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December 19, 2007

Just Another "One"

Jackie and Ben introduced us to the one percenters (graciously linking to this blog in a post about them) and now they introduce us to the tyranny of one. Which is so appropriate in the association world, don't you think? Ben says...

"More rules are proportional to less convenience. More rules = fewer customers. You either let the tyranny of one customer influence your organization, or not. When someone wants to add a new rule, how about eliminating an existing one instead?"
Since this is a Church of the Customer post, I just have to say, "Amen!" It's amazing how many policies, processes and procedures we develop in an attempt to manage or control our environment. We create these rules for our customers, members and even our staff. But really, it is nothing more than an attempt, creating only the illusion of control.

The fact of the matter is that by the time someone violates a policy you've already lost the game. That's why I was so enamored with David's post yesterday about making online holiday shopping an employee benefit. Instead of creating a rule, David suggests killing one.

Tagged: ; ; ;


Wes Trochlil said...

Ben, this happens all the time. It's called "managing to the exception" or "managing to the lowest common denominator." In fact, it's so common, I blogged about it a while back:


Lindy Dreyer said...

Thank you! Having spent a lot of time with conference registration and tradeshow sales teams, the rules just pile up. In this context, rules are important--but not really a solution to every special case. Like you say in your post...rules create an illusion of control. And rarely does a registrant really get acquainted with the rules until he or she needs to break one. For better or worse, the special cases define your customer service culture.