Roy's Blog

November 17, 2014

This is what happens when you say “NO” to people

“Dumb rules” have an extremely negative impact on your customers and your brand; they make you say “NO”.

Dumb rules are rules and policies that are internally focused, serve an internal purpose and make no sense to customers.

They infuriate people and can make them leave, screaming to their friends about the terrible customer service they have experienced.


Rules, policies and procedures are necessary in any organization. The question is for what purpose? Most rule systems in organizations today, however, exist for management control purposes.

The need to ensure consistent behavior. The need to satisfy Internal Audit that costs are being controlled. The need to ensure that the “standards” are being observed.

The problem is, people don’t really care about the rules. They just want to be served in an effective manner to get their wants satisfied. The rules are the organization’s problem.

What if we created YES rules?

Rules that are built to allow customers to get what they want in the manner they want.

Rules that empower frontline employees to Say Yes to whatever reasonable request the customer makes.

Rules to create a dazzling service experience.

Rules that recognize that every person is different and unique in some special way.

Rules that recognize that your brand is ultimately controlled by customers and the conversation they have about an organization.

Sure, rules to control are necessary to ensure the business is run effectively. Financial reporting and cost management require a degree of oversight to meet specific external requirements.

But these “control rules” are so prevalent in organizations today that they have drowned the customer experience.

Neutered it. Destroyed it. The Rule has precedent over the customer.

The rule has sucked the humanity out of many organizations. The internal rule dominates.

Why not engage the customer in designing The rule? Ask them if your approach would dazzle them or annoy them. Ask for their input.

Open your organization to them. Expose your humanity.

Get to YES. Your customers will return the favor.


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  • Posted 11.17.14 at 04:57 am by Roy Osing
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