Bad Fortune or Bad Customer Service?

Today’s Thought

What we call manufacturing mistakes or missed project deadlines aren’t merely internal problems; they are ultimately customer service issues.


My wife, our son, and our son’s girlfriend recently got together for dinner. We had ‘carry out’ food from a local Chinese restaurant. At the end of the meal, we opened our fortune cookies and shared the hidden messages with one another.

I don’t put a lot of faith in fortune cookie predictions, but it’s a fun experience to read and share.

My wife went first and revealed her fortune. Then our son’s girlfriend went and shared hers. Our son went third. He cracked open his fortune cookie, and guess what? His fortune matched his girlfriend’s.

Was I in the midst of a profound meaning being revealed, fate at play, or merely witnessing a problem in the fortune cookie manufacturing and distribution process?

I opened up my fortune cookie. It was empty. I reached into the delivery bag to find a fifth fortune cookie. I broke it open and discovered that it was empty too.

Mystery solved. We were experiencing the results of a fortune cookie production and distribution process problem.

Now, it could have been a one-in-a-million error that was bound to occur, or perhaps it was the result of an employee with a bad attitude choosing to let the mistake slide by or someone willingly behaving in a way that caused it.

That got me thinking about how the attitude and behaviors of non-customer-facing team members can indirectly impact customer experience. What we call manufacturing mistakes or missed project deadlines aren’t merely internal problems; they are ultimately customer service issues. Just because the line between the two isn’t direct, the impact is still predictable. More importantly, it made me consider how little adjustments in both can make a difference for our customers.

This week’s tool and video allow you to examine the relationship between employees and customer experience, especially when intermediate steps can cloud cause and effect.

In this week’s podcast, I hit pause on our regular schedule and provide you with an update on the last three months of lessons that we have shared. In doing so, I highlight three key lessons I wanted to ensure you didn’t miss. It’s a perfect episode to listen to and share with a friend or colleague.


Today’s Questions

  1. What results do you want to deliver for your customers?
  2. How do your products or service contribute to providing the desired customer results?
  3. What behaviors do your team members perform, or what motivations do they exhibit to drive desired customer results?

Today’s Challenge

Spend five minutes with a top performer. Ask that person to describe what motivates them to do great work

How Performance Drives Customer Experience Worksheet

Episode 155: Explore 3 Leadership Lessons with Dr. Patrick Leddin