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Only Double Checked?

A few weeks ago I was driving between appointments and stopped at a fast-food restaurant to pick up a quick bite. Unfortunately, it was one of those days when there wasn’t enough time to sit down and eat the meal... it was a feast that was going to be consumed in the car.

After I picked up the food and proceeded to my destination, I took a few minutes to gulp down the quick lunch before my next meeting. I opened the bag, only to realize that my order was wrong. I was missing one item, plus a few condiments that I had specifically requested. In today’s world, that sadly wouldn’t be enough to even warrant mention I guess, but what caught my attention was the irony of the sticker holding the bag shut. The sticker said, “Double checked for accuracy.”

Before you think I’m a cold, unforgiving person, I certainly understand that mistakes happen. However, many readers can relate to the feeling of only having a few moments to enjoy your lunch, only to be let down because the order is wrong and you don’t have the time to do anything about it. You certainly recover from the experience, but it’s annoying at the moment.

So how does this apply to running a business?

If you have a process in place, and you communicate that process to your customers, it’s important to make sure that process is actually followed by your team members. In this case, I know the restaurant management fully intended to get my order correct. In fact, most of the employees probably had the same intention. However, at some point the process became simply placing the sticker on the bag instead of actually double checking the order.

The question I pose to you as the reader, whether a business owner or on the frontlines, is this:

In what way are you simply placing the sticker on the bag instead of following the full process?

Do you perhaps have a checklist in your business where you automatically check some of the boxes without reading what they are for? Do you have a sign of quality that is customer facing, and the only true process behind it is making sure it’s visible to the customer? We all slip into this at some point. It’s important for this reason to periodically audit the execution of those processes. It’s not enough to simply have the process. We must ensure that it’s being followed as well. Otherwise, we end up successfully placing the sticker, but not successfully ensuring the result.

Just to be clear on the point, I do believe that quality assurance measures that your customer can see are wise moves. It’s just that we must realize that when we publicize them as a differentiator, we are asking to be held to a higher standard.

If there is anything we can assist with in the review of your own business processes, please reach out to us on our Contact page. Have a wonderful week!

(Note: This post was double checked prior to posting)

Mark Goldman



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