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Letting It Slide

Most people don’t notice when you start to let things slide.

You go about your routines, cutting corners here and there, and you don’t think about who’s watching. Or how your habits are changing.

Soon, someone starts to notice, and they start the cutting of the corners as well.

“If she can, so can I,” they think.

Before long, people everywhere are finding ways for things to slip through cracks and holes of organizational structure.

The structure starts to crumble, slowly but deliberately.

Your customers see you slipping, and realize that they can get away with more as a result of your laziness.

It’s not a matter of deception, it’s a matter of making things easier. It’s a matter of cheating the rules and manipulating the broken system.

When you awake one day to find chaos, you pull back, desperately clawing to figure out how this happened, calling meetings and sending memos and hoping that you can ignore the damage that’s already been done and focus on a future of success.

People are angry. They’re not able to get away with the same things they could before. It’s not that they hate change, it’s that you were not clear with them. You weren’t consistent. You said they could fly to Dallas with 3 carry-on bags, but now you’re saying they can’t fly back home with the same 3 carry-on bags. You say they have to check one of them.

Small examples like this, when the rules essentially depend on the mood of the flight attendant, are the reason why certain customer experiences are horrible and others are great. Everyone hates flying because they never know what they’re going to get. The experience is completely out of their control. Creating a culture of consistency is just as important as a culture of care. Your employees may not need to wear a smile every day, but they should at the very least preach the same values and guidelines that the organization supports.

Of course, these may change over time, but they should change deliberately, not because someone decided to start letting things slide.

  • gracekboyle says:

    This is SO true. It’s really the demise of so many customer service examples that suck. I also think it relates to personal life. I try to cut corners sometimes and it really just doesn’t end up better in the end.

    October 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm
    • jessostroff says:

      @gracekboyle Totally. I think we can learn a lot from how we react to stuff like this, especially when it happens to companies AND people we love. Worse when we see it happening within ourselves.

      October 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

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