We all appreciate it when we receive excellent customer service, and quite often that appreciation will extend, for a time, to a better impression of the overall business/brand. But we tend to know that these good experiences are just because the company faces such market pressure that they have to compete harder on service quality, or are just chance cases where we happened to get a nice and intelligent customer support person on the other end of the line, instead of someone with a lobotomy where their social skills once were. On the other hand, even in the case of these good support experiences, we’d usually agree it would have been even better not to need to use the support at all. And we would struggle to name many companies where we have regular and positive experiences communicating with and feeding back to them, apart from customer support for our own immediate problem solving.
So is all customer support just problem solving, more or less dressed up with smiles and have-a-nice-days? I argue that, yes, this is the prevalent perception within companies of the scope of their customer support, and, no, this is not the correct approach because of the huge opportunity cost of missing out on the smarter, broader definition of customer support which I offer below.
I’m a firm believer that investment in intelligent customer service goes far beyond the direct benefits of keeping customers happy and loyal. In fact, putting this the other way, I feel that it is hard to get a lasting return on investment for improving customer support, for most businesses, without justifying the investment with a wider scope of benefits. An overly narrow view of customer support as merely reactive problem-solving — essentially a sort of firewall between customers and the company — is a common situation, and leads, over time, to a proportional reduction of resources for customer support and reduced emphasis on their role.
Customer support encompasses everything you do to help the customer through the buying pathway, as well as to deal with exceptions and get them back on track. It is your company’s main area of contact with customers. It’s necessary to make a good impression and present the “face of the company” positively. But what’s more important than projecting is absorbing: taking in what the customer is saying to you — and even what they are not saying to you, in terms of their unstated or even unarticulated wants and needs. For me, the correct understanding of customer support is to take advantage of the requirement for reactive support, and create (from the main team(s) dealing with support) a center of understanding and insights within the company, to the point where customer support essentially represent the customer — their wants, needs, point of view — inside the company.
So the first principle of widening the scope of customer support — and widening the benefits the business gets from customer support — is to view all of your customer-facing, customer-touch activities as a form of continuous market research: a necessary function of understanding on top of just the basic function of reactively closing support cases with reasonably satisfied customers.
Understanding customers is not an end in itself. The implication is that the customer support personnel, management, and processes must continually improve the ways that they interpret and share their insights about customers.
If you set it as a structural requirement for customer support teams to seek out and share insights, even regardless of their initial performance in doing so, what you will achieve immediately is everyone becoming more active in thinking about the customers’ support interaction and about his general needs and experiences getting what he wants/needs from the company, i.e. you already achieve a wider scope of thinking about what customer support can be about. Instead of the job beginning and ending with closing a certain number of cases per hour, you signal the job and importance of customer support actually begins after a customer case is closed.
“Why is this customer contacting us?”
If customer support staff struggle with (or resist) the requirement to broaden their thinking and provide insights into the customers’ experiences, one of the easy and big questions (perhaps quite literally) to paint in front of their workspaces is “why did this customer even need to seek support for this case?”
By systematically forcing customer support staff to make a guess about why the customer had to seek help in the first place, you help them practice putting themselves in the customers’ shoes, and establish a key institutional rule of thumb that the requirement for using customer support could represent some kind of failure of the intended normal/smooth self-service customer pathway. Another mindset-shift that this question triggers is trying to read between the lines of what the customer is saying: it’s not just the literal one thing they are asking about, but a bigger question of how we came to this question. (A management / group method of exploiting the starting question would be to practice the “five whys” regularly.)
In most companies, the thoughtless-by-design and 100% reactive customer support team doesn’t care where the support ticket/call volume comes from, and in fact may have hidden incentives actually to increase the number of cases handled, while on the other hand absorbing customer dissatisfaction helplessly and becoming quite negative about the company’s ability to improve. On the other hand, a customer support team asking why the customer had to resort to support channels will start to look for ways to reduce volume as part of their function of helping customers… In other words, the interests of customers, customer support, and the company can be shown to be aligned, not in some kind of perpetual battle, as in the “firewall” mentality.
Helping customers means helping all customers, not just the ones who were forced to find out how to get support. By this I mean you cause your customer support staff to think that, for every one person contacting them with a question, at least nine other people had that question and didn’t contact support. This immediately connects customer questions with conversion and a mindset that things (a) are improvable and (b) must be improved and (c) the improvement is not going to happen if customer support don’t champion the problem and ideas for solutions, i.e. the responsibility for improvement actually rests with customer support on behalf of the customer.
