Let's talk Outcomes and Unintended Consequences

David Ellin
David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Comment
edited July 2020 in Value Realization

I've had interesting experiences with two retailers that gave me insight into their thinking. These examples are a perfect illustration of unintended consequences when we try to do something good.

One grocery store near my house has a big sign out front informing people they must wear a cloth face covering to enter the store. As I was entering, another patron stopped at the sign because she didn't have a face covering. An employee came out and said, "It's ok, you really don't need a mask to come in." Not sure I'll go back anytime soon. They tried to be empathetic and compassionate to others while creating a safe shopping experience and failed because there was no alignment, training or communication.

Example 2: Last night, I went to pick up food at a Chinese restaurant. I called to see if they have curbside pick up. They said they don't but they have a contactless pick up system. What they had done was blocked off the inner entrance to the restaurant with a table and put up a window through which to hand food. The problem - everyone waiting to pick up their food was standing in their 4' x 6' portico. Maybe it was safe for the restaurant workers but clearly not for their patrons. What a disconnect!

What unintended consequences is your company creating for your customers?



  • Chris Jones (CJ)
    Chris Jones (CJ) Member Posts: 12 Contributor
    Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited May 2020

    It is so interesting how frequently we see this each day. I also say that companies need to follow the Ambulance example. maybe you have never noticed, but if you look at a ambulance, the word is always written inverted, and the reason is that drivers in front can easily read the word in their rear view mirrors, especially in case of an emergency.. 

    I say this to say, from the driver of the ambulance's perspective, the text is inverted and that is fine, because the purpose of the text is not for the ambulance driver ... simply put always think of things from your customer's perspective.

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
    First Comment Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited May 2020

    We launched a new version of our collaboration tool designed to be a unified platform between all their 

    RingCentral individual apps, We offered users of the current version to migrate one-click using a Pendo button. It crashed the current version. Fortunately, we were sending the popup in waves, so our issue was limited to select customers. We pulled the pendo button and had people download the update directly from our website.

  • Samma Hafeez
    Samma Hafeez Member Posts: 24 Thought Leader
    First Anniversary
    edited June 2020

    Really awesome analogies! I especially love the ambulance one - spot on! Reminds me of so many product releases that went bust. How many premature or poorly validated/QAed feature releases lead to unintended consequences for our customers? How often do we generally release a feature or new functionality for a "critical" client while breaking crucial workflows for another customer? I've lived escalation time and again related to this very issue as I am sure many of you have. While I realize we can't please all of our customers all of the time, I do think it's important that a cross-functional task force or committee consult/advise on substantive features that could introduce new churn risk.