Improved Efficiency?

Another government agency has changed its policy to be more efficient. An AISH client can no longer email their worker. For example, instead of forwarding an appointment confirmation email from my specialist in Calgary, I now have to print it off and hand deliver it to the AISH office downtown. This adds many layers of cost:
  • paper and ink
  • travel
  • my time to deliver
  • another level of AISH administration
Unfortunately arriving at the office does not simplify the process. Or personalize it. Previously I wrote about ways staff can humanize the experience of needing to access support services. As I was waiting for an appointment, a man went to the counter and asked to see his worker.

PAD (person at desk): She isn't available. You can see the walk in worker.
Man: When will my worker be available?
PAD: I don't know. You need to make an appointment to see her. You can see the walk in worker.
Man: How do I make an appointment?
PAD: She makes her own appointments. You'll need to call her. I can give you her card.
Man: So I can't make an appointment here?
PAD: No. You need to call her. You can see the walk in worker.
Man: How long will that take?
PAD: I need your name.
Man: How long will that take?
PAD: Please give me your name.
Man: (louder) What part of "How long will it take?" do you not understand?

PAD sits down as front line workers don't need to take verbal harassment from clients. Man leaves office.

I wonder if he has access to a cell phone.
I wonder how he travelled downtown and how long it took him.
I wonder if he will need to travel home to make the phone call to set up the appointment.
I wonder if he took the card.

If the email policy can't be changed, what about having a telephone at the desk for making appointments?
It seems there is a PADlock on accessing services.

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  1. Sadly this common. I am reading a book "Wired to Care: How companies prosper when they create widespread empathy. I just started but I think it will be a good read which challenges me to think about my customers as I serve them. Your post is a good example of what not to do. David

  2. David,
    How is the reading going? I think the word serve is important. Whether a person is a purchasing customer or a case load client, each individual has needs they are hoping to have met. It is a privilege to be used to meet another person's needs.