A regular pattern of customer queries is the customer getting annoyed, asking “but why does it have to be like this?” and the customer support representative explaining patiently and enlightening the customer about why it must be like that, i.e. effectively “correcting the foolish customer”.
As an aside, British customer service seems to be built around this principle of correcting the customer: the default approach of anyone looking across a cash register, taking your order, or answering a phone is, if they pay any attention to you at all, to make an expression as if they smelled something bad and proceed to instruct you in various rules as if you are a stupid school child who stubbornly refuses to learn your lessons. Last week, I phoned my internet service provider with a technical fault that was entirely their own, only to be interrupted by the support staff who, before hearing the detail of what was going wrong, informed me confidently that “I don’t appreciate your attitude”!
Instead of correcting the customer, after (of course) doing what they can in this isolated case to help this one customer as pleasantly as possible, the customer support should — with genuine concern — take this case as a signal of a possible general and widespread issue, and take up the banner of improving it. In other words, the customer support team start becoming vocal with exactly the customer’s own attitude “but why does it have to be like this?” and eventually the customer corrects the company, not vice versa.
Customer support costs money for no direct metric of financial return (as opposed to sales) and is thus subject to business pressure to reduce proportional resourcing over time. Systematically asking this question — “Why does the customer even have to contact us for this?” — which also means from a team/management point of view collecting, interpreting, collating/prioritizing, and sharing insights, is the first step towards aligning customer support with this bigger business objective of minimizing unnecessary customer support costs. Customer support costs are reduced by improving endless details of the customer experience, and not by reducing quality and racing to the bottom: in fact, what actually happens is that the value contribution of customer support to the organization grows.
To repeat, as a business grows, the customer support provision cannot afford to grow linearly, but the strategy should not be simplistically about complete standardization / scripting, and working customer support as hard and fast as possible. As the business grows, I would argue that the company should actually invest more in the talent in customer support rather than overly commoditizing the roles or trying to push down the required skill levels by scripting everything. The approach should be to grow up the customer support team significantly in intelligence, expertise, breadth of thinking, and intra-company connectedness. You aim to create a customer voice — if not a representation of your customer’s brain — within your organization with a level of sophistication that grows in line with your business complexity.
Without such a broad interpretation of the benefits the company can potentially get from smart customer support, the only way for things to go is a race to the bottom of price/quality of staff… and this is exactly what we see all over the place with the sort of cost-cutting, low IQ, low training level, low permission level, overseas call-center, press 1 to listen to muzak for 20 minutes approach that so turns off the customers of so many bigger firms (and presumably depresses their staff just as much, creating a negative feedback loop of “customer disservice attitude”).
Virtuous Feedback Loops
Too often, if you look at front-line customer support staff, their whole job is talking to customers via the prescribed channels, but none of these conversations get discussed and interpreted internally, except for the normal office banter of “haha listen to what this stupid customer said”. Customer support phone conversations may be recorded, and the email tickets accessible to others to read, but is anyone actually reviewing these things? Probably not except in exceptions of aggravated complaints or other escalations, plus perhaps some kind of sampling approach for supervision that is about policy/script adherence rather than getting outside the box.
When customer support staff are asked to track or share common support issues, it is almost always just because of ensuring standardization and developing new scripts, instead of openly discussing the “whys” of the customer needs, let alone how the company might do things differently.
So, even inside customer support departments, the customers’ voices don’t travel… as for the rest of the organization, they will be totally isolated from the people who actually keep the lights on and pay their salaries (the customers that is, not the bosses).
But I feel the opposite should be true: within customer support teams, cases should be shared and discussed to take advantage of group intelligence and develop qualitative analytical habits… and customers’ voices should be heard continuously throughout the organization thanks to active promotion of the problem/solution topics by customer support.
So, after getting customer support to start questioning why customers need assistance in the first place, and consider how to pre-empt their needs, the next step for a customer support team or department is to become much more visible and vocal inside the company — on behalf of the customers.
