When I was 16, I worked at Kmart. One of the policies we had at Kmart back then was that employees were not allowed to park in any of the front rows of the parking lot. Those spaces were reserved exclusively for customers. Even at the age of sixteen, I got that. The policy was in place to help give our customers (the people who basically signed our paychecks) the best possible customer experience.
Kmart is smart. But a lot of companies aren’t. It’s my job to help companies get smarter.
I have a client who shut down the toll-free phone lines everyday from noon to 1pm for lunch. They did this because trying to cover the phones during lunchtime was difficult and customers ended up holding for extended periods of time. They thought that having all employees go to lunch at the same time would actually result in a better experience for customers. I pointed out that a lot of customers are using their lunch hour to call in and that getting voicemail during lunchtime is very frustrating. Closing down for an hour may have made things easier for employees and scheduling, but it resulted in a very frustrating and poor customer experience. I convinced my client to keep the phones on all day and hire 2 work-from-home employees to help cover three hours during lunch as employees enjoyed scheduled lunches. This change is smart. (Like Kmart…LOL!)
When you’re designing your company policies and procedures, make sure they benefit the customer. Your job is to always look for ways to give your customers the very best customer experience. From keeping upfront parking spaces available to being available during lunchtime, ensure you are thinking in terms of delivering the best possible customer experience. I hope Kmart still has the “keep front parking spaces open for customers” policy. 🙂