Are you Really Committed to your Customers?

I spent rather too long at Glasgow airport this week.  Apparently this was due to “operational difficulties” with, Ifyouwillflycheap Jet.

I read my book, then the free magazines, then paced around the departure lounge for a couple of hours and then resorted to reading the posters on the walls.

The Royal Bank of Scotland were busy promoting their commitments to their customers.  I have to say some of them were really quite good.

Commitment 5:  “We will provide a 24/7 telephone banking service from UK call centres.”.  We can argue the pros and cons of outsourcing, but that is not the point of this post.  The commitment is a commitment.  Clear, precise, something you can believe in.

Unfortunately commitment 2 didn’t quite measure up.  “We will aim to serve the majority of customers within 5 minutes in our branches.”

How exactly do they measure majority?  Are we talking mean, mode or median?  I guess it is more than 50%, but 50% of what?

  • The time it takes to start being served?
  • The time it takes to finish being served?
  • Does using a cash point count?
  • How about arranging a mortgage?

Over what period.

  • 15 minutes?
  • A day?
  • A week?
  • A month?

Lots of ambiguity there.

It gets better though,what exactly does “aim” mean?  I can honestly say I aim to get a date with Cameron Diaz.  (If I pull it off Mrs Lawther will be so startled she might even let me go).

The Atlantic Ocean has marginally less wriggle room.

How much commitment do they expect to get back in return?

If you are going to commit, commit.  If you are not, keep quiet.

Commitment based management

Image by comedy nose


  1. Morris Jacobs says:

    If you have the timeit is worth Googling Fernando Flores, he was the guy behind commitment based management. I am a big fan of his.

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