5 Moments of Truth and Feedback lessons from our UPS driver

by Richard Maybury on March 14, 2012

I had a great experience with UPS last week. It highlights practical business truths and is worth retelling here.

We had to get a high priority shipment of training manuals to an international office of one of our clients. We booked the shipment, created the waybills and booked the collection online through our UPS account.

Job done – or so we thought. We were wrong.

You probably appreciate that UPS, like many other just-in-time services, places a high priority on time management. It is fair to assume that speed, time utilisation and schedules are important performance metrics for ALL their people.

Our delivery guy duly arrived with a ready smile and a purposeful pace about him; he picked up the 2 parcels and took them to the van. Moments later he returned. We had made a mistake and needed to re-enter the order online, which would mean we would not get the shipment out that day.

He could see our concern and immediately offered a solution.

He had 3 other pick-ups locally and could pass by again. He gave us a paper Waybill and a couple of barcoded labels to complete manually because that would be quicker than reentering our online account, cancelling out the previous action and reentering the information again. We completed the forms just in time for his return.

His care and flexibility saved our reputation.

Naturally I wanted to recognise this Customer Service ‘Moment  Of Truth’ so immediately Tweeted my experience and got an immediate response:

I fired off a quick 2 –line email, got a 2-line reply back from a human being (not an autoresponder) saying that the driver’s manager would be informed and his service recognised.

Job done – or so I thought.

I saw the driver again yesterday. He was in his van. He saw me and stopped, wound down his window and thanked me for my feedback, saying that his boss gave him a big slap on the back which made him feel great. That made me feel great.

5 Moments of Truth Lessons

  1. Feedback is the food of champions. If Moments of Truth matter to you, you must invest in feedback.
  2. Most working  people do not get enough feedback in their busy days – and most of what they do get is issue, crisis, problem-escalation related not nurturing, developmental and encouraging. How much do you give?
  3. A feedback and recognition system can be very simple. It’s more to do with human DNA than tools and process. It need not be complex – my example took a few minutes in total for all parties.
  4. Speedy and specific recognition works much better than broad, bland statements long after the heat of battle has passed. This is one reason, among many, why I’m an advocate of collaboration platforms rather than internal email for work sharing.
  5. What gets recognised gets repeated and everybody is a winner. No prizes for guessing how our UPS driver will approach our door for another delivery next time!

Have you had any recent Moment of Truth experiences? Is why not let us know.

Onwards and upwards
Richard

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