Service employee giving woman keys

You’re at a business lunch and you ask the waiter if he can substitute the salad for fries. With embarrassment on his face, the waiter says he must first check with his manager for any menu changes.

You bring an item to return 31 days after purchase, although the policy says 30 days. The clerk says she would like to process the return, but she can’t because it is past the deadline and she’s not allowed to make exceptions.

You place an order online and immediately realize you’ve made a mistake. You call the company’s customer service line and the representative tells you he can’t stop the order as it’s already been sent to shipping. He puts you on hold while he tries to find someone who can authorize a cancellation. He comes back, exasperated, and explains his manager won’t be in the office until Monday.

Each of these scenarios represents a recurrent service delivery failure. In each case, the representative wanted to help you but couldn’t due to a policy, the “system,” or the way they were trained. Were these frontline employees capable? Likely.  Read full article here.

From Forbes.com, by Lisa Barrington.