Improvement Insights Blog
Lean Voice Mail
Does voicemail ever annoy you? It does me. If we used Lean on voicemail to achieve what the customer wants, it would be quite different. And this has lessons for every business.
“I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of calls from people who want to sell me something or want me to take a survey so that they can sell me something or want me to donate money to something. I screen all those calls but some of those calls go to voicemail.
“I don’t know about you but when I call my voicemail, what does it do? It says, “If you would like to listen to your voicemails, please press one.” Duh! I’m calling voicemail! Why don’t you just take me to voicemail? It doesn’t do that. You know, they could say something like, “To go to the main menu press pound” and then start telling me my voicemail.
“Then once it gets the voicemail it [says] “New message received Sunday 6:23 p.m. on yesterday, blah blah blah blah…” Do I care when the voicemail came in? No! All right, then it says “…from phone number blah blah blah blah blah blah…” I don’t know if I want to write that number down. Then finally it gets to the voicemail and you get some part of a robo message: “…and press one if you would like to extend the warranty on your car.”
“What I’d really like it to do is just come in, I call voicemail and I hear this robo message and then I can just delete it quickly because I don’t care when it came in, I don’t care what number it came from, I don’t care. Most of these numbers aren’t useful.
“Think about this in your own business: what are you doing that is stupid from a customer’s point of view? Are you giving them what they need when they immediately need it, not covering it up in a whitewash of other nonsense that you don’t need? If it was really somebody that I wanted to talk to, I would listen to the message and then it would say, “This call came in from this number,” and then it would tell me what time it came in, right? So I want to know the message, then the number, then what time it came in. I don’t want to know them in any other order, all right?
“So that’s my Improvement Insight for this week: What are you doing to make life difficult for your customer when they call you or something else you do where you tell them 37 options and they just want their tire fixed or whatever it is? Do you understand? I think all too often we provide things that people don’t want, and in the order they don’t want to hear them in, or receive them in, or get them in, and so our task is simply to maybe change out the order of that or get rid of the stuff that’s unnecessary.
“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s create a hassle free America. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”