Are Your Business Protocols Strangling Your Productivity?

Time and time again I see businesses develop systems and procedures purely for the sake of having a system and a procedure.

Not for any other point than for the creation of a bureaucratic protocol.

The protocol created acts as a stick in the spokes of the wheel of the business, immediately hog-tying the business and restricting its ability to do what it needs to do first and foremost.

And that is to service its customers.

Take computerised cash registers for example:

I want to buy a can of Coke. The Coke is $2.00. I have $2.00 cash in my hand.

Simple transaction, you would think?

I give the shop assistant $2.00 cash. The shop assistant gives me my can of Coke.

No…’s what happens….

I watch the shop assistant tap a screen several times. Maybe six times. Maybe the shop assistant needs to scan a barcode on the can of Coke?

Then I give the shop assistant my cash. She taps the computer screen a few more times. Finally a cash drawer opens and the shop assistant places my $2.00 in your cash drawer.

And then I have my Coke.

It seemed long winded.

Last year I was at Bethpage Golf Course in New York and my match was rained out by a storm early on in the round.

All four players in my group were given a credit to play another day, and so we booked for the following day.

However, when we turned up that next day to play, one of our group was a New York local and his credit had been granted as a visitor. This created a bureaucratic nightmare in the office as several of the poor old staff tried to work out how to balance their books. But all my friend wanted to do was hand over his credit and play golf. He didn’t care that he had been gifted an incorrect [and slightly more valuable] non-resident credit.

All he wanted to do was go play golf.

It took a very long thirty minutes of waiting for these staff to work out how best to bookkeep their error.

For their own records!

While the customers had to wait.

In both these instances the time of the customer had not been valued by the vendor.

In both these instances the customer should have been allowed to proceed unhindered to the exit.

How many times in your business are you making your customer wait while your business goes through its processes?

I tell you, any business that takes its customers’ time for granted is skating on thin ice.

How much do you like it when you phone a business and your call gets put on hold for some time while you listen to a recorded message telling you:

“Thank you for your patience. We value your business and will be with you as soon as possible….”


I’m thinking, if that organisation really valued my business they would employ human beings to spend time with me so that their phones are answered more quickly and more personally.

And they would teach their staff to expediate the transaction processes so that the customer is never kept waiting for long periods of time, while their computerised register does its “through the cloud” stocktake, all on the customers’ dime.

It’s that simple….


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