Sunday, January 29, 2012

Are U curious enough to remain Successful & Relevant ?? Perhaps No.

CURIOSITY is what keep us relevant , interesting  & growing as a person or company. Yes, we stop to remain interesting or growing once we stop to remain curious. I know everything and I am successful and don't need to know more is a  KILLER attitude. Literally KILLER. It kill companies and starts downfall of individuals. 

Observe children and you will learn HOW curious they are about everything on this earth. Curiosity is the mother of  learning and for continues learning continues curiosity is important. Life is a continues changing process. It changes daily every moment. However successful companies once achieved success think they have the permanent expertise to remain successful. 

Meet a child and meet a hugely successful person or even some 40 odd year plus person. Child is extremely curious to know , asks questions and try to understand while successful and senior adult would mostly behaves in I KNOW or I don't care to know or learn attitude. 

I was watching Classic Legend programme on Zee TV by Jawed Akhtar and he was talking about legendary actor Ashok Kumar. He said Ashok Kumar was so curious through out his life that he started learning new languages at the age of 64. He was always wanted to know and learn new things till he lived upto the age of 90. I think that was the reason the star ruled bollywood for 60 years.

Yes its absolutely important to remain curious about new things in life. Companies MUST not only keep learning about new products and services but also about new way of doing things, new ways to attract and treat people, new way to manage the affairs every few years. 

In history we have plenty of examples about very successful companies and person failing miserably after few years. Even we have seen countries first Japan and now European countries failing after remaining successful for many years. Someone has rightly says " Success Immortalises the way of doing things in the mind of successful companies and people. "

Pattern of thinking MUST be broken to get to see things with new perspectives. I know and I don't care attitude is about FIXED pattern of thinking.  

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein

"I am a big believer of boredom , boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity and out of curiosity comes everything." Steve Jobs

With success and growing age  , unfortunately MOST of us individually or as an enterprise fall in this trap, without fail.  To remain interesting one must be interested. Not Curious is equal to Not Learning.

Shakeup everything if you are so successful and inculcate a sense of curiosity in your enterprise { people} . May not be relevant today but if you want to remain successful tomorrow also , its the first ingredient.

Friday, January 27, 2012

HOW Social Media for Professional Firms !!!! ???

Professional Organisations like Advocates, CAs , CSs , Doctors , Architects , HR and the likes are great knowledge repositories in their  area of  expertise. People go to them for WHAT they know and HOW what they know can solve clients personal or business problems. 

In Pre Internet era life was miserable or not so happy. Few , large and influential people from these professions were in advantageous position. But situation changed slightly with the arrival of Internet. With their website all the firms and professionals were on the same platform and visible to everyone ,  potential clients. Similarly through the sites of many businesses approaching them has also become easier then for professionals.

However life is changing NOW and changing considerably. Yes arrival of social media is blessings  for knowledge professionals. It offers enormous opportunities to  showcase expertise. Many companies are now using LinkedIn profile for recruitment. Similarly self employed professionals can participate in debates in some interest specific groups, answer questions on LinkedIn, commence their own blogs, can have facebook fan page, tweet regularly to update as well as attract clients. Yes all these can be done and can be views by any prospective clients across size, industry, and geographies. 

This is the power and power of social media for professionals , especially small and medium firms.  Get your social media content and customer strategy in place and be ready for pleasant surprises. Its about Personal Brand Building. Do it regularly , do it carefully, do it with passion and do it with a difference.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Are U FANATIC about Customer Experience??

While studying a report on customer experience at one of the UK based banks, I came across the term "bank puts much of its success in recent years down to its
fanatical focus on customer experience (service
) . "

I wonder how many CEOs are FANATIC about the Customer Experience their company creates!! Forget FANATIC, are aware and care about it ?? Its the role of CEO to create WOW!! and Delightful Customer Experience for their all stake holders and more precisely CUSTOMERS.  

Every business is under going challenging phase ( low margins, tough competition, difficult to retain real talent , china threat ) , technology is changing rapidly ( mobile, to tab to smart TV to smart machines, innovative products and execution capabilities ) new ways of of doing business ( online, franchise, outsource, collaborate )  new age entrepreneurs ( young , energetic  with no legacy baggage, ready to challenge convention ) , govt policy paralysis ( slow to No - tax or procedural reforms forget FDI ) , high sales but low cash flow & profitability, fudging of accounts not only to manage shareholders and analysts but also to have elusive sense of self belief.  

In this grave situation only hope for survival is severe Customer Focus & creating Stupendous Customer Experience.  Yes its to the extent of Fanatical about it.

How many business plans talk about this?  How many strategy /board or owners meets have this on agenda? Wonder many businesses today struggle to survive and crying of recession!!! If customer is not your competitive advantage , what else can be??

