The bank I use has been acquired by another bank and they introduced a new check deposit envelope for people who like to avoid queues.

I tried the envelope for the first time, imprinted all details, and placed my check inside the envelope, sealed it, tore off what I thought was the customer copy of the deposit details, and dropped the envelope into the designated deposit box.

Later on, I realized that I tore off not just my customer copy, but the second copy meant for the bank as well. As a good customer, I contacted the bank and enquired if I needed any action from my end. The customer service representative sneered, and said, “I hope our officers are kind enough to help you deposit your check, or help you fill in a new deposit slip!”

Actions: Make every employee an active participant!

The only kind of “employee” who can be a lone ranger is an entrepreneur or a free agent.

In any other scenario, everyone should be a team player for an organization to succeed. Segregation of jobs is merely for accountability, and everyone has the obligation to make things right for a customer, even if the colleague accountable happens NOT to be around at that time. In such an instance, reward points, give an open commendation, or any other kind of tangible reward, for employees who step outside their defined boundaries to serve customers of any kind. There should not be finger-pointing or sitting on the fence in a corporate culture. Everyone should be persuaded to chip in and help in any way to bring a customer experience to fruition.

Many organizations do not yet profile their people to fit them in the right jobs. Do that soon! You may be surprised how many people are wrongly assigned to their jobs, and how some may be dead weed for years!

Are your people trained to handle all channels and enquiries? Or are they merely automatons trained to speak like a robot? Worse, do they even have empathy for paying customers who will make a difference in their bottom-line? It is simple to train someone to handle mechanical tasks, but there are specific individuals who are suited to specific careers. Have you profiled your people so that they are doing what they like to do and can excel in?

These are some writings we did in 2003 (published as “DotZen”, a paperback book that was widely publicized), and we extracted some which are still relevant today, in the areas of branding, marketing, sales, publicity, and business improvement. If we find some time outside that of helping our clients grow and taking a rest, we will try to write some more.

Copyright©2003 Seamus Phan & Ter Hui Peng. All rights reserved.