Professionalism in a Scripted World
Have you ever had to talk yourself off the proverbial ledge, put the razor blades away and stow the bottle of pills you, just minutes earlier, so longed to swallow to end your pain, anguish and agony? Ever been on the brink of yelling “DOESN’T ANYONE CARE ANYMORE!!!!”? Ever need to remember lines from “Anger Management” or “Lion King”,”Goosefraba” or “Hakunamatata” (sorry if I mis-spelled either), and just go into a deep meditative state to prevent from going insane, all because of someone else’s actions or inactions when “helping” you?
So, this whole things started out as “Professionalism in an Unprofessional World”, but, I realized when I typed so much that there was a different tone and most did not want to read pages of my recent experience with Comcast. This all started with a simple call yesterday, a call that harkens a comment once said to me, a comment that I have to say is the most significant compliment ever paid to me, and I don’t know if the issuer ever realized how great a compliment it was, simply said “You make me feel like a professional when working with you..” or something to that affect, stated after leaving a particularly hairy call on a customer in Illinois. I truly do enjoy being seen as a professional and try to be that every day, although at times it is a bit difficult, when faced with some of the most blatant unprofessionalism. Sort of makes you feel a little compassion for the term “going postal”.
To sum up my experience with Comcast yesterday, I wasted 90 minutes of my life on the phone with people constantly following a script, or flowchart as it were. That experience made me think of any sales or customer service experience I have gone through lately and really makes me hurl, or at a minimum, want to retire in wine country…I only wish. Scripts are a great thing, we use them as baselines to most jobs, to help bring a better and more consistent outcome, great idea! Scripts help us organize our thoughts into a process which in turn helps us educate or win over other people that much easier. Unfortunately, I am seeing this go astray way to much lately, how can we be so wrong, can anyone say “Idiocracy” (great movie, BTW)? The net-net, why do we have process, for the sake of process or for a better and more consistent outcome?
A key example, McDonalds has grown because of process giving a consistent customer experience and an equal quality product (whether you like that fast food or not, you have to admit it’s consistent). I mention “Idiocracy” above, because it shows the downward spiral of quality (and intelligence) and you see so many cases in American that mimic that movie, I simply point out the fact that process without some level of attachment brings a bad end result. Whether we refer to the Cosco greeter in “Idiocracy”, “Welcome to Cosco, I love you”. Good process? Acceptable script? No, the delivery agent didn’t care and the script wasn’t, well, appropriate for the venue.
My simple point, learn your scripts as reference points, not as a script….scripts don’t sell and customers are happy when they think you actually care…