We Always Do it That Way

This is going to be one of those blog posts where I go on a bit of a rant and then work my way back to making a point relevant to PlayBlue. Bear with me I need to vent.

Same way we always did it

We Always Do it That Way is probably the one single statement a business can say to me that drives me nuts. Recently I had the misfortune to have to call the bank. I wanted to change the address on a bank account. On hold for 40 mins followed by a lady who couldn’t help and transferred to a different department and another 20 min wait then was told I need to send a letter to the bank to make the change. So a little incredulously I sent the letter waited 2 weeks, nothing. Rang back another hour wasted on hold - they never got it, send it again will you. So I decided to call into the local branch where they put me on the phone on hold again to be finally told, in the bank, to send them a letter to the bank!!!

This kind of messing drives me nuts, I’m convinced processes like this exist to keep people employed. I can logon to the bank and send €20,000 to someone so they must trust that I am the account holder so why can’t I just change the address online?

While I was in the bank the last time I asked about the crazy process and was delivered the faithful line “That’s the way it has always been done” as if that was a logical justification for the pure messing around. 

In PlayBlue I question everything we do, the way we pack orders, the checkout process, emails that get sent out, returns process, stocking system, ordering system everything. We are constantly looking for little things we do that could be improved and you know if you look hard enough you will always find something to tweak. 

Sometimes I think businesses forget that the customer is the boss, the customer pays for everything. If you can help a customer you should. Don’t put stupid barriers or forms in the way of making the customers experience easy and enjoyable. Sometimes the best customer service actually costs very little, start off with the honest mindset of how can I help this customer - and then just do help!

You can read huge tomes about how to be a success in business or 12 Deadly Habits of Business or a million other self-help manuals but I personally like to keep it simple and use two little rules to drive most of what we do.

  1. Everything and I mean everything can be improved. Nothing is ever finished, you always have to keep pushing to be that 0.1% better. But don’t be a slave to perfection get something out there and then improve it in production. 
  2. Persistence. Keep plugging away even when you are making no money and you have zero traffic, if you believe you are doing the right thing, keep doing it.
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