Every company has them – those annoying little things that that build up, annoy customers and eventually turn them away.
Classic examples are poor communication about an airline delay or the ‘institutional voice’ you get on the help desk line when you call for help. You know the deal.
The interesting question is if they are so obvious to the world, so annoying and so easy to fix, then why don’t companies just fix them?
Here are some thoughts on the reasons and how to fix them:
- The front line people seeing this in action day to day have no voice. They’re not listened to when they try and raise the problem internally. >> Give them a voice – that means listening, but it also means taking action to prove it.
- The people seeing this in action are worn out and fed up. >>This is symptomatic of #1. Give them a voice, listen and take action. Give them a break, a holiday, and remove those who really are too jaded – find another spot for them – in accounts?
- The people setting the business process have no idea about how to do the job of the people interacting with customers. >>Get those line managers and higher ups out there rotating through support functions for a day every 3 months.
- The company is willfully blind because the numbers it is measuring tell a different story. >>Without customer satisfaction these numbers will tell the real story at some point – but it may be too late. At the end of the day, every for-profit entity must provide something of value that people want to part with dollars to have. Get that wrong and its all over.
- It’s too hard to change the process once it is in place. >>You need top-down support for this and you need to take a step even further back and look at your process for creating processes. Do you spend enough time reviewing and debating new processes before they are created? Odds are that you don’t – most companies create new processes at the drop of a hat but take a long time and many wasted meetings to remove one (or even alter it).
- Customers have no voice – they’re ignored or placated with no action. >>Cardinal sin – get out of business if you can’t fix this one.
What would you add?
[image credit: Daquella manera]