Roy's Blog

June 11, 2009

How to AMAZE your customers -  break your own rules

Rule #4 the four step process to AMAZE customers deals with the often encountered situation when your rules clash with what the customer wants, and how your frontline employees are empowered (or not) to deal with the situation.

Do your frontline employees spend a great deal of their time enforcing the rules, policies and procedures of your organization and, as a result, are constantly saying NO to your customers?

The most frustrating thing for frontliners is to have to be a rule enforcer and having customers constantly pushing back.

Do you really think it is possible to amaze and dazzle anyone when you are constantly trying to get someone to tow the line on something they don’t agree with?

Every organization has a rule infrastructure to govern their operations; its a necessity. BUT when your rules start to butt heads with a customer to the point that they get upset (and yes, enraged sometimes) and recoil from you due to your rules, you need to introduce the notion of flexing to the customer when it makes sense to do so.

Frontline people need to be able to bend a rule on the customer’s behalf if it means keeping the customer loyal.

I’m not talking about doing anything illegal or anything with this type of consequence; rather the internal policies that can be bended for a customer who has special circumstances that were not foreseen by the policy.

Rules and policies are created in the image of an “average” customer but the reality is that the average customer doesn’t exist. They are ALL different.

So, empower your frontline people to bend one of your ‘standardized’ rules, policies or procedures when the customer needs a different treatment; when their needs are quite reasonable but out-of-bounds to what the book says.

First of all, your frontline will NOT ‘give away the store’ and chaos will NOT result from this. In fact in my experience, empowering frontliners to ‘say yes’ actually produces a greater degree of rule enforcement as they typically reserve flexible treatment for those customers who truly need it.

You will be rewarded by a customer who is dazzled by how they are being treated as a human being rather than as a transaction that has to be controlled by the rules.

And, in addition, you will have a loyal customer who will tell others how truly great you are.


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  • Posted 6.11.09 at 08:20 pm by Roy Osing
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