“We are regulated” is a not an excuse to upset customers


Share on LinkedIn

Working recently with a highly regulated client, the issue of legal limitations was raised (again). “We are heavily regulated and as such we can’t do it” the argument was made. The truth is that regulations and legal restrictions, as far as I am concerned are excuses. Excuses organizations developed throughout the years to hide behind.

Many industries are regulated. Airlines, health care, food, financial. Every industry seems to have their set of regulations. In fact every public company is subject to Sarbanes Oxley. But lets face it the regulations were not made to restrict you from delighting customers.

Usually regulations were put in place because you offended customers to a point that they need government protection. During the 90’s European airlines passengers complaints about the way they were treated by airlines staff. No one was paying attention to them. So they appeal to the government and eventually the European parliament instituted harsh bill of rights law that protected passengers and requiring airlines to pay hefty fines for every flight delay.

In fact when I further probed the person who asked the question, I realized that the fear from the legal department was so high in this organization that employees simply stopped going to the legal department for approval. They simply stopped innovating and stop trying. In fact the whole company was in fear of the legal department that they started to assume much greater restrictions than what the law actually required.

My challenge to all of us is to stop using lawyers as an excuse. If you think your lawyers are stopping you from delighting customers, challenge them. Show them what you need to do and why and get them to see the customer viewpoint. From my experience, common sense and logic prevail in majority of the cases. Let’s stop self restrictions and push the envelope. After all your lawyers are humans beings as well and they will be able to relate to what is wrong and what is right for customers.

Lior Arussy
One of the world’s authorities on customer experience, customer centricity, and transformation, Lior Arussy delivers results. His strategic framework converts organizations from product- to customer-centricity. It is drawn from his work with some of the world’s leading brands: Mercedes-Benz, Royal Caribbean, Delta Air Lines, MasterCard, Novo Nordisk, Walmart and more.Arussy is also the author of seven books, including Next Is Now (May 2018)


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here