Fix Your Processes, Not People. Improve Customer Service

Focus On Process, NOT Fixing Your Staff Yields Much Better Service

Should Companies Try to Improve Their Service By Getting Better People, or Building Better Processes

One of the mistakes companies make is thinking that “if only they could get better staff”, their service levels would improve”.

It’s a myth. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having good people interacting with customers, but if you take really excellent customer service people and put them in a system with processes that are awkward,¬†inefficient and frustrating both for them and customers, what’s the result?

You get good staff¬†leaving, and you get customers leaving too. It’s exceedingly demoralizing for staff who are constrained by unnecessary rules and procedures, because they want to do a good job.

Do not expect that hiring the best people and putting them in broken systems will do anything but break your best people.

Example Of Broken Process

Most businesses require that front line staff ask managers for permission to do certain functions; providing a refund, comping an item in a restaurant, providing a discount, or upgrading.

That “process” is time consuming, and frustrating for staff and customers, particularly when the issue in question is pretty unimportant.

No matter how good your staff members are, they are going to be frustrated by this type of thing, because they know that customers chaff during the delay until the manager arrives.

In fact your best, most customer focused staff are going to be the most frustrated.

Conclusion: Look At ALL Procedures and Paths BOTH Customers And Staff Members Have to Follow and Fix

You’ll find that you can involved staff in identifying and altering procedures and processes that interfere with providing great service. THEY WILL know what they are. Sometimes the procedures can’t be changed completely, but often there are ways to tweak them enough to remove the frustration.

You’ll find that your employees will, rather magically, become much better, more effective employees once you fix the processes that get in their ways.

Author: Robert Bacal

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