We all know from personal experience how this plays out on the customer front lines. You call Microsoft, Intuit, HP or whatever’s customer support and get someone speaking a barely intelligible version of your language (if you’re lucky). This person is obviously measured on call count, because he keeps pushing to end the call, problem resolved or not. I even had an HP call marked “successfully closed” or some such despite the “tech” unable to even identify my admittedly exotic monitor, never mind know how to rotate the screen 90 degrees back to normal.
But “behind the lines,” including at management levels, I see stress from excess workload, micromanagement enabled by micro-measurement and fear of losing a job keep internal concerns, including self-preservation, ascendant over customer concerns. Work is becoming more and more about pleasing the boss, which is often antithetical to pleasing customers. Our “pressure-cooker” corporate environments are not conducive to putting customers first.