Introducing A Better Decision Making Process

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Peeling back the onion: helping clients find better solutions by digging deeper.

Peeling back the onion. Removing the outer layers of uncertain information and assumptions. It’s the process of finding the underlying motivation at the core of a knotty problem or question. Sometimes, it’s on the surface and other times it’s a few layers underneath.

“Ask ‘why’ like a three-year-old, until you understand the true goal.”
– Kevin Mathers, Service Specialist

We take pride in our ability to peel that onion when a cardholder or client calls. Our teams handle hundreds of questions every day and need to make decisions quickly, utilizing a broad range of tools. We’ve invested in the training they need to not only find answers, but also uncover the right questions. At daVinci, we aren’t merely processing orders—we’re consultative partners and experts trained to deliver impactful, on-target solutions.

We do this by training our employees in Planck knowledge and developing advanced decision making skills.

Planck vs. Chauffeur knowledge

German Physicist Max Planck is best known for originating quantum theory, winning the Nobel Prize in 1918. He became popular on the lecture circuit, repeating the same speech over and over again, often practicing in the back of his car. After hearing him hundreds of times his Chauffeur boasted he knew the speech as well as Planck. He even suggested switching places, and Planck agreed. The Chauffer, disguised as Planck, gave the next speech and everyone was fooled…at first.

When it came time to field complex questions and engage in discussion with audience members, the Chauffeur (disguised as Plank) became stumped. He deflected the questions with the quip, “(That) question is so elementary, even my Chauffeur can answer.” Planck, disguised as the Chauffeur, then engaged with the audience to discuss and debate.

The difference between what is now known as Planck Knowledge and Chauffeur Knowledge: the former refers to deep understanding of a subject and the ability to gain, sort and apply information as the circumstances change. The latter refers to memorization of facts and the rote application of those facts in similar circumstances.

Our goal at daVinci is to arm our teams to think like Planck when it comes to client and cardholder needs. Only with that deep understanding and the ability to seek out and prioritize new information can we truly find and offer the best solutions.

Living and walking the Planck

Planck knowledge starts with gathering the right data points to grasp a problem and to provide actionable steps. We ask questions. We access a client or cardholder’s history. We ascertain why the question is being asked, the urgency and timing of the need, and much more. Often, this happens quickly, within one phone call or conversation.

Our process is fluid but can be described loosely with these steps:

  • High level inquiry: the question or decision we face.
  • Identify true client goals: the underlying meaning of the inquiry.
  • Uncovering data points to support and share understanding: facts and reasonable inferences that help us define the client’s goals and influence our goal.
  • Define actionable steps, and prioritize them: of all of our possible next steps to serve the client, the highest priorities.
  • Execute: take next steps in a manner that aligns with and supports the goals.

Role playing for success

Ongoing weekly group practice fuels the development of decision making skills: how do we practice quickly and effectively peeling back the onion to make a decision? At daVinci, we’ve found role-playing to be an extremely beneficial exercise. One team member poses a question—perhaps a real-world scenario encountered in their own client portfolio that week—and a second team member digs deeper to find the right solution.

These exercises help tremendously to prepare us to consult with our clients, vendor partners or cardholders and craft the best solution for their wide range of needs.

“It’s easy to rush through decisions, but if you slow down and pause a few minutes to think through the process, it can dramatically impact the outcome.”
– Heather Stimetz, Account Manager

A cut above

Better solutions. Faster answers. A consultative approach. We’ve made it a priority to invest in employee training and development that ultimately leads to providing you unmatched expert service. It’s important to us to equip our teams to peel the onion, add value every day to our clients and provide true partner solutions.