It is usually easier to get recognition for this internal customer-advocacy role than customer support managers would claim. After all, in most companies, the customer support team are the only ones talking to the customers, and they are paid to do it all day… meanwhile, the ones who make/select the products, set the prices and buying pathways, and work on the marketing, have zero true customer contact, and, if not exactly aware of the weakness of their position because of this, at least will subscribe to the idea that customer support are paid to talk to customers and therefore it’s their job to explain to everyone else what customers are saying and thinking.
Representing customers’ voices inside the company may seem rather a general mandate and difficult to put into practice. Additionally, customer support staff, while readily listing all sorts of customer problems, may feel less comfortable proposing solutions, where the expertise and responsibility involved with “changing things” probably lies with “someone else”. The answer to both these difficulties is to create a series of mandatory feedback loops specific to particular customer support case types.
Going one by one through particular cases, the customer support management pulls in other department heads and gets them to assign mandatory participation by non customer support experts, so that the support case type in question doesn't only get stuck inside customer support, but involves others as well. These feedback loops provide specific evidence and grounding for the wider aim of promoting the customers’ voice within the organization (via a stronger and more interconnected role for customer support), and create new working connections between staff across teams, leading to both improved general business understanding and improved technical understanding by customer support, and leading to both improved understanding of the customers and improved appreciation of the value of customer support by other teams.
Here are some examples of feedback loops that I implemented (or attempted to implement) in a previous (ecommerce) company:
- Technical support questions (as is expected) had to be referred to behind-the-scenes techies to answer. The techies did not send the message to the customer, but just replied in short form back to the customer support. Therefore, the customer support staff had to interpret the answer and rewrite it to make it easy for the customer to understand… of course, in the process better learning the answer for themselves. Meanwhile, if the techies “agreed with the customer” that the information should have been clear in the product description, they would separately cause that product description to be updated… i.e. all the other (future) customers got helped from this one enquiry.
- All customer reviews and comments on product pages would be moderated by the techies. They would refer all non technical questions to customer support, i.e. instead of the moderator dismissing ‘invalid’ comments, the customer support would still have to listen to valid customer points, even if they had posted in the wrong place. All customer questions within reviews and comments would be answered back to that specific customer if possible, and as above the description would be improved to avoid future customers having to wonder about the same thing. As smart techies with great knowledge of the products, they would also automatically wonder if the same improvement should be applied to all other products of the same type, especially if the customer’s point highlighted an inaccuracy or ambiguity in the description. Thus, single reviews would often feed back into whole categories having their descriptions updated, and the new requirement added to the description template for future products. Although these updates certainly “created work”, everyone was instructed that this was correct as long as the improvements could be felt by customers, and managers could oversee the time cost and sanity check the decisions being made.
- On similar lines: all broken-product complaints would be referred to the techies for an opinion. Even though customer support could probably authorize returns without the need for this check, it provided a great informal early warning system if particular products had batch quality problems: something which customer support would never pick up until it was a wider problem, and something which purchasing / quality control would not pick up until much later when returns started to come back. This feedback loop enabled quick re-inspection of stock on a judgement call basis, and directly implemented customer-sourced prioritization of such rechecks and subsequent improvements quality control procedures. (Note such improvements came immediately and not weeks/months after some kind of complaint statistic or refund analysis, even though such an overall post mortem would also be done later.)
- A feedback responsibility for the customer support manager was to collect (on, say, a weekly basis) and anecdotally analyse every case that went into more than X ticket replies (i.e. a complex or for some reason not immediately solved enquiry). Where the individual support staff trying to solve the case perhaps could not see the wood for the trees, the manager could see if there were patterns of which enquiries the team couldn’t solve easily, and use these examples to create discussions within the customer support team encouraging suggestions for solutions, and then to exert influence in other departments to find improvement opportunities with these or alternative solutions.
- Additionally, the customer support manager was tasked with reading all customer replies to a “rate the support you received” ticket footer questionnaire, which was deliberately posed to provide an open-text response by customers. So the job was reading unstructured text from customers and interpreting anecdotally what they were saying. The requirement of the feedback loop was that the manager had to demonstrate to higher management a certain minimum quantity of general improvement cases that she had derived from this analysis, i.e. improvement in the company products and systems, not just improvements in customer support handling. A similar feedback loop was created for regularly reading customer comments in public review forums: i.e. this was done by a customer support manager and not by some marketer / reputation manager.
