fusedesk-owning-the-monkey-year-of-the-monkeyGong Xi Fa Cai! Yesterday ushered in the lunar year of the monkey which aligns perfectly with our core value of Owning the Monkey.

“We own our challenges, and provide holistic, well-rounded solutions.”

As individuals and as a company, we believe that instead of putting the monkey on someone else’s back, you take that monkey, and you own it. Owning the monkey manifests itself in many interesting ways, both customer facing and internally.

For example, if a customer’s emails aren’t being delivered to FuseDesk, they can’t take care of their customers and that’s bad. It’s easy to point back to the customer’s hosting provider for not forwarding on the messages, but that doesn’t fully help our customers resolve their issue. Owning the Monkey means working with the customer and their mail provider until inbound messages DO get delivered to FuseDesk from their host.

When we communicate internally, instead of asking a question and going into a holding pattern until an answer comes through, Owning the Monkey dictates that we propose a solution and then seek feedback on the solution if we need it.

For example, we had a client ask one of our Customer Delight reps about how to setup some rather complicated business logic in their FuseDesk Email Rules to route inbound emails in their FuseDesk app. It would have been easy to say “I don’t know”, “I think you can do it this way”, or simply pass the case onto someone else. Owning the Monkey meant that our rep logged into one of our sandbox apps, created the complex business automation rules, tested them, ran them past a senior team member, and then logged into the customer’s app and setup the rules as inactive but configured. The rep was then able to respond to the customer with a solution in place and all the customer had to do was review the rules and activate them in app. The customer got the solution they needed, the rep learned something new, and the monkey was owned. Everyone wins!

Another great example of this is when a case comes in. It’s easy to simply transfer the case to someone else, but owning the monkey dictates that you Take the case, you own it, you handle it, and you see the customer’s question through to resolution.

That’s why in FuseDesk, you’ll see the option to “Take” a case, and why we have case statuses of New (waiting on you) and Open (waiting on the customer). Instead of simply replying to a customer and closing the case, you can reply back and leave a case as open until the customer feels it’s fully resolved. This prevents the case from “falling through the cracks” and allows you and your team to make sure open cases get resolved even if they’re waiting on the customer to take the next step.

Where did the whole concept of Owning the Monkey come from?

It all started in a private mastermind meeting that FuseDesk founder Jeremy Shapiro was hosting where one of his friends and colleagues, Brad, shared the whole practice of avoiding putting the monkey on someone else’s back. Previously, Jeremy had referred to that as “playing hot potato” but the monkey analogy was way more fun.

Thanks to feedback from David, one of Jeremy’s mentors, friends, and coaches, the wording on this was refined to a positive frame and evolved to Owning the Monkey.

Fun Fact: Refining these ideas is another way that we practice Kaizen, one of our other Core Values

How can you and your team Own the Monkey in the Year of the Monkey?

Take ownership and responsibility in what you do. Before passing a case along to someone else, propose a solution, notify the customer that you are working on the case and that you will see it through to complete resolution. After replying back to a customer with a solution, leave a case as “open” instead of closing it and follow up until you know it’s been resolved to their satisfaction.

These best practices have helped us Own the Monkey and can help you, too!

Do you already Own the Monkey?

Do you have a great story to share about you, or a company you’ve done business with, Owning the Monkey? Please share as we’d love to hear all about it!