Monthly Mash | Frozen Yogurt Cup

Monthly Mash and Systems Are Only as Good as Your People

Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.

VOLUME 31: MAY 2014

Thoughts on the Customer: Your Systems Are Only as Good as Your People

Monthly Mash | Frozen Yogurt CupBack in October 2013, I wrote a post entitled Your Service Is Only as Good as Your Systems; there is a corollary however, your systems are only as good as your people.

I went to a franchised frozen yogurt store last week with my wife, where I got to see this principle in action.

The yogurt store is set up for self-service. You pick from a variety of flavors and toppings, and then your cup is weighed at checkout.

The store was crowded, and I finished making my yogurt cup faster than my wife. As I stood waiting at the checkout counter, a young lady offered to weigh my cup. I let her know that it was possible other people would get to the checkout counter before my wife, but the counter rep told me that it was okay — she could weigh my cup and save it in her system.

As someone who focuses on customer effort and reducing hassle factor, I thought this was a great feature that the franchise had implemented and included in their Point of Sale system. However, the system was only as good as counter reps training and willingness to offer the service to me. Had the counter rep not noticed me waiting and proactively offered to assist me, the system would have sat idle and been of no use.

Whenever systems require humans for execution, the system will only ever be as good as the people using them.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.

Someone Was Listening

Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.

The situation illustrated in our post Southwest Airlines: A Service Recovery Surprise made me think of one of the core concepts of customer effort and hassle we discuss here on the blog and in our workshops. This situation is a perfect example of how preempting small hassles can positively impact the customer experience.

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By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

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