Eric Upton

Live. Learn. Run.


Introducing The Wheel

It’s been said that you shouldn’t reinvent the wheel…

However it would be nice to reintroduce it to folks.

You’re probably thinking “What the hell are you talking about Eric?”.

Let me phrase it another way:

Sometimes people lose their basic knowledge and common sense!

So reintroducing the wheel is much like a refresher course.

The wheel works so why try to improve on it?

Round is a basic, fundamental shape than allows a wheel’s motion to continue. You can try and change it to square, but odds are if you do manage to start moving, the jarring sensation would be unbearable!

God forbid you try a triangle!

Now, you can make the wheel bigger and shinny. Slap some 22’s on the car. The premise is the same. It’s still round and it rolls.

I guess what I am trying to say is that there are some fundamentals that get lost when we focus too hard on “improving”.

Take my job for example. The coolest spreadsheets and analytical data can teach you a lot. But without the basic idea of delivering excellent customer service and a positive work environment, that spreadsheet would contain nothing but zeros.

Let’s look at another retail experience.

My Most Recent Trip To Best Buy

I went online and ordered an item as a gift. I used the “In Store Pickup” option so I wouldn’t have to go thorough the trouble of finding my item and standing in a lengthy line to pay for it.

Honestly, I felt like crap that day and would have rather been in bed.

I arrive at the local Best Buy. I have my ID, Credit Card and Order Number as instructed per the email and was standing second in line.

I’ll paint a picture for you:

  • Line 1: Online Order Pickup (with one couple ahead of me)
  • Line 2: Customer Service Lane (with no one in line)
  • Line 3: Customer Service Lane (with no one in line)

Now I’m thinking what you are. One of those kind girls will simply say “Can I help you sir?”.

No such luck…

The only question asked was “Do you have an online order?”.

There was hope yet!

“Yes ma’am” I replied.

“Oh, ok” she stated then went away to shelve some returned items.

“I’m doomed to this line” I thought to myself.

Twenty-four minutes later my thoughts shifted to “I could’ve just picked up what I wanted, proceeded to the cash register, paid for my items, walked over and turned them in for a refund way faster than this online order business!”.

Common sense would have told you just to let the customer switch lanes and pick up there.

My bet is that someone created a process that didn’t bend.

“That Customer Service Lane is not for Online Order Pickup!”

Trying to improve on something took away from the one thing they could’ve been doing right.

My Hopes?

I hope that I haven’t lost sight of being the best “me” that I can be.

And my even bigger hope is that processes I’ve created have not stripped away the one thing that matters most in business…

Excellent Customer Service!

accountabilityactionactionscareercoacheric uptonfocusgivehappinesslessonsmentormotivationpersonal growthPositivestrengthsthinking

Eric • 03/26/2012

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