Nonsense Policies and Procedures

Why do some organizations make it easy to do business with them and others make it difficult?

In my book “Creating Magic” I dedicate a whole chapter to this very problem. Get rid of policies that hassle your customers. Just this week my wife fell and broke her elbow in five places. After three hours of surgery, two plates and many screws she is back home. We decided we needed to rent a hospital bed as it has the grab bars on the side which enables her to get out of bed using only one arm,

I called Colonial Medical Supply Company in Orlando which is the company we rented a bed from for four months two years ago. I first had a person on the phone that no matter how many times I spelled my name, she could not get it right, therefore she could not find us in their customer records. I finally told her, “Please listen” and I spelled it again and by magic our name appeared in their computer records.

I told her that I needed a hospital bed just like the one in our records and I would like to have it tomorrow (Saturday). She said,” We don’t deliver on Saturday.” That is their first hassle policy. When you are in the medical business you ought to be delivering when the patient needs the equipment.  What in the world are they thinking about.  They are open on Saturday but don’t deliver.  I am interested in writing a book titled, “What Were You Thinking?”

After that she told me that my records are out of date and that I needed to fill out new forms. I told her that nothing has changed. Our address  is the same and that I am paying for the bed with my credit card. She went on to tell me that they have this policy and I would need to  come in and fill out the forms again.

I promptly told her that she can just forget it and that I would find another company. She was surprised I could tell, but I am way to old to deal with incompetent companies and incompetent employees. I guess I need to give her a little break since her boss and who ever hires these people and creates these policiies are the real problem.

I promptly called another company by the name of Binson’s in Winter Park, Florida and they could have not been nicer, more competent or more efficient. I just gave her my address and my credit card number and she said they would deliver the bed promptly. No forms to fill out. You would think that I was applying for a passport the way Colonial Medical was so concerned about their forms being filled out. Binson’s also has the hassel policy of no Saturday deliveries, but at least no long forms to fill out.

I encourage you to  go back and look at every policy you have in your organization and make sure that those policies are not driving customers away from your organization. I am just amazed how inept so many organizations are. Ask every one of your employees which policies are really annoying customers and then go about fixing those. Making your customers mad is not a good strategy.

Dealing with this issue may be one of the most important things you do for your business. My next book is going to be titled, “Serve Us or Lose Us. The big airlines like United, American and Delta are really bad in this area. Fly Southwest, Jet Blue, Air Tran, or West Jet if you do not want to be hassled. Do not give your money to organizations that frustrate you…..Lee

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