When company policies become a road block for serving the customer

As customers we want to feel understood and valued by the supplier, institution, organization, restaurant – whatever it may be. Nothing frustrates me more then when the person in front of me is not showing any understanding (or interest) in my situation. The other day I had bought 2 tickets for a play in the theatre – the tiger who came to tea. I thought I could just print the 2 tickets and then go to the play. But I got an email saying I had to go to one of their agencies to pick up the tickets. Fair enough. So I went to one of their agencies who happened to be closed for lunch. Ok, so I went to somewhere else in town where I had to search for their office on the 6th floor in a department store after I had been a bit lost. Still, I’m in fine spirits and ask to get the tickets and show my confirmation email and my ID. The lady asked me to show the creditcard with which I had purchased the tickets. Yes, well this was in Spain with my husband. Oh, well could he then send an email where he had scanned it with his signature. Yes, well the time was now 4am in Spain so I doubted this was possible. Well, then I just had to come back later they said. By this point my patience was gone after already having spent half a day it felt on this. I now had 3 people in front of me who still didn’t seem interested in finding a solution for me. I got the head office on the phone who couldn’t seem to find a solution either. I had to bring my teeth out and finally I got the tickets with a note on it that I would then have to show the scan when I got to the theatre 2 days later. Will I be buying tickets through this company again? I doubt it.

The employees were purely following policies and procedures which the company had set for them. Companies must remove all roadblocks to ensure that the employees don’t end in this situation where they are unable to answer to the customer’s needs. And the employees should immediately have had the urge to solve this situation and to see how ridiculous it looked from my perspective and adapted swiftly. This did not happen. Who are we serving in the end. The customers? Or the company policies? The play was luckily brilliant.