Have you ever wondered how many strikes you get with your customers or members? How many times can your financial institution make mistakes with the same person’s account before that person gives up on you?
A colleague of mine was talking to me recently about a series of mishaps her family experienced at a local Whataburger. The fast food chain was notorious for getting little things wrong on every order. The family was willing to overlook the small things, but the mistakes kept getting worse.
One night they ordered at the drive-thru, got home and found a completely different sandwich than the one she had ordered. What made it worse was she was dieting at the time, and as she described it, “Never get between a woman and her cheat meal.” She was so angry that she drove back to the restaurant, in the middle of a storm, with sandwich and receipt in hand, demanding the right food. She then informed her family they would be boycotting that location forever.
Her family didn’t listen. They went back without her one day and ate inside the restaurant. When her son bit into his burger, he found no meat on the bun. He took it to the register, and they vowed to fix it. When they brought it back a second time, the bun still had no meat on it. That was the restaurant’s last strike with this family.
Continued mistakes, whether at a restaurant, store or financial institution, boil down to leadership. Yes, it’s the employees who usually make the mistakes with customers and members, because they are on the front line. The question is, why are they making those mistakes? They’re either not being trained properly, not being held accountable for their mistakes or are not the people who should have been hired in the first place.
These are failures that fall on management’s shoulders, and it’s a trickle-down effect. You can replace the people who keep making mistakes, but if you don’t do your job well, the employees who replace them won’t do their jobs well. When they don’t do their jobs well, your service to consumers. How many strikes do you get before they give up on you completely?
This is a relatively easy fix. Start by hiring the right people. Look for personality traits and prior experience that fit the position for which you are hiring. Train your employees well, and frequently. If you can’t train them, find someone who can, even if you have to send them outside your four walls. Finally, define goals and performance metrics for each job position, and hold your employees accountable for meeting them.
When you invest time and resources in your employees, they will invest more in the service they deliver to customers and members.