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Walk in somebody else’s digital shoes

Helping with tech begins with understanding

Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan “The Wombat” Fisher’s personal mission. Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan “The Wombat” Fisher’s personal mission.

“It’s common sense, right?”

How often do you hear that?

I object to the phrase for a number of reasons.

• First reason: Common sense would imply that we all arrive at the same conclusion by virtue of a common experience!

NOT! No way! That is not how it works!

• Second reason: Common sense would imply that we all understand and apply the same knowledge the same way.

Question: Do you have more than one kid? Case closed!

• Third and final reason: Common sense would imply that when more than one of us were presented with the same task or challenge we would approach the solution in the same way.

Really? Give three individuals a hammer, a screwdriver, a wrench, and a needle nose plier. Now ask them to take a worn rubber washer out of the end of the hose and replace it.

Let the entertainment begin!

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Now, here’s the technology lesson …

Problem-solving isn’t always common sense

The bottom line is that individuals can become very creative when it comes to resolving problems or describing them. In the technology sense, in order to understand our users we need to speak their language.

Understanding a user’s technical problem can be harder than solving it, particularly when they don’t even know what a “right click” is! Go figure!

Finding ways to resolve user issues without increasing the stress or frustration when you can’t be right there at their workstation can be more complicated than the technology they are using.

So what is the solution?

Not long ago, I had an epiphany.

Yes, a “holy cow” revelation that would solve many customer service calls (for me, and maybe for you, “customer” in the broad sense).

Long-distance understanding

I placed Go-To-My-PC on a certain elderly family member’s personal computer. Now when they call, I log in, see the problem, and then hear the sweet words of:

“Honey, you are a genius! Thank you so much. I do not know what I would do without you.”

The problem was not correcting the issue as much as it was understanding the user. So, Go-To-My-PC gave me the tool to bridge the gap.

Common sense …. hog wash!

Understanding the challenge and finding a simple and creative solution … priceless!

Communication—key to it all

Don’t overthink problems and complicate things.

Understand that it is lack of communication, not technology, that makes problems hard to solve.

Not common sense, but it should be used as a common approach to customer service. Go-To-My-PC is just like being there, but not having to be. Not common sense, but genius!

—The Wombat!

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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