Taking responsibility for our work

iStock_000011891859XSmall bored womanA couple of weeks ago my Dad had to go to the local hospital for some tests; three of them in total. I took him in, and understood that it would all take around three hours. Dad assured me that he would let me know when it was all over and I should go back to my parents’ home and collect him later. I assumed he would be looked after properly.

Instead my Dad, who is ninety, had to dress after the second test and walk on his own to the other end of the hospital for the last test. That was hundreds of yards and he is really not very good at walking. Why did no one think to call a porter with a wheelchair? Why was there no joined up thinking by anyone? Why did no one take responsibility?

That is the trouble with many large organisations and businesses. They think only of process, and not about the needs and feelings of their customers and people in their care. It is down to poor management and not giving middle management and individual staff freedom to make their own decisions without running their ideas past many levels in the hierarchy.

In small businesses, we have the advantage of being close to our clients, but also taking care of their needs is part of keeping their business, quite apart from our not wanting to let them down or suffer any inconvenience.

We owe it to our customers to make sure they have the best possible experience. Wouldn’t it be great if we could impress this culture on our hospitals, telecoms providers and other large businesses in which customer service is an alien concept?

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