When you are helping your customers, coworkers or managers, do you make it easier for them or harder? It sounds crazy to think that we would ever make it harder for people intentionally, but do you think you ever do it unintentionally? Do you sometimes take things a little too much to the letter of the law. Coming from an HR background, I would never want to be accused of suggesting you don’t follow policy and procedures, but policies and procedures are meant to be used with common sense and not to intentionally make things difficult for people. Here’s what I mean….
Do you have any of those reward cards from stores like supermarkets or chain drug stores? I don’t like carrying the cards around with me and I don’t need things hanging on my keychain. When I get to the register, they usually ask if I have the rewards card. I can’t think of a single store that does not have another way of looking up your account. Most times they ask for your phone number or ask you to type it in on the keypad. The other day, I was in one of those stores and they asked the usual question, to which I gave my usual answer. The girl behind the counter, sighed, literally rolled her eyes, and asked if I was sure I didn’t have it on my keychain. I said, “Can you look it up with my phone number or something?” She said, “I can, but that’s why we give the card and key chain attachment. Then we only have to scan the card, and it makes it easier to give you the points!” “Easier for whom?” I asked.
I’m not being difficult. It’s not really easier for me that way. Rather than searching through my wallet or pocketbook, I can just type it in on the keypad and be done with it. I get the point; the card is the preferred way to do it, but she really didn’t have to make it so difficult for me. Once she was convinced I didn’t have the card or the keychain attachment, she acted like she had to reset the register or something in order to let me type my phone number in. “Hold on……. wait a second….not yet. I swear she was punishing me. I get it, if you want to gently remind me of the preferred method, but if it’s really not a big deal, don’t make it one.
I’ve observed people handle things similarly when customers or coworkers don’t have the account number, or the serial number, or the PO number, etc. and then I’ve encountered people who simply just look it up another way. Which person would you rather deal with?
Thoughts…….. Contact me at abbe@TECResourceCenter.com
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