Process...a passion killer?

Written by Jane Streat, Head of Client Services at Lexington

We all endure the security questions we have to answer when ringing financial institutions or retail operators because we know they are doing it to protect our information, our livelihoods and us. But what happens when it goes wrong through no fault of our own? It’s like the shutters come down, you’re treated with suspicion and common sense goes out the window.

I called my bank recently and was greeted by an individual who was very enthusiastic and willing to help. They took me through the standard security questions and then their approach changed. I was then informed that one of the questions I’d been asked I had answered incorrectly. As a result the customer service advisor, who was obviously frustrated that they were unable to help me, said I would need to visit my branch. The particular piece of information was asked for was not something I could have made an error on and it transpired that the bank had recorded it incorrectly.

This is a great example of why there is a need to make sure that our processes are regularly reviewed and sense checked. We need to make sure that, where possible, they are customer/user friendly whilst still reinforcing the purpose under which they were implemented. We also need to listen to our front line staff because it is them who are best equipped to suggest solutions and make sure the processes are customer friendly, as well as purposeful.

The impact of a bad experience like mine can cost us our clients. With discrepancies and inconsistencies like this they are not making it easy to do business with them and they run the risk of placing themselves out of the marketplace. Perhaps, more alarmingly they are also inhibiting their frontline staff to really wow customers, which let’s face it could stunt the company’s ability to grow.

Employees need enough freedom to allow their passion for the customer to shine and to provide world-class service in an area where customer expectations are forever evolving and becoming more demanding.

We need to be confident that our processes are slick enough to ensure they don’t destroy that first touch point, that they don’t impede the growth of a relationship and that they truly represent our values. We also need to ensure our staff are adaptable and diverse enough to be able to manage those times when a process needs to be followed but in a fashion that doesn’t hinder the customer or remove the energy and passion to give the customer a great journey.

Find out more about Lexington by viewing their company profile, here.

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