I have had a couple of examples recently where stupid red tape gets in the way of customer care or even basic courtesy..
I know you will have had similar ones but these have irritated the hell out of me.
- To the parking attendant in Cambridge. I have parked my car park in hundreds of car parks without someone directing me so I fail to see why I have to drive past hundreds of spaces just to park next to you.
- To the guy directing the traffic out of the car park. I am quite capable of turning right. Why did you ban this and make me drive the wrong way. I can see when nothing is coming!
- To the refuse collectors who didn’t take my green bin today but instead chose to walk the 6 feet to it and put a label on it telling me it wasn’t quite in the right place. OK OK so it wasn’t right by the curb but how about a note that says ‘we emptied this but do us a favour and help us speed up our job by leaving the bin a bit closer to the road’ – I would be OK with that…
- To the people at Wembley Stadium. When I write to you about my tickets, why do you need headed note paper instead of emails. Embrace the modern age!
- To the hotel receptionist. I said I had nothing from the mini bar. You insult me by waiting for confirmation from the maid that nothing was missing.
- Some of the worst words you can hear on the phone ‘I will have to check that with my boss’ (because I have zero authority, and I see it as my job to make you wait and listen to Musak while running up your phone bill).
I could go on but you get the idea. I should stress, this is not trivial. We all claim that customer service is really important but our perceptions are seriously challenged when we are confronted my mindless and needless red tape. I appeal to all leaders and managers. Work with your people, train them, help them, empower them and above all them remind them that they have a duty to customers. A bit of common courtesy goes a long way.
With this in mind, here is the coaching sheet found in our LCI coaching tool. I hope this gives you some food for thought and please feel free to comment with your own examples or observations