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How to find creative - and practical - solutions to your business challenges

Before I started Violet Clover Consulting I worked in marketing at a couple Fortune 500 companies in Central Iowa (here's my LinkedIn profile). My mission is to use my experience to help smaller businesses identify and implement creative and practical solutions to their business challenges.

How to ID creative and practical solutions

While business challenges come in all shapes and sizes, the steps it takes to solve them often look the same.

  1. Define the problem. Metrics and other measurements help remove any bias.

  2. Establish a timeline. Can your business function as usual while you solve for the problem, or does it need immediate attention.

  3. Bring the right people into the discussion. Include those directly involved and those who bring a fresh perspective.

  4. Create a customer persona to use as you develop your hypothesis. This is a helpful tool to ask challenging questions like "Will [persona name] find this solution helpful?"

  5. Develop a hypothesis.

  6. Test. Learn. Adjust. Implement the solution.

Real life example

When I worked at a large Fortune 500 company our customer support team was getting a lot of calls with similar questions about billing. The metrics were showing a large spike in activity and if the trend continued then we'd need to adjust long-term staffing models. We needed to come up with a solution soon but business could continue as is while we worked on it. My business partners approached me with this business challenge and they suggested edits to our existing chat bot to help reduce call volumes. We started by creating a customer persona (Kathy) to represent the customers who were calling in. And, when I looked deeper into how people were using our chat bot. I found that 40% of people were asking the chat bot for a phone number to talk to our customer support team, so the chat bot alone was not going to be the best option for reducing call volumes. We brought in a few of the customer support team members to talk about what specific billing questions they were receiving. We identified three questions that were the source of most of the calls - how to pay my bill online, can I mail in a check, and are there ways to lower my monthly payment. The first two questions were very similar, while the question about lowering the payment was more complex, so we split this challenge into two sections. The hypothesis being that if we could reduce the calls about the first two questions, it would free up our customer support team's time to tackle the more complex questions like how to lower a monthly payment. We explored Kathy's experience with the current bill to identify the additional information that would help customers like Kathy determine where to send check payments or how to pay online. We added this payment call-out box to the actual bill, and after a few months, call volumes reduced to better align with our staffing model. Our customer support team was more engaged because they were able to help our customers without feeling overwhelmed by the call volume, and our customers were better prepared to make their own billing decisions with the information provided.


What are some business challenges that you're facing? Could you use a fresh perspective to review the problem while your team continues to run the day-to-day of your business? Let's schedule a no-obligation discovery call to talk about your challenge and how I can help. I'll then provide a bid for the strategy work for you to review. And, once you approve that, we can work together on a solution.

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