Today I heard a couple of interesting real-life stories about how changes in process, facilitated only for the need to make things slicker and more productive (take heed Sigma boys) actually prevented the organisation from caring about it’s Number 1 fans: the customer.
Case Study 1: in order to get through as many policy enquiries a day, the usual linear studies were conducted and a ‘reasonable expectancy’ time was derived for the amount of time is should take to service a query. Happily implemented, productivity increased, job done. Unfortunately this created a certain set of behaviours with the staff and any real human element was driven out for the sake of getting through the work as quickly as possible. Even call monitoring was fruitless to pick this one up because enquiries were whittled down to the simplest of grunts, I mean responses.
And so, Mrs X calls in.
“Hello, I’m not sure I’m through to the right department, my husband died a couple of weeks ago and we have multiple policies with you so how do I go about changing the name on them all ?”
“What’s the policy number……”
Err, hello, did she get through to a Vulcan or a Human operator ? Where was the ‘Oh, how awful…’ chatter that even if it were insincere would’ve helped the caller emotionally.