Want service? You must do this.

If you want service, you have to ________, _______, _______.  Imagine if you saw that on a sign at the door of a business.  Would you want to go in?  Would you want to be a customer of theirs?  I feel confident you are saying no.  Yet, every day, we encounter and have to deal with this.

Now imagine going to a foreign country where they don’t speak your language and setting up a business.  Would you demand that your customers speak your language?  Again, I feel confident you are saying no to this too.  Yet, every day, businesses everywhere do things just like this without a second thought.

Customers regularly experience organizations that demand that they fit into their structures and processes.  Every day customers are asked to fill out forms and fall in line with deadlines, procedures, rules, regulations, exceptions, and policies.  Think about how many times you’ve heard “this is our policy.”  Think of all of the fine print you’ve encountered.  Think of how many times you’ve experienced an employee pointing to a sign that says things they don’t do or things you have to do.  Do you ever wonder who is serving who?

If you are a business leader, take a look at your operation.  How are you crunching customers into a box you’ve created?  How are you expecting customers to be what you want them to be rather than being what they need you to be?  What policies and rules can you remove to better make things easy, enjoyable, and a better fit to your customers?  Where do you need to learn their language instead of demanding they learn yours?

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