- Reading customer feedback, both positive and negative, and the above insights into what description issues and product quality issues customers faced, of course also provide useful material to marketing. The feedback loops internally also included connections to marketing staff to suggest topics for blog articles, or to webmaster for site tweaks; and even if not that many ideas flowed there, the marketing and webmaster staff at least became more aware that they could source ideas and prioritization of ideas from customer support, validated in the sense that these come from actual customers not just internal guesswork.
- Customer signals visible in website usage will often be invisible to customer support, but in fact they are likely to interpret the reports better (and suggest improvements better) than pure marketing / analytics staff: therefore internal search keyword reports, landing page metrics, content page readership, and so on should all be provided to customer support to analyze and react to, not kept in a purely marketing or SEO-technical box.
- Finally, a bit similar to customer support routing product complaints, reviews etc direct to technical staff first, before replying to customers with solutions, we implemented several other routes for customers to provide feedback directly to the departments who could act on it: — new product suggestion form: reviewed directly by sourcing manager; — website bugs reporting form: reviewed directly by webmaster / IT; — section of customer support tickets only for delivery tracking and exceptions: handled directly by logistics; — customer support tickets relating to payment difficulties handled directly by billing.
In these latter two examples, you can see that customer support does not need to have a monopoly on communication with the customer if the customers’ cases can more directly lead to improvements by people in a specialized team. That is, learning from specific problems, increasing awareness of general problems, and implementing general improvements, are more important than standardization or control of individual customer case replies. Realistically speaking, all the non customer-facing departments may enjoy the peace and anonymity of customers not being able to contact them, but they should not be allowed this ‘lazy luxury’ and should feel the direct wrath of their customers when their part of the service to those customers needs to improve. Asking them to take full responsibility for successful delivery of their part of the service, seems a lot more real when they are on the front line of customer support for that area.
I would go as far as to say such a direct customer feedback route should be applied to marketing as well: after all, if the content in marketing campaigns is not interesting (entertaining etc), relevant, and generally valuable to your actual customers, then the marketing guys should change something. Content marketing and even “social” media are usually treated as cosy broadcast activities without the need to learn from both satisfied and dissatisfied customers (audience), so marketing, like customer support, should be required to demonstrate a minimum quota of changes and ideas that are directly sourced from customers rather than internal guesswork. Similarly, I would not let any fast talking young dude start to spend company money on pay-per-click keywords (and the sheer guesswork of the ad design / copy) until fulfilling a weekly quota of talking to actual customers on the phone, if not meeting them face to face. (The fact that this is contrarian advice shows how much we have come to accept the customer disconnect in marketing.)
The main point of the examples is to show that the “feedback” in a feedback loop is not just “FYI” but is about finding ways to implement incremental improvements in all fields of the business, continuously, via ideas directly sourced from customers, without any top-down planning or formal research being necessary to organize or justify the time spent. It is of course significant that the staff involved are empowered — by the mandate of the customer being right — to make adjustments directly on minor issues. The manager’s job has added to it a new dimension of sorting and moderating improvement ideas and implementations, so that the company does not get stuck in infinite bitty reactions to customer ideas, but can pick the best and most important general improvements while simply getting on with it for small corrections.
Customer experience surveys and questionnaires are some of the worst “blunt instruments” in a company’s attempt to understand customers. In fact, when I see customer surveys I take it as a sure sign that the company does not actually care enough about understanding customers to undertake longer term and more smart market research methods than this mere isolated gesture, destined to have its meaningless results filed away and ignored forever after a single self-congratulatory powerpoint presentation…
The experience of providing information for a survey sucks for the customer — which is why they are often accompanied by lame prize draw offers. So if your method of gathering insights is torture for your customers, what does that say about your general empathy and aims with regard to their overall experience with your brand?
Other problems with surveys include the fact that your population sample includes only the people you could target with this survey and who were willing to complete it — hardly representative of your overall customer range — and the necessity of the survey medium of focusing on closed questions and quantifiable / statistical feedback-gathering on what are probably very open and subjective issues. Worship of quantifiable / statistical over free / anecdotal feedback is a big mistake: by creating categories and closed measurable boxes, you limit the creative imagination of your customers and render yourself unreceptive to the very out-of-box unknown-unknowns that you most desperately need to learn. Another problem of fixating on “scientific” statistics is that you will naturally try to increase your survey population, which makes things slower and more expensive to “conduct research”: whereas, in my experience, you will find just as many valuable insights merely by reviewing a handful of random customer support stories without any formal method.