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

7 + Reasons WHY Social Media is a MUST for EVERY Enterprises

We are afraid that if we go social , there will be lot of negative branding against our brand or company. Many companies have this apprehension and they avoid social media.  What a missed opportunity!!!!

Social Media platforms mean voice of people, customers. Brands are not providing them platforms but social media companies are doing it. Customers will not only express their views , feelings and experiences but also share the same & it will be further shared by the recipients.  It will go viral in moments. Whether brands are active online or no, customers are talking about it. Earlier there was one way and one to one communication. Now its many to many. 

Smart Companies are taking advantage of this opportunity. Yes its a HUGE opportunity. Use negative comments to your advantage by interfering in the discussion and clarifying company position. Without company's version to the negative experience, it will go more negative. Once company also participates and clarifies the position not only complaining customers but also all other readers will know the reality and understand how company responds when customers are in trouble. 

Its an opportunity on the contrary to stop the damage that can be caused by negative comments and experiences of the customers. Its an opportunity to converse with others and potential customers.  Its an opportunity to WOW!! by quickly responding and responding with offer to help as and when customers are in need. 

There are many examples HOW companies are reaping benefits by actively participating in the  discussions / responding on social media and solving customer issues. It will also make companies to do something special so that people /customers talks about the same on social media. Yes it can be planned to use for positive  ripples in the customer groups. 

Build Brand , Spread Quickly,  Strengthen Customer Relationship, Stop Damage by Negative Branding , Engage with Customers, Create WOW !! Experience , Get new Customers & also much more. 

Some of the large Indian Brands using SM actively: Dabur, Pizza Hut, Britannia, SBI, Amul, Maruti, ICICI Bank, Flipkart. More are joining the bandwagon.

Issue of WHY social media is long back answered.  Companies Must think on HOW and HOW quickly to start leveraging this powerful medium.  

Most old (started in 20th century) businesses are Social Media Immigrants but all businesses started during last one decade are Social Media Native.  For natives its way of doing business but for immigrants its new and hence worrying. Quickly become adjusted to NEW NORMAL and reap the advantage. 

Ask and answer NOW: Whats our Social Media Strategy and Action Pan!!! ,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Intentions Matter Less Than Actual Actions

It is said that Strength of the Chain is decided by its weakest link. Same applies to Customer Experience. Howsoever beautifully designed customer experience might be, one weak link can spoil the entire experience. 

Yesterday I had to get some documents from someone for someone.  It was asap requirement. I could fortunately managed to get the same asap. It was appreciated by a friend of mine who was seeking it. Next question was about delivery of documents to him. I was dependent on someone who was meeting my friend next day. I also conveyed him that he need to carry some documents. But link proved weak and somehow he didn't turned up as promised.

Now my asap WOW !!! at the first step, turned out to be a bad experience for my friend. at the end.

Learning is - WOW !! Customer Experience  must be deigned end to end covering all the customer touch points till the end of the experience. Any weak link & its gone for a toss.  Intentions matter less than actual actions.

How many top level superior intentions turn into equally superior customer experience??   Challenge lies here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another WOW !!! from

I ordered books on 10/1 at 18.19 and books delivered to me from Bangalore to Mumbai on 11/1 at 9.20 in the morning. 

Unexpected pleasant surprise. 

I am neither a preferred customer nor order was not an emergency , even I didn't pay for the shipping but then what went RIGHT??

I think its their style to WOW!! their customers. Its the culture supported by matching processes and motivated team. It is their way of saying  "This is HOW we do WHAT we do."

2nd Episode: Day 11/ Jan /12: Time 19.20

I ordered one book , 6 copies for gifting to different individuals. Since order were for 6 copies of the same book, I got a call from today 12/Jan/12 at 9 AM confirming that I have placed these orders. Look at the customer thinking that might have gone into this process design. 
Disclosure:  I am no way even remotely connected with any one @

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Number ONE Business Strategy - Missing Completely from Agenda

Customer Experience is core of every business activities. Every enterprise either creates plain, awesome or miserable customer experience by its initiatives, day in and day out, everyday with every customer. WITHOUT FAIL. Irony is; still most, yes most enterprises do not have someone completely in charge of customer xperience alone. People are functional in-charge and CEOs are too thinly divided in various acts.

End Results: Endless run around to achieve targets, daily fire fighting, stressed employees, unhappy customers, unhappy employees, unhappy suppliers and of-course unhappy share holders.   Today’s enterprises are creators and perpetrators of Mass Unhappiness.

