Should I? Or Shouldn't I? The Value Of A Compliance Program
Maybe it should be required as an entry qualification for being in our industry? Most industries, after all, require at least some sort of minimum standard or certification to be met in order to do business in said industry. Why would we resist this? Aren't we supposed to be enhancing companies' brands rather than putting them at risk?
Being really good at anything is a good business decision; being better than your closest competitor at something will have a positive impact on your revenues. I spent more than 15 years at Nordstrom in various roles, ultimately ending up in regional merchandise manager and store manager roles. There are few people who do not know the relationship Nordstrom has with customer service. I had many, many opportunities to witness firsthand the value the company's commitment to service, which was evident in its loyal following and positive sales results. Providing great service was easy. Everyone else was doing it, and it worked.
Having said this, I recall one regional meeting when the GM asked the assembled leaders if "Nordstrom is in the customer service business." Most of us lemmings quickly agreed that Nordstrom is indeed in the customer service business. Wrong answer.
You see, Nordstrom sells shoes, pantyhose, lipstick, shirts and pants. The company's product is not customer service. Rather, its reputation for customer service is the vehicle through which Nordstrom's generates long-term, profitable sales. Maybe a comprehensive compliance program is your vehicle?
Sticking with the customer service theme, what happens if you blow it these days? Here is a pretty compelling YouTube video on what happened when United Airlines blew it.
As the story goes, United damaged a guitar from the band Sons of Maxwell when they were flying to a gig, and Dave Carroll, with whom I have spoken, tried valiantly to get United Airlines to repair or replace the guitar. After getting repeatedly blown off, he promised United Airlines that he was going to write a song and post a YouTube video on the experience. No big deal, right? The answer depends on whom you ask.