Additionally, customer feedback surveys are almost always after-sales, meaning they miss out on the other 99% of prospective customers who did not purchase for whatever reason. [I take a 1% conversion rate as axiomatic for everything online, and translated into bricks-and-mortar, as well as browsers who left without buying anything, could perhaps also be seen as local passer-by traffic who could use your store to answer their shopping needs.] Many of those 99% will, however, have contact with pre-sales customer support, and all of them by definition are “in” your store with different degrees of engagement. Conversing with customers who did not buy, listening to them, eliciting ideas from them, and implementing changes in what you do in their favor… surely we can all agree getting good at this will help the business perform better, probably more than equivalent feedback loops with already-converted customers.
If — as with the majority of normal businesses around us — your main customer insights are about reasons existing customers get upset — and main reactive work about trying to stop customers leaving… then your customer support can never really help add new business. While, on the one hand, smart-thinking customer support will attempt to eliminate blockers that necessitate pre-sales customers seeking support, and thus proportionally reduce pre-sales support volume, on the other hand they will start to find other ways of learning from pre-sales customers about what things attract them to the business and how to engage them in conversations (or at least collect ideas) without it only being because of a problem.
As I’ve said, feedback is not just about listening to customers, but about systematically ensuring the company acts on customer requirements and prioritizes on the basis of customer insights. Clearly, just putting out occasional lame surveys is not a good way of collecting ideas, and certainly not sufficient to tick the box of “we listen to our customers”. There are ways of doing surveys better — in particular sacrificing data structure for open questions — but don’t let this be your main technique.
Listening to customers better, as I’ve discussed so far, consists firstly of improving the scope of the role of customer support and the structural intelligence of those regularly in contact with customers for whatever reason. Secondly, it includes diversifying the range of customer communication channels, including identifying channels of information from and about customers which are not straightforward customer support channels. With a range of channels of communication from and information about customers, you still have to work to ensure it flows as directly as possible to the people who are best able to implement improvements because of them — and are structurally required to do so.
The above two “best practices” involve structuring the work of customer support, and the position of customer support in the company, so that you are actively vacuuming up customer signals about how you could improve and intelligently sifting, interpreting, and prioritizing these into actual action.
A third best practice is to embrace the idea implicit in the word “crowdsourcing”: open the idea collection process to be collaborative and transparent to your customers. Even in the best listening company as described above, customers’ communications go up to you and come back with answers: it’s a private conversation, even though hundreds of other customers could be having the same conversation. Hopefully your individual support case results in general improvements, but the customer is unlikely to see you deliver on those beyond a reassurance that you’ll follow up, let alone receive any credit for a good suggestion.
A true crowdsourcing option for customers to feed back ideas will allow them to do so publicly so that other customers can see their ideas / suggestions / complaints, and allow them to see others’, and receive (social) credit for contributing good ideas. The company’s response will also be public, and ideally becomes a kind of group interaction / collaboration.
Obviously, this sounds a lot like what social media marketers go on about. But social media, in my view, do not provide optimized ways for customers to do this, and if you have customers publicly feeding back to you in Twitter and Facebook about a mixture of specific product or order issues, plus general gripes and sugggestions, it is generally a sign that you have simply failed to provide them with any more suitable public and discursive channels. Even companies using social media as positively as they can will find that the work expended evaporates quickly, creates completely unstructured content, and does nothing to aid the process of sorting and reacting to ideas inside the company. Bulletin boards / forums are even worse, because they resist casual usage by less motivated newcomers, incentivize egotistical behaviour, and still provide no strong means of sorting and presenting content.
A better model is to take the functionality of “bug tracking” systems (e.g. Bugzilla) in which you provide a channel specifically designed to ask customers to present an idea (but not necessarily a “bug”), and this can then be dealt with in an organized way on the company side. Each idea can have a clear title, documentation, categorization, and moderation, while still being based on the individual words of the first reporter, and adding in other users’ comments and edits. Users can be forced through a search before submitting ‘new’ tickets in order to point them towards similar issues already being tracked, and anyway duplicate issues can be merged later.
