Are your policies coming between you and your customers?

 In Communication, Leadership

In my line of work, I’ve experienced many white-knuckle negotiations. You can imagine, then, my frustration with a popular telephone company while trying to get one simple task accomplished. It’s a negotiation that lasted six hours.

My wife and I recently welcomed my aging mother into our home. Mom’s one request is that she be able to keep her old phone number. To her, that phone number is an essential lifeline to stay in touch with family, friends, and doctors.

From a technology standpoint, there were no barriers to granting our request. However, when I asked to have the landline number transferred to my house, I was repeatedly told that it couldn’t be done. Customer service cited a policy that does not allow them to transfer one internet landline number to another.

The service reps tried diligently to help me. They offered to transfer the number to a cell phone, but mom doesn’t feel comfortable using a cell phone. Another suggestion was to send a tech to install an old school copper wire phone line, substantially increasing their costs and giving us an inferior product. Try as they may, their rep’s hands were tied by a single policy that was serving no one well.

Are your policies coming between you and your customers? When’s the last time you reviewed them? Polices should exist to provide helpful guidelines to serve the customer. They should also, ultimately, support achieving your company’s mission and purpose by delivering an exceptional customer experience.

In the end, I was connected with Roy. After telling him what I needed, he said he would reassign mom’s number to my address. Just has he promised, three days later that number was ringing in my house.

This experience reminded me how it is important to leave room within your guidelines for empathy and problem solving. If you’d like a custom review of your polices, please reach out. We’ll provide you with objective feedback on how to phrase your policies to better serve your customers, staff, and ultimately your mission.

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