January 09, 2006
pulling vs pushing vs telling

I've been thinking about how support works with customers, internal or external, lately, most importantly how the communication and interactions with them are cast. I've been playing with three primary categories to frame my thinking.

Particularly, are the interactions pull operations, push operations, or a statement operations?

In a push interaction, the discussion surrounds steps you are telling the counterparty to reach to the solution desired, but as you the provider have defined it. Metaphorically, you stand behind the users, pushing them forward. The conversational tone is one of answers from the vendor.

Statement operations are not disimilar to the push operations, save that they are often less satisfactory to the customer, delivered from above, often in a 'voice of god' manner

Finally, in a pull operation, the provider is in front or alongside of them, socratically asking questions to draw out the problem definition and discover the path the customer might follow to achieve their solution. In my experience as both resolution requirer and support provider, this often proves to be most satisfactory to both parties. In dialogue is discovery, and in discovery is the human capacity embodied and expanded.

In the heat of the moment, it often seems easiest to use one of the first two categories - it seems to close the ticket faster, or get the phone call resolved yesterday. But the final operation can be more fulfilling, and can reduce the interactions ahead as well (or at least improve the quality of the interactions).

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Posted by esinclai at January 09, 2006 09:57 PM |
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