Two crucial aspects of crowdsourcing ideas are (1) that the community can vote up or down ideas, helping you decide where to prioritize, and (2) your reaction to issues from the company is clearly related to the issue being raised, and everyone can trace your reaction to it (“we will do something with X priority”, or not, and why not), and eventually you can broadcast your successful fixes to a delighted audience. The ideas are from the “crowd” but the moderation and participation should be mainly solved by the company. Establishing public idea discussion channels, but then ignoring them or at least not assigning official staff to respond (as done by Google and only slightly less arrogantly by Microsoft), will just lead to wrath. (Banks get “too big to fail”; tech companies get “too big to care”…)
This model is commonly (but way not commonly enough!) used for software bug tracking and idea proposals. But there is no reason it cannot be used for all sorts of other directed customer feedback themes, such as product suggestions and requests for help articles, as well as general sourcing of whatever ideas customers want to share, about pricing, shopping experience, comparing you with competitors… and lots of other “unknown unknowns” whose themes you cannot predict at all. The system can be very useful for involving staff inside your company in documenting ideas that they get from customers and paraphrase into idea tickets.
It should be as easy as possible for customers to submit ideas and read others’ ideas. Unstructured text is best. Then let your moderators tidy things up and apply category, title, tag, status etc. You want to suck in as many customer ideas as possible so you have to accept a certain amount of work cleaning up the incoming flow. Customers can be steered into this structured feedback environment from any other place, such as tickets, social media, FAQs, product pages, etc, and vice versa. Contrary to standard practice, customers can actually cope with multiple support and contact options: just make sure the channels are intelligently staffed and are tolerant of customers not playing by your intended topic-per-channel limitations. Remember, don’t correct the customer: just let them educate you.
It’s well known that a growing pain for successful startups is the early point where sales volume and workload have increased beyond the point where the entrepreneur can have constant direct contact with customers.
To free himself up and scale up the business, the entrepreneur-salesman will have to distil some of the key things that he did in order to teach more junior and specialized sales and customer support staff. But what tends to happen is that the people involved look at the growing volume and professionalism of the company, and default to an emulation of the cold, one-dimensional, customer-firewalling habits that they are familiar with from the large traditional companies all around us.
Entrepreneurs are usually extroverted, gregarious, charismatic uber-networkers: thus, they spend a high proportion of time talking with customers (meaning prospective customers as well as the key early conversions). Probably a large contributor to the growth of a successful startup (the fewer than one out of ten…) is the ability of this entrepreneur to derive insights from these customer communications which he can immediately translate into improvements in the product, marketing of it, and delivery of it. But this is precisely what gets cut off when handing over to overly junior, overly templated-job-description customer support staff.
The answer is to find as many ways as possible at this stage (and forever after) to increase the responsibility and skill level of customer support, increase the frequency and quality of their customer communications beyond mere passive problem-solving, and maximally support their voice and position within the company so that things continue to change based on these customer-sourced insights.
This kind of enlightened and empowered customer support will not happen automatically: it must be a central part of the business model and well-supported in management structures. Taking the first steps is not difficult, but requires a significant change of attitude compared to common practice. It is not just paying lip service — it is a mindset shift, ultimately towards becoming improvement-oriented and taking responsibility for thinking up and pushing forward improvement ideas.
Many companies claim to be customer-oriented, and go through motions of researching information about their customers… but actually very few businesses around us have really started to build customer awareness and customer-sourced insights deeply into their daily work and structures. When was the last time you felt a company — even a good brand that you like — found a good way to elicit and listen to your ideas? I am not talking about a “how did we do” card with a QR code on it, or a bland call center operative phoning you to run through ten minutes of “on a scale of one to ten…” We all have lots of opinions and ideas about products and brands, or just about our own experience and thought processes when shopping, that would be ridiculously valuable for the right people to listen to, but again, how much do you feel you are being (virtuously) tapped right now?
Crowdsourcing improvement ideas from your customers means listening to the people who know best, and unlocking their valuable insights and creativity in a never-ending virtuous cycle. Clearly such an attitude presupposes a business which actually does want to improve continuously, actually does have the capability of improving, and is happy to go through the cycles of improvement in a transparent way not necessarily according to their original agenda and not necessarily comfortable for the egos and job comfort of those in charge.
When encountering companies that aren’t taking a more imaginative view of the potential of customer support, perhaps we should trace this reluctance back to these core values to find out why not…