Over-Promise and Under-Deliver

My son recently closed on a condominium in Santa Cruz and the closing process reminded me of the difficulties many companies have in delivering on their promise. To be fair I don’t know if the “sales department” over-promised or the operations department is actually a sales prevention process. All I know is that the closing process did not go as smoothly as we would have liked.

The loan officer (the sales department) was working against a promised close date with his operations department to hit the close date. From our perspective the requirements to close kept changing in terms of details, and finally the date moved out a full week. Why? We don’t know, all we know is that we were not happy, but we had a week buffer built into our schedule to prevent a catastrophe from a delayed close.

It then slipped a bit more but did finally close with some last-minute hoop jumping on our side and by the loan officer. The whole process reminded me how out of sync a company’s sales and operations functions can be, thus creating a less than ideal feeling on the part of the customer.

The reasons why they did not meet their promise don’t matter to me as the customer. I was not happy with the process. I am professionally interested and thus wrote this blog post. How are your customers experiencing your service or products? The reasons why the customer is experiencing whatever they are experiencing doesn’t matter to them, though it should matter to you from a continuous improvement perspective. Get sales and operations on the same page and then work to make your service or product best in class.

Mitch

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