It Depends

I used to joke with one of my colleagues that I should care a box of Depends™ Diapers with us on calls because this was her favorite phrase.  And then someone asked me in a different context; “Why should it depend. Why should the service your customer receives depend on who is at the register or who is on duty this day”?

This is a good question. I know what Linda would say. How about you?

Linda would say, “There are so many variables in the service we deliver.” (Her group managed a very obscure segment of patient billing where the regulations varied by state), so I can see her point of view, state regulations and bureaucracy are out of her control. BUT the service she could control was spot on.

Do you have a restaurant you like but only if a certain waiter is on staff? My wife has her favorite checkout people at the grocery because of the way Garen connects with her. (I notice he tends to have a longer line)

As leaders we want our customers to have the best experience that is in line with our culture, as we possibly can. Yet sometimes it depends. How do we help make that consistent? Let me suggest a few ways:

–    Good hiring and orientation – Make sure we get people that have the right attitudes and        then let’s orient them to our values and expectations.
–    Training – We then want to train them in “our way”. They may have been a store manager      elsewhere but we have expectations and ways we want to do them. This is the difference        between Pete’s burgers and McDonalds. I know what to expect at McDonalds.
–    Feedback – We want to celebrate the people that demonstrate our values and coach               those that do not.

This is not something we train and then leave behind. It requires consistent and constant reinforcement.

How is customer service in your world? Does it depend?

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