuts often mean more frustration for customers and increase the likelihood for errors.
  • Stress – As a general rule, employees don’t like to rush through their work if they don’t have to. If your team often seems stressed and overwhelmed, or if you notice that work queues have grown beyond reasonable levels, there’s a good chance that they’re rushing through at least some of their tasks. The best managers on top of their team’s workload, and help to adjust and prioritize as necessary.
slowing down at work

What Causes a Frenzied Work Pace?

If your employees don’t have the will or time to complete work thoughtfully and thoroughly, there’s usually one of two culprits.

The first, and less likely, explanation is that employees are simply unmotivated to do their jobs well. They might not see any incentive to get their work done right or do what will ultimately benefit the company as a whole. If this is the case, it generally means that employers haven’t put enough effort into hiring the right people for the right roles, or they haven’t prioritized building a healthy company culture.

The second scenario, which is more common, is that leaders have, however inadvertently, sent the message to employees to prioritize speed over quality. For example, many customer experience managers keep a close eye on how long it takes their reps to resolve issues and clear their queue. Many even reward the reps for the number of issues they have solved each day. This can put more pressure on reps to rush through tickets. Customer satisfaction, which can be measured via “interactional data” collected via survey after each customer transaction, is a much better way to study rep success and ensure they’re resolving each issue thoroughly.

Regardless of the specific reason, chronic rushing is often a side effect of a lack of company values. The right values help create a workplace culture that prioritizes customer experience and employee happiness over completing as much work as possible.

At The Receptionist, we’ve spent a lot of time deliberately developing our company’s values so that they can motivate each and every decision, including hiring new team members and measuring employee success. For more on our values and how we developed them, check out our podcast episode A Deeper Look at our FABRIC.

Enter the “Turtle Police”

Although consistent rushing through work and taking shortcuts may indicate an underlying cultural problem, occasional rushing is very common. We all fall prey to the temptation to rush through work occasionally, especially during the busier times of the week or year. If you’ve solved a similar problem before, it can also be common to jump to solutions that aren’t the perfect fit before fully understanding every detail.

That’s why we at The Receptionist have taken a few extra precautions against speed-related errors, especially in the sensitive area of Customer Support.

In fact, our Director of Customer Experience and Cofounder Jessica Marshall recently appointed herself the so-called “Turtle Police.” As she explains in our podcast episode dedicated to measuring customer happiness, customer support reps have a challenging job that often requires answering very similar questions over and over again. It’s tempting for reps to jump to conclusions about what customers need to speed up a call. That’s why she’s been sending gentle reminders to customer support reps throughout the day encouraging them to slow down.

Slowing down for customer services reps can take the form of:

  • Taking a moment to check in with customers and their satisfication levels personally at some point during the interaction
  • Asking one more question than you normally would to ensure you understand the issue before responding to it
  • Summarizing the customer’s issue and repeating it back to them to make sure you’re on the same page

These extra efforts only take a few moments, but they can make a big difference in how customers feel about your company — and they improve the odds that no time will be wasted in suggesting answers to the wrong questions.

Building Authenticity and Relationships

At The Receptionist, authenticity is one of our core values, and is a key part of us providing Radical SupportⓇ.

We believe that it’s impossible to truly connect with customers and each other on a meaningful level without a sense of authenticity.

It’s impossible to really connect with customers and each other on a meaningful level without a sense of authenticity. #receptionistapp Share on X

In our customer relationships, authenticity means communicating genuinely, treating customers as real people instead of just numbers, and being able to come across as relaxed and cheerful on the phone.

For our fellow employees, authenticity means taking a genuine interest in each others’ happiness and satisfaction at work to help develop strong working relationships.

By creating a work environment that values fun and authenticity, we build a foundation that allows employees to take their time when dealing with customers, and enjoy their time at work.

For more on how we build a culture that we’re proud of at The Receptionist, head over to our site and check out The FABRIC Show.

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