I got a little lecture at the airport today when the agent scolded me for not using the self-check in to change my seat assignment. We’ll save the topic of “talking yourself out of a job” for another day. Today let’s talk about rules.

List the Top 5 complaints you get about your company’s rules and regulations. Not the complaints you hear about price and availability and the 4-6 week turnaround for special orders, but the complaints about rules modeled by the industry then established by your company.

Is it your 9 to 5 weekday delivery hours? Your refusal to sell a loveseat away from the sofa or dining chairs away from the table? Your customer service response time?

There is so much you cannot control in your business: manufacturer’s assortments, financial terms, backorders.

What can you control? What policy, procedure, rule or regulation could you wipe off the board to accommodate your customer? What would this say to her about your company? What does the existing rule say to her now?

Are any of your rules arbitrary to your customer, set in place only to make life easier for you? What does she think about that?