Weekly Inside Story
June 1-5, 2015
Region 7 ESC
DMAC Design & Delivery Coordinator
ELA Specialist, Middle School
Special Ed Specialist (2)
High School Science Specialist
ELA Specialist, Early Childhood and Elementary
Administrative Secretary, DMAC
DMAC Help Desk Technician
Family Service Worker - Jefferson
Bilingual Family Service Worker - Longview South Ward
Elementary Science/Social Studies Specialist
To: Walker, Elizabeth
Subject: Google Chrome Workshop
I attended the calendar and the email Google Chrome Workshops today at Carthage ISD.
Andy presented the calendar and Holly presented the email - both were very informative.
Both workshops were presented in a way that anyone can understand.
Answering the Unasked Questions
Tech Toolbox by Doug Brubaker
This year, Garland ISD kicked off a study of Tom Connellan’s “Inside the Magic Kingdom.” Administrators read the book over two weeks, jotted down three points that resonated with them, discussed their findings during a district gathering. And then passed their books to the next round of participants to read and annotate. Future studies are planned throughout the district.
One might not expect technology staff development activities to involve printed books and ballpoint pens. However, this book describes strategies that yield powerful insights into how Disney has set a standard for exemplary customer service that other enterprises still strive to meet. One of those strategies is answering the unasked questions.
An “unasked question” is one that customers fail to ask because they do not clearly understand their needs. “Unasked questions” are often masked by inquiries that are misidentified as “dumb questions.” The book gives the example of some kids who approached a Disney cast member with a question that could have ended up the subject of a snarky tweet had the Disney employee not been trained on answering the unasked question. The kids wanted to know: “When does the 3:00 parade start?”
Instead of responding with derisive laughter or a brusque dismissal, the cast member replied that the parade typically starts on time and advised the kids arrive by 2:30 to secure an optimal vantage point.
The author reveals that the employee delivered exceptional customer service by “answering the unasked question.” The employee determined correctly what the kids really wanted to know and provided the desired information, even before they understood how to articulate those needs effectively.
Because of the rapidly changing nature of technology and some peoples’ discomfort in dealing with it, this concept applies especially well to school district staff who provide tech support. In fact, the Internet abounds with sites that mock “stupid” technology questions and negative interactions with customers. For example, technology first-responders help resurrect seemingly dead computers and restore lost network connections –by plugging in power cables.
Connellan illustrates how similar circumstances can yield significantly different results when viewed through another lens. The author cautions that answering unasked questions is not an easy strategy to master. People who practice it effectively share a firm belief that customers are more intelligent than they occasionally sound. They also have an unshakeable commitment to meet customer needs.
Here are some ideas on how one might recast a so-called “dumb question” as an opportunity to answer an unasked question and provide outstanding customer service.
A colleague asks: “How do I insert a music CD into my iPad?” Unasked question: How can I access my music collection on this device? Can I show him other tools that meet this need?
A staff member asks how to find the ANY key referenced in the phrase: “Please press any key to continue.” Unasked question: How do I respond to this prompt and get back to my desktop screen?
A staff member asks to “reset the Internet.” Unasked question: How do I access online resources that appear unavailable at this moment? Can I answer that question with a password reset or a quick reminder about how to refresh the browser?
Garland ISD and school districts across Texas are blessed to have technology professionals who routinely take this gentle, effective approach to working with their “customers.” Their commitment to answering unasked questions empowers them to create Disney magic for the staff and students they serve.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”