16 November 2016

How does someone "take ownership" of my needs ?

What does it even mean?  I've been seeing this inquiry on various feedback documents - this one after a successful tech upgrade yesterday.

I understand why this happens.  This company, like every other one, outsources its online "help" service to third-world sites and uses feedback to weed out the unsatisfactory temporary hires.

But "taking ownership of my needs" sounds like I've been interacting with a sin-eater.  And why a 10-point scale, forcryinoutloud?  And get off my lawn; I'm grouchy this morning.


  1. Serious answer, though I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for: It's industry jargon. It's pretty important in tech support to determine who 'owns' the problem, otherwise everyone assumes someone else is responsible and issues slip through the cracks. My workplace had to clarify that first-level support people 'own' a problem from the time it comes in to the time it's resolved, and that if there are higher levels of tech support involved it's still the first person's responsibility to coordinate the fix and make sure it gets done. A non-jargon version of the survey question would be "how satisfied are you that the chat representative took responsibility for solving your problem?"

    Kids, lawns, etc. Business jargon sucks.

  2. Yup, its the new buzzword in business. Associates are supposed to "take ownership" of the problem and ensure that its fixed, or the product found, or whatever. I didn't realize they'd gone so far as to put it in the customer surveys though!

    1. It's not that new (see https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=take+ownership&year_start=1800&year_end=2015&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctake%20ownership%3B%2Cc0). Its major period of rise was during the dot-com boom of the mid-90s. It's fairly reasonable to see a spread into customer surveys at this point.


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