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For Sale: Service Which is Not Available

Friday, February 13, 2009 by Slaughter Development

The words “we’ll take care of it” from any company should be music to a consumer’s ears. After all, one less responsibility is great when the weekly to-do list is already overflowing. But what happens when a promise is left unfulfilled?

For Scott Abel, author of the article Hey AT&T! Buying Residential Telephone Service Shouldn’t Be This Hard, purchasing new phone service was far from the stated promise of “just plug it in and we’ll do the rest.” When it came time to use his phone the line had not been activated. Scott Abel soon discovered he was unable to access his account, file a grievance report or even receive service in his area. AT&T wasted their own time because of a broken process. Unfortunately for Abel, the productivity paradox cost him time, energy and unnecessary frustration:

[AT&T operators] are guided by written scripts designed to help them obtain the information they need to complete computer-enabled order forms, which run on various computer software applications that—you guessed it—don’t talk to each other. So while the marketing department at AT&T shouldn’t be promoting services in areas in which they don’t provide service, my situation is proof that they do. And, while systems designed to process orders shouldn’t allow orders to be placed in areas where AT&T does not provide service, my situation is proof that they do.

As seen through the example above, gaps in a process — no matter how minuscule or innocent they may be — will eventually cause problems, particularly if they are not discovered or dealt with immediately. Like a novelist or football player, at times it can be difficult to find error in the work you partake in day to day. By bringing in a fresh eye or new perspective as editors and coaches do, discovering flaws more readily helps to streamline the product’s success.  With the integration of new technology as well as stakeholder contribution and feedback, processes are continually evolving in business. Every successful change in workflow requires a thorough examination of the transformation and a system of checks and balances to ensure validity.

At Slaughter Development we strive to help our clients improve business efficiency through diverse custom services offered as a proactive partnership. We bring a fresh viewpoint to identify challenges in process and help stakeholders to model and implement effective solutions. Contact us today to learn more about how we help corporate and non-profit teams to transform work environments for everyone’s.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Customer Service and Phone Calls - Over at the website, a commenter retold the story of the “best use of a cell phone” he has seen all year. The call was placed while standing in line to the same desk:
Read on »
Fired For Customer Service - Customer service, or lack thereof, is an enormous part of thriving in business today. Yet, as one airline employee discovered, people must be cautious with how they respond to frustrated consumers. Otherwise, they may get fired. Read on »
Frantic Cashier - This morning at the auto repair shop, the cashier struggled to process a routine customer payment. She keyed in obscure codes to her computer, poured over handwritten notes, and checked the math with a hand held calculator. Read on »
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