By exits, I mean the equivalent of getting out of the mainstream of the defined process and being able to address an exception directly. In my case, the fact that I called more than once about the same issue should have been an indication that the process, or its execution, was not producing intended outcomes. Lets be clear, its preferable to follow an established process when it makes sense, but when exceptions occur the process needs to be resilient enough to handle them, and if too many exceptions occur, thats probably an indication of a larger issue.
The takeaway for organizations and BPO providers is to mutually define how intended outcomes can be tested and then to do so. That means actually poking at the process by simulating not only expected usage but whether the process is resilient enough to handle the unexpected and still achieve intended outcomes.
I spoke in my last column about the irony of getting customer satisfaction surveys from the technology supplier, contact center and collections function as result of my buying experience. The irony is derived from these surveys because they contained information that had to be shared between all three entities, yet they couldnt share any information that would have helped solve the problem.
Undaunted, I returned all the surveys along with detailed accounts of what happened and suggestions on how to fix the problems I perceived to exist. Guess what kind of response I got? Nothing, nada, null, zip. For one of them, not even an indication the message got through. Would you feel like theyre serious about intended outcomes?
Heres another scenario I encountered recently: On vacation with my family, we stayed in the mid-scale brand of a relatively well-known hotel chain. My kids were looking forward to using the pool, and when I confirmed my reservation at the front desk no one mentioned any issues, but when we arrived I found it was being renovated. Although annoying, we found other activities to placate the kids and avert a riot.
I provided feedback about this on the hotels Web site and waited. Less than 24 hours later, I had an apology from the property manager and her supervisor, a voucher to apply toward a future stay in any other property within the hotels brands, and double my rewards points for my stay. The organizations contact center is outsourced, yet their process and information integration enabled them to address the issue efficiently and effectively. I even received an email thanking me for helping to make the organization better, and asking whether I was satisfied.
Thats what I call serious.
Mark Cioni, president of MV Cioni Associates, has been helping global businesses to improve their decisions, operations and performance for over 25 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.