For anyone interested in corporate governance as applied to The Home
Depot, todays Wall Street Journal has an interview (First page, Second
Section) with Frank Blake, the new CEO of HD in which he proposes a
number of ideas to improve service at the BORG. It takes many miles
for a super tanker to make a turn. Although I don't do a great deal of
business there, they do provide support when most professional
suppliers are closed.
My proposal is that while they're reinventing their customer service
model they might announce to all employees that they will be closely
monitoring customer feedback. Fire a few for poor customer service and
the others should come around. Oh, and it would behoove Mr. Blake to
open up more freakin' cash registers at busy times.
Man, customer service is not rocket science.
First things first.
If the management in Atlanta wants to truly improve customer service.
then they will have to accept the fact that employees are people, not
The above is based on conversations with an employee who is in contact
with customers every day.
H/D treats their employees like whale crap and that is at the bottom
of the ocean.
The results are not swift.
What many businesses seemed to have forgotten is that Customer Service is
what gets the customer to spend his money in "your" store. More open cash
registers means that the customer gives you his money more quickly and that
is what it is all about.
The above doesn't penetrate the "bean counter" mentality.
They only look at it as a cost saving, as in it is less expensive to
inventory customers than it is to have staff on the payroll to serve
Sounds good on paper, but doesn't include the poor public relations
factor, and it's indirect cost.
If you truly want to screw up a business, put an accountant in as CEO.
An accountant trying to run a business is like driving down the road
at 80 MPH, looking in the rear view mirror to see where you are going.
A couple of the more infamous accountant CEOs in Detroit were Lynn
Townsend at Chrysler (Iaccocia cleaned up his mess) and Roger Smith at
There are more, but you get the idea.
Accountants are trained to count beans, not run businesses.
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