Many factors conspire to erode our trust in the processes we inevitably have to deal with every day. We are increasingly divorced from the acts of getting things done/made/grown as we build layers upon layers of abstraction between us the consumers and the producers.

Disconnectedness and loss of control – the more removed we are from the people doing the work, the less we trust the process. Things can become mighty frustrating very quickly when something goes wrong and we can’t speak to the person who can directly affect change. Forcing us to pipe our requests through an intermediary like a call centre person can make matter worse by reducing our perception of control.

Lack of contextual information – when we don’t understand the big picture “why”, we can find it harder to just accept “this is the way things have got to be.” Taken in isolation, many small picture tasks can seem utterly ludicrous.

Lack of direction (action-oriented information) – we need to know what will happen next. What do we need to do/supply/provide next? An overview list of steps and actions is helpful, as are specifically relevant “next step” instructions and reminders upon completing each step. The former is the map of where we need to go. The latter is the specific turns we need to make at each juncture of the journey.

Lack of a sense of progression – in complex, multi-stepped processes that extend over a period of time, we would like to know how we are progressing. A simple feedback mechanism can make waiting on a phone queue that much more palatable. When we know how we are progressing, we feel more in control and trust the process more.

Non-responsibility – often the organisation as a whole may take responsibility, but the individuals doing the work are often not empowered to do so. They are tasked with getting each call incident logged and pushed through the system, but not to actually solve the problem (which may take multiple calls over multiple days.) The customer is left owning the problem (and with limited means to act on it) when this should be a shared concern.

Have I missed anything? Feel free to add your thoughts below.