7 Steps for Effective Problem Solving – 10/3/2023

I de-escalate and solve problems EVERY DAY.

Here are a few from just this week:
💥A student is overwhelmed by mental/physical health issues, work hours, and a break-up. They are behind but can’t afford to drop classes
💥 An essential software platform is not integrating with Google Calendar and Single-Sign-On.
💥My husband had court and couldn’t find his car keys. I needed my car to get to a doctor’s appointment.
💥My daughter’s FAVORITE shirt and pants had stains and were dirty; those were the only clothing pieces she would wear to school.
💥When I add videos to my new WordPress portfolio site (coming soon!), they take too long to load.

Here is my #problemsolving approach:

1️⃣. Get the facts. Keep probing and use discovery to get ALL of them.

What time and where does my husband need to be? What time and where do I need to be? When did he last use the keys? What are the constraints? I.e. if my student drops below 12 cr., their financial aid could be affected. If my husband is late, he will lose the case.

2️⃣. Figure out what has been tried to solve the problem.

Has my student talked to their teachers already? Are they already working with Student Disability Services? Has my daughter tried other outfits yet?

3️⃣. Narrow in on the problem by process of elimination.

Clear my browser cache and try again. Try a different browser. See if the app will integrate with a personal email address (it did). Now we know the problem is related to something with my work address.

4️⃣. Hone in on the WHY.

Why is it essential that my daughter wear that specific shirt and pants? Is it the color? The feel of the fabric? Is she trying to impress someone or is she focused on function (e.g., ice skating)? Can I brainstorm a creative solution that will achieve the underlying objective differently?

5️⃣. What feelings need to be addressed before moving forward?

This student feels scared and worried. I need to hear and empathize with that before throwing out solutions. My daughter is frustrated and also hangry. I need to give her a snack and a hug to calm her down and THEN encourage her to accept one of the options available.

6️⃣. Determine and obtain resources needed NOW to solve this problem.

Could the Student Life Case Manager connect the student with mental health referrals and the disability office? What plugins will help me bring a smaller version of the videos onto the site? What documentation or tutorials must I access to determine how to do that?

All right…Let’s solve the problem!


7️⃣. How can I prevent this problem in the future?

Do we need a “key hanger” by the door? Do we need a second pair of grey sweatpants? Have I heard of 10 other people with this same calendar integration issue? Is a training video or guide needed to prevent it or help people troubleshoot it on their own?

There you go… what am I missing? What is in your problem-solving approach?

And, any ideas for the YouTube video issue? 😅

#CSM #Strategy

Kimberly Renee Knowles

Certified Customer Success Manager and RecastSuccess Graduate with 15+ years client-facing experience retaining caseload of 625 higher education students as strategic advisor, program director, and multi-functional collaborator. Ex-Procter & Gamble market researcher and innovator in digital, scaled, and tech-touch customer success, leveraging artificial intelligence, Salesforce CRM, and consumer insights to deliver a highly personalized customer journey. Mom, dancer, and online karaoke singer in my spare time!

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