Client: Your agents have been doing [X] too much.I had to literally bite my tongue (that hurts!) or the next thing out of my mouth would have been a drippingly sarcastic, "Well, that's not viciously arbitrary at all!" I was incredulous; this is a conversation I honestly never expected to have. God God Dammit Dammit! "High" is a relative term which only has meaning in relation to some other number! What's so hard to understand about this?!
D: Oh. OK, how much do your own reps do [X]?
Client: Well, you're not that high, just a little on the high side.
D: Right, but you didn't answer my question: how much do your own reps do [X]? What's "normal" here? I need to know what we're shooting for.
Client: Well, we don't really track it on our side, we just think you guys are a little bit high.
D: Erm, well... OK, then what number would be better? What would you consider "not high" for doing [X]? What should I tell the team to aim for?
Client: Yeah, we don't really keep track of that. I don't know what to tell you.
D: OK, what I'm getting at is that if you don't define normal, then how do you know what's outside of normal?
Client: Well, we're just assuming it's high right now.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
This is an actual snippet from this morning's conference call - I transcribed it just moments after it happened (details obscured for purposes of anonymity and intelligibility):