Ignorance is No Excuse

by Jeannie Walters

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Are your people ignorant?

I ask because sometimes when I have to share the hard facts of what I’ve learned through a Customer Experience Investigation(TM), it’s often about people.

“Your salesperson was unfamiliar with your product.”

“Your customer service rep was rude.”

“I was greeted with a gruff ‘HOLD ON’ instead of with appropriate warmth.”

“The invoice your accounts payable department sent was incorrect.”

It comes down to people over and over. And, typically, the C-Level executives I’m presenting this information to respond with a subtle shake of the head, a roll of the eyes or a jaw hitting the floor. And then they tell me about the ignorance.

They tell me how they’ve TRIED to train “these people.” They tell me how they are really impressed with Betty’s technical skills, but know she’s a problem. They tell me how their people are ignorant.

But your customer experience is ALWAYS about the people you hire and the tools you give them to succeed. Without them, you have nothing. You have products. You may have a company. But you have no soul.

If you have the wrong people (like Betty) it’s time to fire them. Don’t let skill act as a shield to allow them to poison the experience.

If you never trained them, don’t blame the people.

If your people are ignorant, it’s time to ask what is wrong at the core of your culture. It’s hard. But the wrong people, the wrong tools, the wrong culture is poison. Trust me on this.

If you think your people are ignorant, it’s time to heal your entire organization.

Photo credit: Parl via Creative Commons license

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, a Forbes Coaches Council Member, a C-Suite Network Advisor, a LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com instructor, and a TEDx speaker. Learn more here.

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