Are Your Systems Ruining Your Customers’ Fun?


Are Your Systems Ruining Your Customers’ Fun?

As anyone who knows me and my business, I’m a firm believer that systems are the keys to business, sporting and personal success; and that there is a system in everything, you just have to find it.

However, there certainly are times when they can be over the top or stating the absolute obvious, which not only detract from their purpose but quite frankly, can be a buzzkill which infuriates customers (and staff) instead of making their life easier.

Two cases in point:

1. “When on the travellator, please hold on to the rail.”

I’m sure everyone who has been to the Brisbane Airport has heard this broadcast over and over again. Not only is it loud and annoying because you hear this message hundreds of times as you stand and wait to be collected by your driver, friend or family member, but it prompts the obvious question:

“How many times has someone fallen or how many accidents have happened for this message to even be recorded in the first instance?”

Now I totally understand risk management but I am tired of being treated like someone who lacks common sense. And if someone doesn’t hold the handrail and falls over, well, all that says to me is, “Be more careful next time and use your brain”.

In this age of no one taking responsibilities for their actions, I want businesses to stop treating us all as the lowest common denominator (the minority), and instead, treat us as intelligent human beings who actually can determine what we should and should not do.

I also feel sorry for the staff outside the terminal who have to listen to that message probably tens of thousands of times a day at a decibel level, which up close near the exit or entrance to the travellator, I’m sure breaches Workplace Health and Safety noise levels.

2. Security measures at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre (BEC).

I recently attended the Netball Quad Series at the BEC. A venue which is great to watch netball at but one that certainly knows how to take the ‘fun’ out of attending an event. Their security measures have now gone to a new level of ridiculous.

In an email that I received prior to the event the security measures that were outlined were ‘so’ over the top. I regularly attend footy games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a venue which often holds upwards of 50 000 people (maximum is 100 000) at any one game, where I can take a large bag, posters, flags, banners, etc. and there is no issue.

Yet, BEC believes ‘guests’ (that’s what they call us) actually shouldn’t bring a bag at all, or if we have to, it can be no bigger than an A4 sheet of paper. And you may be thinking, ‘Oh that’s just a rule they’ve made up but won’t enforce’. Nope, I had to place my small handbag on an A4 sheet of paper for the security guard to decide if I could bring it in. Otherwise, I would have to put it in the cloakroom.

Firstly, please tell me any parent who could attend without a bag, let alone a female. I believe this is to stop people bringing in snacks which, oh my goodness, saves people money and going to the netball is a family event.

I’m all for security measures and being careful, but who was in the room when someone decided this was not only a good idea but actually necessary as part of event management for a venue which holds no more than 15 000 people! For this event, there was probably only 5 000 to 8 000 people at the game.

Looking at the rules further, it also states you can’t bring in an IPAD, IPAD Mini or Samsung Galaxy so what do those girls or parents do who want to video their meet and greet with the players which happens after the game?

Attending events should be an enjoyable and easy experience, and yet BEC keeps making it harder for their guests.

So now think about your business procedures and customer engagement strategy:

  • Are you making it easier or harder for a customer to buy from you?
  • Is your sales process long and complicated or quick and easy to follow?
  • Throughout the buying journey, do you annoy your customer with more and more steps and information, or it is clear what they have to do and what you will do?

Are you running your business like a BEC event or one which thinks about its end users as it develops and implements its business systems?

As I said at the start, systems, whether we like it or not, are the keys to the success of any business.  But sometimes we can overthink them – especially from a risk management or governance perspective – and in doing so, we can turn customers away.

So please look at your processes to ensure they are serving a valid purpose for your business, your staff and your customer. If they’re not, then either re-write, streamline or delete them, so they help rather than hinder bringing customers into your world for hopefully a lifetime.

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