Efficiency Error

04. 20. 2015    |    posted by: Ralph Beck

Cost cutting and efficiency are two of the most abused concepts in business, but they are useful tools in the right situation. If treated as goals, they undermine an organization's ability to perform.

A wonderful example was passed on by a friend. He bought some furniture from a high end store where the customer experience is supposed to be part of the brand. As the delivery date approached, he received a call. The caller ID told him who it was, the store's delivery department. Excited, he picked up the phone with visions of sitting on a new couch.

Instead of real voice, he heard a recording. A customer service efficiency or cost cutting plan recognized how expensive service calls were, so they created a system to call people to put the customers on hold.

Think this might change how my friend shops to fill the rest of his new house with furniture? How might the story become viral?

If the focus was effectiveness, where all requirements are reviewed, a better system could evolve. This goes back to Deming and the quality movement requirements. Meeting the customer's requirements should be considered along with cost cutting or efficiency. Eventually, drops in the top line will overwhelm any cost cutting the plan intended.


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