Every now and then bad customer experiences happen. I’d like to believe no (sane) organisation goes out of its way to deliver these. I’m lucky that this doesn’t happen to me often but when it does it feels like I’m being back paid. One of these not so nice experiences got me to write down some of thoughts on what a great customer experience should or can be. Its follow up, “How To Complain About A Bad Customer Experience In A Helpful Way” might be worth your attention. For now, let’s look at reasons for bad customer experience.
Early in the movie, Saving Private Ryan, is a moment when soldiers attempt to beach at Normandy. Many soldiers take a bullet and don’t make it to shore. Dead in the water. The living soldiers are taking heavy fire. Then there’s the moment, a soldier asks John H, Miller (played by Tom Hanks), “What should we do now?” Miller responds by saying they should get off the beach.
The soldier then asks, “What’s the rallying point?” and Miller (/Hanks) answers, “Anywhere but here!” There are many leadership lessons in that scene, but I’d like to focus on the rallying point.
Compelling vision sounds utopian. It should be. Vision that stirs hearts and inspires action is grand. The kinds of vision I’m talking about can even sound almost impossible. It’s vivid. This clarity is one of the reasons for frustration not only in the face of defeat but in small wins too. Defeat, and sometimes small wins, are part of the journey. We can expect them on the way to our preferred future.
I wrote about what to do when those you look up to let you down a while ago. One of the most obvious things in that post hides in plain sight. In the title of the post. Do you see it? The thing I’m talking about is the fact that leaders or heroes can let you down. That you, as a leader are fallible and have the capacity to fail. That you can let people down. I’m wondering if we now need for a healthy dose of cynicism in leadership.
It’s about a year since Ahmed “Kathy” Kathrada passed away. Kathy fought apartheid alongside icons like Nelson Mandela. Mandela, South Africa and the world at large held Kathy in high esteem. I write this shortly after reading breaking news of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela‘s passing. Winnie fought apartheid. Her and Nelson were married at some point. She was 81.
For some reason I was thinking about the anniversary of Kathy’s death when I saw the news about Winnie. Hence the references to them. When Nelson Mandela passed away I thought about what makes a great legacy. I wrote some of my thoughts here. Thinking about Kathy and Winnie, again, made me think about the nature of legacies and how we remember people.