Process And Service Prevention
Customer Service Systems are supposed to support, not prevent, customer service.
There can be little debate that in order to be sure that your teams provide the service your wish, some kind of process is a must have thing.
Let's take that as accepted, but go on to make a further point. The process is not in charge of your brand, and it must not enforce an outcome in every instance. Your business does not exist to run a process.
I suspect we have all experienced what happens when the process takes over, and ceases to deliver smiles. This is the point when you hear those wonderful words 'I am sorry, we can't do that'. That is fine if you asked them to make a car out of liquid nitrogen. But what if you simply asked them to change a booking? Something that, in fact, could be done, but the now victorious process states must not happen!. Now the process has moved from being useful to causing disappointment, maybe even anger.
What is more, your system, measuring compliance to the process, says all is well. Whilst your system purrs reassuringly, your customer is in your rivals shop.
Therefore, in addition to running a process, understand your customers. Ensure your process allows rule breaking to deliver repeat business. Not, I hasten to add, rules of integrity, but hte make up one that says you have to send this customer away unhappy.
This is why in many companies, especially, I dare to say, larger ones, there are many opportunities to improve the way your customers feel about you. And why, in smaller business, being quick on your feet could be an opportunity.