Slaughter those Cows immediately!-Part 2
Many companies are so large they believe that no matter what they do they’ll make money. And in some cases that’s very true. automotive, insurance, media , and literally thousands of other companies, both in and out of those industries, have grown so large, they are ‘too large to fail’, as the economic crash of 2008 proved.
Being blind, customer service is something I pay closer attention to than most. As an example I’ll use one of my favorite places to shop. Since Sam Walton died, Wal-Mart has continued to grow, but they changed, for the worse. Their customer service definitely falls in with the idea of the customer ‘no-service’ attitude that is very prevalent in today’s economy, especially with many companies mentioned above.
But Wal-Mart is by no means the only one. The worst is never visited more than once. When you need someone to help you find something, there is never anyone around. If you find someone to help, then they have no clue what you want or where to find it. If you call instead of going there to get information, you hang on hold for 10 minutes and then the person who answers has an accent so thick you can’t understand it, and it’s not necessarily foreign, makes you wonder about the educational system and their sacred cows.
To Wal-Mart, customer service is one of those sacred cows. They proclaim to have great people willing to help in any way they can. Therefore, the refuse to change anything in their approach to customer service. If they would ask me, I could give a hundred ways to slaughter those sacred cows to be more efficient.
So how does a business slaughter those sacred cows and change the operations to make it better and more effective for the customer? They have to start with analyzing every aspect of the operation. I literally mean everything, from the ordering and delivery process to hiring the right people; please no more warm body syndrome, to discipline, store set up, how many people on duty at a time, and checking people out at the cash register. And that’s just one store and a few places to start.
Is there anything in your processes that you can do without? It doesn’t really matter whether it saves you time or money not doing it. What does matter is the customer you’re trying to serve, whoever they may be. Add that to the fact that you streamline & improve the processes, procedures, and service(s) you offer. And why do you do that? Simply put, improve accessibility for your most important asset to stay in business, the customer.
Look at your policy and procedures manual. Anything that hasn’t been updated for at least 5 years needs to be looked at and analyzed and more than likely re-written for a new crop of employees. When I worked for Allied Security in the mid 90’s, our policy & procedures manual was thick. Unfortunately, many of those policies were 15-20 years old. And when asked why they weren’t updated or tossed out? The answer I received was, at least to me, astounding.
The exact quote from my branch manager was ‘Because we haven’t been told to. And besides they still work and apply, why re-write them?’ I loaned him by book ‘If it Ain’t Broke, Break It’ by Robert Krenzel. Shortly after that I began receiving bad assignments; I guess my radical ideas were too much for such an old fashioned and stolid company.
That is my all-time favorite business book, and I’m sorry to say it can’t be found on audio books. But I loved that book and still do. It has taught me to get rid of sacred cows and go it alone if I have to start changing the things that need to be changed. I believed in that before I read the book, but then I had an industry magnate telling me it was the way to increase service to the customers, in my case security clients.
So the conclusion of this is simple, Throw out the CW. Toss those old tired ideas out the window into the dumpster. Try something new and exciting. The worse that can happen is that you fail. So what if you fail, it’s something we all do once in a while. And if you fail spectacularly and get fired… eh so what, go somewhere else where they will appreciate such an approach.
Start thinking of innovation, creativity, and get yourself out-of-the-box to solve problems. And starting with making hamburgers out of the sacred cows is a good start. Slaughter those cows and get rid of them. Yes there will be complaining and moaning and groaning.
But the price of progress in improving your service and reaching out to everyone you serve, especially in the security field (even more so with officer contracts), is to continually improve your processes. And slaughtering those sacred cows is one of the best places to start.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear