Monday, July 30, 2012

The Superstar & The Big B of Corporate World

Rajesh Khanna wud have very happy to see HOW countrymen who have forgotten him for last many many years do remember him in his absence. Kind of tributes flowing in even after 12 days on every channel , media and public shows indicates that as a nation all of us have lost someone special. Whose presence was not felt for all these years though his absence has created some vacuum in some-part of our life. Such was a power of the SUPERSTAR. Phenomenal = Unparalleled.  

Though it’s not a right time of comparison between him and Big B , but yet its d right time to know the difference in approach towards life & success for everyone. This applies to individual as well as to companies too.

Yes phenomenal success comes with its own challenges. Be it individual be it company. When success hits your mind , mind stops functioning and thinking in balance. It takes over the realities, I become real capital in place of i becoming more and more humble. 

Those who believes in rule of English language that I is always capital, often could not see changing world around them, forgets that the change is the only constant and his hampering of vision instigate creation of own world and vision of manipulated world.  Instead of focusing on his own work in sync with the world and consumer taste with changing times unparalleled success makes one believe that , I can be on top come what may and whatever it takes. 

Big B learned,  of course may be with the precedent of Mr. Khanna and it took him 10 years to adjust to the realities and to appear in his new avatar.

In business world also there are these two traits visible in many top companies. Consumer taste changes & unless successful companies are capable to offer the food for changing taste of consumers, companies are going to fail sooner than later. Samsung over Nokia is the recent corporate example. Colors/Sony over Zee Tv , Facebook over Orkut and there are many such examples.  

It happens if companies are not proactive but Challenge is how to bounce back once fallen from grace. However,  most companies are not reactive enough in their approach to the market. If u fall and fail , its fine, how you bounce back is the real differentiator.

At the end it’s the Consumer who is the king and service providers must align to the consumer taste be it actor or companies. Taste of the exciting consumers change and taste of new consumers is any way new. Big B could align to both.  Are there any examples of corporate Big Bs? 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Are you mapping WOW!! on your Customer’s Face?

Customer Experience is the next new and now management practice. NEXT has quickly become NEW and NOW.
Commodity, Product, Services, Experience , this is the hierarchy of business offerings as defined by father of customer experience Pine & Gilmore in their famous book The Experience Economy. Most Companies struggle in 1st two categories , some reach to third level and very few reaches the 4th level. 
Companies like Starbucks , Virgin , Apple, Zappos, Amazon, Flipkart, Commerce Bank thrives on superior customer experience. There are unfortunately hardly any Indian brands which can be classified in the 4th category. 
Reasons may be that Indian Customers are either not demanding or there is no culture at the top of offering wow !! CUSTOMER Experience. Most management are so tied up in day to day affairs in managing quarterly results, no one in the organisation thinks long term brand building interest of the company.  As steroids they take shelter under extravagant advertising and media campaigns. Hardly anything changes however at ground level.  Everyone’s performance bonus is linked with quick results and not with sustainable results.
It requires culture of WOW !!! at the top , thinking on HOW ?  and  action plan (which may take longer time) to change the organisation culture.  Performance parameters MUST change and should be linked to increase of Net Promoter Scorecard (NPS) and not only financial performance. Financial performance today which is not guaranteed tomorrow is hardly of much use.  Linking it with NPS will ensure that long term interest of the company is also taken care of.
If your existing customers are promoters of your brand half the battle is won. Today hardly any Indian brands know what is their NPS , forget about action to improve the same.   Some customer sensitive companies have customer feedback system but either they do not know what to ask as their questions are irrelevant or do not know what to do after the data is collected.
However off late very very few companies have started appointing Chief Experience Officers (CExO).  It’s just a very tiny beginning. Still we have to see how they are able to improve their customer experience. One such company I know is Club Mahindra. However if you look at customer reviews on the Google/ it’s horrible. Customers are happy with their locations but not the way pre sales to post sales and actual stays are handled. Hope CExO will address especially pre sales ways, posts sales booking & at stay customer care issues asap.
Now when we are going to buy most of our products after reviewing online review, how important it is to offer amazing customer experience? Isn’t it critical?  No amount of smart advertising & smart sales person can replace culture of offering wow !! customer experience.   Are we working to see following expression on your customer’s face?
 If yes, its your market or work hard to transform Commoditised offerings into Experiential offerings. 
In order to bring wow !! culture in Indian Companies I have tied up with UK based Consulting firm Beyond Philosophy , customer experience focus consulting firm, as their India Associate.   

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pearls of Wisdom from Stephen Covey

Today with his demise we have lost one of the great motivator of our times. His book 7 habits of Highly Effective People is the bible on inspiration and self motivation especially in the times we live.  

His recommended habits in nutshell below.    

No 1 Be Proactive.
We are in charge of ourselves. We are responsible – response-able. We can choose how to react to external stimuli, rather than being Pavlov’s dog – salivating at the light.
Covey says that keeping to your commitments – to yourself and others – is the clearest manifestation of our proactivity. If we commit to do something – do it. If we don’t want to commit to it – don’t commit to it. Integrity to our commitments is the clearest manifestation of our proactivity.
No 2 Begin With The End In Mind
All things are created twice – first in our minds and then in reality. We need to get clear on what we want – then create it. It’s goal-setting, essentially.
Without clear goals we are adrift. I reckon roughly 80% of people have no clear goals. They’re not bad people. They’re just won’t realise their potential.
No 3 Put First Things First
This is the high-payoff activities I bang on about endlessly. Not the crises, deadlines, interruptions and endless small stuff.  We must learn to say “no” to everything that is not a high-payoff activity. Say “no” to others, and to ourselves.  Do it pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically. But do it. Time actually IS our greatest asset.
No 4 Think Win-Win
In all relationships – business and personal. Life is not a zero-sum game. To win, others do not have to lose.
Do you have any win-lose relationships in your life? Turn them into win-win, or politely excuse yourself and go. Win-lose is bad for the other guy and bad for your soul. It’s actually lose-lose.
No 5 Seek First To Understand
…then to be understood.
People want to be understood, but few people do the understanding. Why not be one of them? When I meet people for the first time I make sure the conversation is about them, not me. Shamefully, I started doing this because it was suggested to me that this would help them to like me, as people like those who are interested in them. Fortunately, I now find myself genuinely interested in understanding them first. I enjoy understanding them. I actually like it. They seem to too. Maybe I really am a coach.
No 6 Synergy
1 + 1 = 3. We work better when we work together.  I’d rather be in two ventures, sharing the profits with another human being, than in one venture by myself.  I’m pretty good. I’ve got the test results to prove it. But I’m not that good. I lose perspective pretty quickly by myself. I miss things. I don’t see clearly. I am glad I am sufficiently self-aware to see this.
No 7 Sharpen the Saw
Take time to renew. You cannot work all the time. We need to rest, reflect, renew. So take some exercise, write a journal (a great idea), just play, or take time with someone you love. I’m rubbish at all of this. Someone said to me the other day they were leaving the office at 4pm to go home. I thought to myself – “what a luxury”. It’s not a luxury. It’s a necessity.
He first introduced the concept of circle of concerns and circle of influence. 

wow!!! these were the thoughts he presented to the world in his best written book. Hats off.  RIP Mr. Covey, you have expanded your circle of influence through your books manifold.