Remember to close the process circle

I’m writing this post on my phone because I have no internet access today.

I live in the country, and we have been a bit slow in catching up with the latest fibre broadband technology but, in recent weeks, it has arrived and I duly signed up for an upgrade.

Yesterday I got an email telling me that my new (free!) router had been sent out and that it should arrive within three to five working days. I sat back to await the arrival of the twenty-first century in rural Hertfordshire.

This morning I rose to see an email on my phone, sent out just after midnight and about twelve hours after the router message, telling me that I had been switched over. Sure enough, no internet via my old ADSL router.

So, on the phone to my ISP, who have traditionally been very good. It turns out that they initiated the router despatch from their third party provider a while back, as they allow at least a week before they switch over.

For whatever reason, the despatch had not occurred, and this is where their process had failed. There seems to be no check that verifies either despatch or delivery, and confirms that the switchover can take place.

There is a real operational lesson here. We all know the adage about the dangers of assumption, and this has proved it. You can’t just trigger a request for something to happen, when subsequent actions are dependent upon it, without checking that it has gone to plan.

Failing to do that can cost you financially (I have received a refund of some fees) and reputationally. It’s not difficult to resolve; workflow is a critical part of any business, and we help with issues of this kind on a regular basis.

Your customer service is your business, to a large extent. Make sure it’s fit for purpose.

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