MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS – DAY 14 OF A 30 DAY BLOG (RANT?)
There is no easy way to tell someone they are the problem, especially when they have rung you to tell you that it’s your company with the problem. They were on a mission and in full flight.
That’s what happened today.
They rang and talked for 10 minutes about all the problems they were having with our software and wanted to know what I would do about it. I checked their file and our call tracking database and found that they were in out top 10 of callers and that we’d over recent months made 6 free visits to provide extra training. They are the only site experiencing the problems they report.
Something wasn’t right.
When I chased down the last people they had spoken with it turns out that the problem then was caused by the people in the shop. They’d made a mistake, hadn’t told us about it and we’d lost half a day hunting down the evidence of the mistake. Once we showed it to them they agreed they’d done something wrong.
But back to today. What they called about today had been fixed yesterday with some telephone advice. They didn’t tell me that today so we lost another hour or two hunting this information down.
They desperately need more training and need to use some common sense – there is no joy to be had when you turn your computer off while it is in the middle of something! But they didn;t want training. They wanted their problems fixed because they saw the problems as entirely caused by us and nt them. Ugh!
The Oasis strategy calls for us to aspire to exceptional customer service. How can I provide that if I need to tell them that they are the problem? It’s never an easy conversation. I start by explaining that he’ll be grumpy with what I have to say and head into my pitch – that he is the problem.
The alternative was to agree we were the problem and face this same problem every couple of months forever. I took the hard road and stumbled through it.
We followed up the bad news with a couple of calls from others on our team who explained in detail what was being done wrong at the site. The finale was arranging another visit to provide another training session which I will follow of a reminder that they need to not do wrong things – things they know are wrong at the time – and then deny them.
It’s a lose lose situation and so frustrating.
In my book it’s okay to make mistakes. Geez we all make them. It’s just that some of us hide them or talk out way out of them easily.
In my business mistakes, especially the ones you identify yourself and as long as they are not repeats, are find and should be cheered. Lessons are great.
When people don’t admit mistakes now that is frustrating.
But back to this site which cost us a few hours today. We’re planning to assault them with knowledge and help over the next week to challenge them to lift their game. We know that if they do this they will reach their own Oasis in terms of the computer system and they’ll look back on the situation and laugh. Our hope is that they engage with the effort.
At least we have drawn a line in the sand and let them know that they need to work on things.
So today has been neutral on the Oasis strategy. Yeah, it makes you wonder about the effort but tomorrow is another day!
Tomorrow we’ll send chocolates and some training notes.
Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Shadows paintin’ our faces
Traces of romance in our heads