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Attitude, Employee Behavior, Customer Service, and Lean

So, I was thinking about my post from yesterday on customer service and retention and wanted to add another point. I really didn’t talk about the attitude of the employee at the front desk-the voice of the company.

Now, she was civil to me. There was no evil cackle as she made me jump through the customer service hoops. There was no glimmer in her eye as she mentally counted the extra money she was wringing from me. She didn’t give me any attitude.

Instead, I saw a look of quiet resignation. Almost like she knew there was a better way, but yet had to toe the company line on the process.

I thought about how dissatisfying it had to be for that employee to face customers and tell them to do something that made little sense. I’m pretty laid back. I get it. The woman at the counter wasn’t empowered to make decisions.

Many customers don’t recognize that. They hear about the hoops they have to jump through and shoot the messenger.

The company did a disservice not only to me, but also to its team. Part of respecting employees is to protect them from bad situations.

Why? Apart from being the right thing to do, dissatisfied employees cost the company in the end. The receptionist is unlikely to go the extra mile for her boss, and she is probably not inclined to contribute ideas to making the company better.

I’d love to hear your stories-good and bad-about how process decisions made at the corporate level affect the customers’ attitude and the employees’ job satisfaction.

(By the way, if this subject interests you Mark Graban has a related article on employee engagement.)


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