The Dangerous Cliff

Note: We don’t usually do too much poetry in our work, but this one really expresses our experience in providing service netting (a proactive approach to creating service excellence) instead of service recovery (a reactive policy for handling customers when things go wrong). Using a different metaphor, we think you’ll understand that it’s better to make sure the customer doesn’t have a bad experience, rather than make up for it when he or she does.

T’was a dangerous cliff as they freely confessed

thou to walk near its edge was so pleasant.

But over its edge had slipped a duke,

and it had fooled many a peasant.

The people said something would have to be done

but their projects did not at all tally.

Some said, “Put a fence around the edge of the cliff,”

others, “An ambulance down in the valley.

 

The lament of the crowd was profound and loud

as their hearts overflowed with pity.

But the ambulance carried the cry of the day

as it spread to the neighboring cities.

So a collection was made to accumulate aid

and dwellers in highway and alley,

gave dollars and cents not to furnish a fence,

but an ambulance down in the valley.

 

For the cliff is alright if you’re careful they said

And if folks ever slip and are falling;

it’s not the slipping and falling that hurts them

so much as the shock down below when they’re stopping.

And so for years as these mishaps occurred

quick forth would the rescuers sally.

To pick up the victims who fell from the cliff

with the ambulance down in the valley.

 

Said one in his plea, it’s a marvel to me

that you’d give so much greater attention

to repairing results than to curing the cause,

why you’d much better aim at prevention.

For the mischief of course would be stopped at its source;

come friends and come neighbors let us rally.

It makes far better sense to rely on a fence

than an ambulance down in the valley.

 

He’s wrong in the head the majority said,

He would end all our earnest endeavors.

He’s the kind of man that would shirk his responsible work,

but we will support it forever.

Aren’t we picking up all just as fast as they fall,

and giving them care liberally?

Why a superfluous fence is of no consequence,

if the ambulance works in the valley.

 

Now this story seems strange as I’ve given it here,

but things oft occur which are stranger.

More humane we assert to repair the hurt,

than the plan of removing the danger.

The best possible course would be to safeguard the source,

and to attend to the things rationally.

Yes, build up the fence

and let us dispense

with this ambulance down in the valley.

 

–Unknown

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