Delivering Happiness is the slogan of US online corporation Of-course they enjoy clear cut mileage over competitors in attracting customers, suppliers, talent and investors. They FOCUS on HAPPINESS of all the stake holders and naturally all the other relevant elements are taken care off by keeping HAPPINESS at the core. Just shift in perspective and they are in different ORBIT ( they do huge business and financially very sound also  ).

We have plenty of Business Strategists around but still - How many businesses have applied Happiness and Delightful Customer Experience as their Business Strategy??? { Company focus, actions & results will change , dramatically }.  There is something GROSSLY wrong the way today's enterprises are being managed. 

Further Required Reading : Seven Days Weekend (Written by Business Owner) , Happy Hours r 9 to 5 (Written by Happiness Consultant) , Delivering happiness (Written by Business Owner) .

Monday, January 9, 2012

7 Drivers of WOW!!! Customer Xperience (enterprise survival also)

Drivers of Customer – Xperience (enterprise survival also)

-       Product Info & Guidance -  { enablers } Website, Sales Collateral , Conferences & Exhibition, Social Media

-      Quality -  { enablers } Six Sigma , TQM

-       Cost - { enablers } JIT, KAIZEN , Lean, BPR , Technology – SAP , ERP etc

-       Speed -  { enablers } Lean, BPR. Technology, TOC, Logistics & Distribution Strategy

-       New Products - { enablers } Innovation , R & D

-       After Sales Service -{ enablers } Grooming, Training,  Social Media

-       WOW!!! - { enablers }   All the above elements designed by keeping CUSTOMER @ the center and working of these elements to create symphony added by some CREATIVITY at all levels. 

   Companies are excited to initiate select programmes stated above , HOWEVER yet most companies are not recognizing the importance of Customer Experience  , which is the wholesome DRIVING FORCE for any and every initiative , a company undertakes. 

   Reason: No Existence of Customer Xperience Officer in charge of over all end to end Customer Xperience !!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Choice of Words & Company Profitability

Does your company has vocabulary policy or Vocabulary Directory for the company ?

Yes WORDs are powerful and can Impact the behaviour.

Words we use with our Customers and Employees greatly influence our relations with them. Words we use to communicate : Sales Pitch, Call Center Customer Service, Sales Collateral, Internal Mails, Letter of Appreciation, Failed Services, Presentations, Interviews everythig we do is by way of verbal or written communication - using WORDs. 

At Disney stores worldwide, good buyers are called “Guests” and potential trouble makers or shoplifters are called “Customers.”

When will software designers realize that “Search” is a database function, while “Find” is what people want to accomplish?

Every word has mood and meaning. Every word counts. Every word matters to improve customer experience.

Look at some of the recruitment ads in the news paper or on website. Whether it will be FUN @ Work or Dull @ Work, can be know by reading these advertizements. @ end of the day we deal with the people in whatever we do and We the PEOPLE are hugely influenced by words and language we use. It can make or break our day. 

Mostly front line people in the company are not specially trained on special vocabulary and they fail to impress the prospective buyers and customers. Company owners and senior management does the similar mistake while communicating with their employees. 

Words are MAGIC. Words are Poison. Words are Plain. Its up to us what we make out of our words we use - daily in all forms of communications.

Have your company wide VOCABULARY policy and guideline , one simple step will greatly improve company's performance!!!!! { Motivated and elevated Employees & Brand Advocate Customers, simply by altering choice of WORDs }

Monday, January 2, 2012

7 Reasons why ENTREPRENEURs Suffer

7 Reasons why ENTREPRENEURs Suffer :

1) Greed - is the greatest curse ( Will lead to over trading, tax evasion, corrupt practices, low governance standards to indicate a  few )

2) Inaction  - when decision is expected either way and its deferred for long time assuming things will be okay of its own.

3) Too quick actions  -  Execution for the sake of it without proper HOMEWORK. Activity without productivity and focus.

4) Petty Mind Set - Micro Managing , less delegation , less trust on people, less or no freedom to think.

5) Not focusing on Talent attraction - Its people who manages the business. They make or break the business. Not only ability to attract but willingness to attract great talent is the KEY top management decision and action.

6) Low on Governance - Its about Mind set not abiding the laws. NR Narayan Murthy " Corporations that genuinely recognises and embrace the principle of good Corporate Governance will drive enormous benefits - the availability and lower cost of capital , the ability  attract talent, clients and business partners, improved competitiveness and financial performance and truly sustainable long-term growth" 

7) Low on Learning -  How we individuals remain relevant? By continues learning and adapting. Same applies to enterprises. Most enterprises are low on new learning and lack innovation culture.

Let the 2012 brings whole mindset of NEWNESS in your organisation. Shake up the way things are being managed. Hire a weird outsider and start experimenting. Results will          { surely } surprise you pleasantly.