We’ve defined four different IT personality profiles: The Accountant, The Butler, The Nanny and the Agent. Each one varies based on how much focus they put on understanding the business and how important user satisfaction is to them.
Weight Watchers is well renowned for their weight loss program. They've succeeded at doing something that used to be very complicated very easy: counting calories. Most people struggle with weight loss not because of lack of exercise (although it is a factor) but because they eat too much of the wrong types of food. But counting calories, proteins, carbs and fat can become very complicated very quickly. Weight Watchers has done the work for its members ahead of time and use a simple point system to make counting calories easy and planning meals a breeze.
Weight Watchers delivers great customer service. They offer their service through a variety of channels and venues (phone, web, through group meetings, etc). They are also in-tune with their members needs and train their front-line employees in order to deliver a great, consistent service every time. Their personnel are often examples of success stories and provide encouragements with a smile.
What makes Weight Watchers a great Agent is in great part their focus on making it simple for their members to follow a diet. Most people have little time and interest in counting calories and planning meals. Weight Watchers has studied the science and devised simple solutions for their members. On top of that, they also understand that overeating is a behavioural problem and provide support groups, counselling and coaching to help their members lose weight.
Weight Watchers use their expertise on the topic (losing weight) to offer an easy to follow program and resolve issues for them before they even show up. This allows their members to get all the benefits without having to become experts themselves.
Why being an Agent works for Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers is a great Agent because they've made it simple for their members to follow a diet. They also provide great service and are not falling in the common trap of making the clients feel bad about their problem.
Miracle diets come and go, but none are as easy to apply as the point system of Weight Watchers. And while dietician would tell you that points are not always consistent, overall it provides a good approximate framework to manage nutrition.
How does this applies to IT
Delivering great service is one part of the Agent's equation. The second part is to make complex things simple for their users. IT excels at understanding technology and the impact it will have on our lives, but often fails to package it and communicate it in a way that end-users understand. An Agent takes the initiative to understand the subject, eliminate the non-essential, present it in a way that users will understand and fix issues ahead of time.
This is how agent often find their way at the executive table. They are able to not only spot opportunities but ways for their users to make the most of it.
- Weight Watchers focus on making weight loss simple is key to their success
- Being an Agent assumes a high level of understanding of the concepts
- Agents recognize opportunities and package them in simple to apply concepts