What plagues service at LG, Shoppers Stop, & at our Milkman’s.


Yeah, ownership. That’s the problem that plagues ShoppersStop, LG, and our Milkman. Here’s how.

It’s been four App based transactions at ShoppersStop that’s been declined with my Digital Wallet being debited. I’ve therefore had to write to the retailer four times to have the transaction reversed. Funny, despite my endless talk with customer care personnel nobody seems to care enough to fix the problem.

A few days ago I find a pack of rodent offspring napping in our washing machine. The mechanic tells me rodent-mommy has eaten her way through the plastic sheet at the bottom of the machine. He tells me I should fasten the bottom with a metal wire sheet. I ask the manager at LG as to why the brand can’t take care of a rodent problem while manufacturing (by having a metal sheet at the bottom)? He tells me all machines are manufactured with plastic sheets (that rodents can have for breakfast, I guess). Funny, he cares two hoots about the ‘rodent misery I’ve been through.

The Milk delivery guy at our place knows we’ve run out of coupons and that we need the next set. Our guess was that he will pass on that information to his proprietor so new coupons are sent to our apartment. He doesn’t. Truth is, he doesn’t care about our running out of milk.

Why is that people at these firms don’t care? Simple. They (and related others at the firm) don’t take ownership of a customer problem. Frankly, they don’t care. Why? You see, it’s an organisational design problem. The three elements that make up design are structure, control/reward, and culture. My immediate guess is, all these firms have got lousy organisational designs in place (I am hoping I am wrong). The structures they’ve put in place don’t impress on employee responsibility and accountability. What makes it worse is that employees over the years see no reward in taking ownership. My bet is, at times such ownership can even be dangerous with employees being accused of messing up. So they take the easy way out. They tell themselves, ‘not my problem’. What piles on the dysfunctionality in such firms probably is a weak culture. One that places no emphasis on collectively responding to customer needs and problems. Note, culture starts at the top. You breed bureaucratic sycophancy at the top, and what you get is employees sucking up and covering their ‘you know what’.

Plus Zero Ownership.

What a pity. 


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