Do Bad Companies have a Right to Improve?

Scott Francis
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Recently, I was challenged by someone for tweeting/blogging about a company that was investing in a BPM program.  The complaint was that this company had been failing at BPM for years, and had terrible customer service as demonstrated by several third-party sources cited by the other party.

It begs the question:  does a company struggling with customer service have a right to improve?  Can they invest in BPM?  Or are they doomed to failure and ignominy?

I was sort of struck by the line of attack. Obviously it started with someone’s personal animosity toward a company – which might or might not be well-founded, but we’ll be generous and assume it is well-founded.  But the line of critique seemed to indicate that because this company was terrible at customer service, and had a trail of failed projects behind it, that we shouldn’t celebrate any small successes within the carnage, however irrelevant those might be to this customer.

Should the bank with a poor account opening experience not invest to make it better?  Should the hospital with a poor patient intake process not strive to make it better?  Should the company with a host of failed IT projects in their past not strive to make the next IT project successful?

If past is prelude, then perhaps the argument has merit.  But I and BP3 subscribe to a different point of view:  we want companies to try to get better.  We want companies with bad service to invest in providing better service.  Every good process started out being a worse process.  Every great company had to struggle and strive to get there.  If anything, the knock against companies with poor service is that they haven’t had the will and determination to strive to achieve greatness already.

Time and again, I’ve seen our BP3 team act as the buttress on that will and determination to improve.  We help our customers break bad habits, and help them avoid regressing into counterproductive behavior.  And we let them experience what success with BPM feels like,