My family and I celebrated the U.S. Independence Day at a nearby amusement park. We spent the day at the water park and afterward, went to our hotel, had dinner, and then went back to the amusement park for the July 4th fireworks.
Upon our return, we were informed that we couldn't re-enter because we didn't get our hand stamped when we left the water park. As a season ticket holder, it never occurred to us that we needed to get our hand stamped.
The ticket agent told us to talk with guest relations to see if they would make an "exception." So, off we went.
At guest relations, we gave them our season passes and explained the situation. And then it happened.
The young man (who is probably 18) says, "It is our policy to not allow guests to reenter the park without a hand stamp."
"Hmm. Your policy. Really?" I say.
"Yes. This policy is to protect you," he replied.
"No. I think this policy is to protect you and at the present moment, this policy is making it difficult for one of your premiere customers to enjoy your park," I reply.
Now, of course the 18 year old isn't responsible for the policy and can do little to change it.
Eventually he lets us into the park, stating, "If this happens again, we will not make another exception."
Now, as you can imagine, this soured our mood. We reentered the park aggitated questioning whether or not we'll purchase season tickets again.
While policies are inevitable, customer focused leadership should regularly review its policies to ensure they don't cause unnecessary issues for customers. They should consider options to take the burden off the customer and explore ways to protect the company, while delivering the optimal experience to their customers.