How to make a pig fatter (part 1 of 2)

I went on holiday to Spain and this is what happened.

At the “meet and greet” welcome meeting on the second day I gathered with other people in a sweaty room overlooking the pool outside. It looked lovely out there. I was in a sweaty room listening to holiday rep asking us repeatedly “tell me what is stopping my service from being EXCELLENT!”.

Apart from selling us trips nobody bought, this was the main thing I took away from the meeting. This man really wants to us to tell him if there was anything that stopped him being EXCELLENT. Something I immediately forgot about as I didn’t care what stopped him from being EXCELLENT. What mattered to me was my holiday.

I went here. It wasn’t EXCELLENT but it was warm.

I didn’t care what stopped him being EXCELLENT but one day I did care about knowing which bus I had to catch to go somewhere. I went to the reps desk and started looking around it for a timetable. There wasn’t one. Even simple stuff like having a piece of paper with the bus stop and timetables near the hotel would have been useful, something I saw other people asking him for repeatedly, as we did. Dead predictable demand. But when I asked him “is there a bus timetable?” he looked at me like I was asking him to drive me there himself. HE COULD HAVE MADE ONE HIMSELF IN 2 MINUTES!! Now that would have been excellent.

Turns out it was all for some questionnaire we were given on the flight home where there was a box to mark the rep. Despite him going round on the last night putting under everyone’s door a hand written note reminding us to mark him as EXCELLENT I wasn’t driven to complete the form. Filling in forms has never been the ideal way for anyone to round off a holiday.

Someone else, a fellow Onion, went on holiday and this is what happened.

Guess. Go on, here’s a hint…not Whitby.

That reminds me of my time in Egypt when I couldn’t help but give my thoughts to Rami our rep when he asked did we enjoy the intro session.

I spoke to him about 2 things.

  1. Understand what matters to your customers
  2. Make sure you cover what is important to the customer in your welcome meeting and follow up support.

Rami was a young lad who wanted to learn so much. So much so that to the Mrs’ frustration we spent a load of time talking about this stuff whilst sipping cocktails.

He even came back to me during the second week of my holiday to say that he had noticed what’s important differs depending on what country you were from!
He had started to write down the questions from the tourists and he was building in answers to the most common questions in to his introduction meeting notes.
He certainly started to think differently and really appreciated the time we spent talking.

The Mrs just rolled her eyes every time Rami appeared it was quite funny in the end. I enjoyed talking about that stuff and I like to think he learnt from it.

Here’s the systems thinking lesson.

The systems thinking lesson

I felt sorry for my holiday rep. He was being “scored” and couldn’t understand how he was supposed to improve his score. The system he worked in demanded a high “score” but didn’t support him in this, and therefore let him and consequently me down too.

Rami however was in an entirely different place, and I don’t mean Egypt.

He was motivated by learning. Not a score. Whatever it was that helped this natural desire, resulted in him asking better questions resulting in him getting better knowledge of what mattered to his customers so he could improve their service.

The survey didn’t help anyone in this. It got in the way of customers and the rep, and undoubtedly created a bureaucracy of mis-measurement at head office, with appearences on scorecards and executive briefings. All a long way from a pack of lies concocted in a sweaty room next to a swimming pool in Spain.
And much much further away is Rami in Egypt. Whatever he is doing now, I bet it’s EXCELLENT.

COMING SOON part 2 of the great new series “How to make a pig fatter”!
-What EXCELLENT really looks like
-How to get customer feedback!
-How to make a pig fatter!
-and much much more!

This entry was posted in customer, data, learning, systems thinking and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How to make a pig fatter (part 1 of 2)

  1. Bad measurement produces dysfunctional behaviours. Just say no.


  2. Pingback: How to make a pig fatter (part 2 of 2) | thinkpurpose

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