My local DYI/Bricolage/Hardware story has a terrible service. But now, in the tradition started by Wall Mart (tradition now extinct) there is an employee greeting you at the door, saying good morning Sir. The service continues to be terrible.
One of the largest consumer electronics company in the UK has bad in-store service. If you need product information, chances are you know more than the shop’s staff. They are very good at something, though, reading the text in the box to you, just in case you can’t read. To improve the services, they now have staff coming to you, from the corridors, sometimes a few of them at a time , with a loud “can I help you?’. Of course if you say yes, they will still end up reading to you the specifications on the box.
A financial services company with some record of semi-un-ethical behaviour, has installed confidential phone lines for ‘whistle-blowing’ in the hope that some employees will use them and this will prevent further embarrassments. That company has done nothing to dig into the root causes of the unethical behaviour (connected in part with the way employees are rewarded), but the ‘whistle-blowing’ lines have made front-page newspapers.
These are three different examples of Corporate Botox. The initiatives will get rid of some embarrassing wrinkles, the look will be greatly improved and everybody will ‘feel’ much better. Nothing really changes
Cosmetic treatment in organizations, invasive or not, is always a possibility, I guess. When part of a deeper transformation, I don’t have any problem with this. On its own, it’s a bit of a joke. But, you’d be surprise how much airtime these ‘initiatives’ steal.
We must distinguish between organizational photoshops and the real thing. Don’t be fooled by a new logo, a new uniform or a new customer language. Suspend judgment until you see if they finally stop reading the spec to you.