Denny's Zinger: With Customer Care, Use the Government Example
In mid-September, we flew into Philadelphia from France and followed the crowd to passport control and baggage claim.
We have been through this drill a gazillion times. It is always quick and efficient. The officers may ask where we've been and why and how long we've been away. They are polite, pleasant, sometimes chatty.
This last time we were in the big customs control hall, a huge section was cordoned off with rows of kiosks for the upcoming Automated Passport Control system.
If machines can replace people, it's a cost saving. Just like self-service airport check-in. I love the idea!
What triggered this column was the story of the monumental snafu when new Philadelphia self-service passport control system crashed and had to be rebooted, resulting in frustration, anger and probably missed connections.
This reminded me of the 2007 screw-up when citizens had to wait seven months to obtain a passport. The Federal Government has been issuing passports for over 200 years. This is the basic, everyday business of the State Department. That seven-month delay caused countless personal and economic hardships. The bureaucrats responsible—starting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice—should have been fired.
And, of course, the fiasco of the Obamacare website stranded and infuriated millions of Americans.
Takeaways to Consider—the Lessons for Business
- Study government customer care as examples of what NOT to do.
- Before launching a new system, beta test it, test it, and retest it.
- Make damn sure it's scalable.
- Always beware of lowest bidders.
Denny Hatch's new book is Write Everything Right!
Question: Why didn't you write this book 27 years ago when I started my company and wrote catalog number 1? —Ira Hoffman
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
You are invited to read the first 3 Chapters FREE.No cost. No Risk. No obligation.
Write Everything Right! Kindle Edition