Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Complexity of Customer Relations

One of my cleaners approached me on Friday complaining that they can never mop the floors in the cafeteria because employees were constantly streaming in and out. My reply was to mop when it wasn't break time.

This made the cleaner get quiet and then say, "it's always break time"
After observing the area for awhile I realized the cleaners problem. People from the production floor were constantly sneaking in and out of the cafeteria. The place is to big for the one shift supervisor to maintain close watch on everyone.

This puts our company in a stressful situation.

On one hand, as a dedicated vendor, always looking out for my customers best interest, I should inform upper management of this situation and let them work it out. It would increase their productivity but also put their manager /shift supervisor in the hotseat!

That is the second part of the problem, we need to work closely with the shift supervisor in order to perform our services. If I turn in him to upper management, will I alienate him from the my staff? Will this supervisor make life miserable for my staff because I informed on him and his staff? Will his staff try for some revenge on the cleaners --via making bigger messes, trashing the restrooms more than usual?

This was my Zen problem of the week. I decided that I will approach the shift supervisor myself. Let them know that they have a problem and therefore so do we in performing our duties and ask them to help me work out a solution. If I can fix this without approaching upper manangment it is a win for us and the shift supervisor.

I am sure if this does not reach a happy conclusion I will be back here again with a different version and outcome.