Okay, more on (moron?) "The Empowered Customer" - (Rol at LL Bean
should like this one!):
A man takes a pair of slacks to a store clerk and asks if they
can be altered. The clerk asks for a receipt and the man reports
that he lost it. "Sorry, but it's store policy to do free
alterations, but not without a receipt.
The man then says, "Okay, I'd like to return these
(store-labeled) slacks." The clerk processes the return and gives
the man cash equaling the cost of the pants.
The man then pushes the cash back to the clerk and says that
he'd like to buy those same slacks. The clerk rings up the
transaction. The man now pushes the bagged slacks and receipt
across the counter and asks to have them altered.
Old joke. True story.
And it illustrates the cost of unempowered service personnel
(consider the increased paperwork and inventory costs
But I would hate to see the policies and procedures manual if it
actually covered all the possible situations that the employee
might encounter. It would be a veritable "Big Book of Square
Wheels for Wagon Pushers, Edition 543, Volumes 1 through 3.
Revised January, 1996." (Note: The empowered people take only a
xerox of the cover page.)
Ask me about the 23 minutes on hold this afternoon to ask a major
airline to give me some extra time on an expiring one-year
certificate sent to me in recompense for a poor service experience
last year. I called the 800 Gold Card Most Blessed Customer
Number and they said that I needed to call the TOLL number to get
a customer complaint resolved. Duh. So, the 23 minutes on hold
was at my cost -- again to resolve a service based problem --
someone eventually said, "Sure, why wouldn't we do that given the
My belief is that the good employees don't even have a clue that
things are really that bad for the customers, and the systems
don't manage the service transaction interface very well and
customers generally don't complain, they just go away.
For the Fun of It!
Scott Simmerman Performance Management Company, Taylors SC USA 29687-6624 firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>