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When Your Systems Are Down, Is Your Service Up?

I’m recently back from a trip to Eugene, Oregon, after some on-site work with the Hult Center for the Performing Arts. The Eugene airport is relaxed. It’s the kind of small-town airport where we all want someone waiting for us when we get off the plane.

Soon after I got to the gate, the airline rep got on the P.A. system and announced that the gate was experiencing a computer glitch. I felt, more than heard, a grown from the passengers around me.

“The good news is that it won’t slow us down,” the rep said. “I’ve got your names on this print manifest, and as your group is called, show me your boarding pass, and I’ll check you off my list.”

Brilliant! It was a simple, but meaningful solution that 100+ travelers were delighted to hear.

Technology touches every part of our lives now. And it brings many benefits. Just think of the paper that’s saved when half of all flyers check in with their mobile device.

But when the technology goes down (as it always will at some point), businesses that are focused on excellent customer service know what to do, without hesitation. The leaders actively encourage smart employees, and have trained staff members to give excellent service, technology working or not. And that means that everyone has planned in advance, and designed strategies for unusual situations.

We took off on time, happy.

Time for you to implement. It’s Ron’s Monday Mission™:

Consider the technology your customers interact with. When it goes down, does your customer experience stay up? This week, I’d like you to ask yourself: what are the vital systems that customers interact with each day? The website? The donation system? The heating and air conditioning unit? The power for the building?

If they failed, what’s the backup plan? If you don’t have one, then consider my note to be a wake-up call, and get started on creating one today.

Have a great week,



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I'm Ron Evans. I dramatically improve individual and organizational performance. If you found today's topic intriguing and want to apply it to your situation, I'll brainstorm with you. The few who follow through and take me up on my offer will benefit greatly. Strike while the iron is hot! 


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