Service Prevention Department
Think back to some of the companies you have done business with lately, especially the ones with the all too annoying “Customer Service Phone Hell”… Press one for this and two for that. Recently, I had the displeasure of going through UPS’s “lack of customer service department” as they had delivered a rather large box to one of the other tenants in my building. So begins my epic struggle to navigate one of UPS’s “Service Prevention Departments”
I am not a big follower of directions, particularly when the automated voice on the other end of the phone is speaking sooo sloooowwwwly… I figure that I have a 90% chance of reaching a human by hitting “0”.
So, on this occasion, once I finished smashing the “0” multiple times and after a nine minute hold, I reached “Wendy” (who really did not sound like a Wendy), in the missing packages department.
Me: “UPS delivered my package to the wrong address, can you help me find it?”
Wendy: “So the package was delivered… Do you know who signed for it?
Me: “No, that’s why I am calling you”
Wendy: “I see that it was signed for last week by someone with the last name of Cotton, do you know anyone with that last name”
Wendy: “well it was delivered”
Me: “Yes, but not to me!”
Wendy: “I need to open an investigation”
Me: “Can’t you just call the distribution center which is 2 blocks from my office and have someone go and ask the 17 other tenants….”
Wendy cutting me off: “No sir, that’s not my job”
Me: “Did you really just say that?”
Wendy: “I can only open an investigation, I can’t really DO anything”
“Not my job” is a phrase that can get you quickly disciplined or terminated in my world. All employees are part of the same company serving the same guests, just in different capacities. Back in the day, when I managed Chef Mickey’s Restaurant at The Contemporary Resort, we had a bout of “It’s not my job” when it came to cleaning up after a sick guest.
So, we gathered all the employees from the Restaurant Team, Culinary Team, Dishwashers and the Housekeeping Department to get their input and involvement. The bottom line being, the mess had to get cleaned up and cleaned up quickly. The hourly employees came up with an ingenious process to clean up the mess, coming together to remain true to Disney’s Core Service Mission, Serving the Guests. The whole team is laser focused on creating a memorable guest experience and not on turf, divisions and who-is-responsible-for-what. Let me repeat that in case you missed it, “The hourly employees came up with the solution”. Not the Supervisors, managers or vice president.
Do you have a Service Prevention Department, or worse several of them, ticking off your clients and guests on a daily basis and preventing great service and profits from occurring? Now is the time to investigate and fix it. I recommend to my clients that they have frequent meetings with their front line employees with only one question on the agenda “What have our clients been complaining about this month?” Then brainstorm on how to fix it. Two things happen here: First and foremost, your customer service experience will improve and second, you demonstrate that you value the input of your employees.
UPS, based on my interactions, could stand to attend one of my Disney Service & Marketing Boot Camps. During the Boot Camp we investigate everyone’s roadblocks to great service and eliminate the service prevention department. Speaking of which, my next Disney Business Accelerator Service Boot Camp (This ain’t your 12 year olds sleep-over camp) 3 Day Expedition at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida is right around the corner. This is my Disney Insider’s “Behind the Curtain” System for Service, Development, Growth and Profits. Only 9 primary registrants are allowed.
Vance Morris is a Walt Disney World Resort Management Alumni, having spent 10 years as an executive in the Resorts. He runs the only Disney Service & Direct Response Marketing business on the planet. Here he coaches companies to create Disney Style Service Systems and then monetize them through direct response marketing. He is also the GKIC 2015 Marketer of the Year. He can be reached at www.DeliverServiceNow.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .