Showing posts with label brand without customer experience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brand without customer experience. Show all posts

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.   

Friday, March 30, 2012

Customer Experience – Next Competitive Battlefield

Today on road in Mumbai and again ashamed to see the condition of the roads across the city. Its not post monsoon but pre monsoon and 6 months after the last monsoon.  Who is in charge of the city roads?

Hope our corp-orators are travelling by road and not by helicopter ofcourse not by train. Just callous attitude of the people in power and people busy with their daily duties ignoring collapsed infrastructures.

This happens when there is no mind for Customer (Citizen) Experience.  People who votes and who are suppose to be served are ignored for various other priorities. Citizen comes last if at all.

Now moving to the corporate. Customer Experience is also not a priority here.  Customers are adjusted to sub standard customer services and experience.  My earlier post r CEOs PASSIONATE abt their CUSTOMERS? I had stated that problem is at the TOP.

Culture percolates from Top to the bottom.  Amazon CEO Bezos is a great fan of creating wow customer experience. He had stated about Inverted 30 : 70 Ratio - Customer Experience.

Companies spend huge sums of money on marketing but hardly work on creating amazing customer experience which in turn will reduce marketing spend, shorten sales cycle and build powerful brand through word of mouth.

Enough is Enough. Be it government or companies , time has come that non performers or rather non wowers will be out of the business. If your government is not focusing on citizen need or company is not focusing on creating superior customer experience, all other competitive advantages will soon become history.

In his recent blog post Jacob Braude, vice president of strategic planning at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness rightly writes that Experience Is The Next Frontier In Marketing.

I think time has come for every entrepreneurs to embrace new battlefield and start working on customer experience design. In Govt space Gujarat and Bihar govt has already embraced and made the citizen their focus area.

Competitive landscape is changing and focusing on customer experience is the right strategy for everyone be it corporations, government or NGOs.  Strategy for Next Financial Year - Customer Centricity - Customer Delight - Referral Marketing - Improving Net Promoter Scores  { Rest all strategies and parameters will be taken care of }.

* Inviting interest from readers to join Customer Experience Professionals Association of India.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


When CIO of Dell Jerry Gregoire says ” Customer Experience is the New Competitive battle field. ” , its an awakening call for every CEOs.\

” We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”  Jeff Bezos, CEO

Every enlightened CEOs are thinking , talking and executing WOW !!! Customer Experiences. Rest all are internal issues.

Check out white paper on  

How to WOW !! White Paper

Share your thoughts & proposed actions.

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??

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.

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 !!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

I enable Entrepreneurs to Pay More Tax !!!!!

Yes, when I help them in capital structuring , interest cost does down 

When I help them to take make or buy decision, it impacts investments in fixed assets which in turn affects investment requirements, depreciation , interest cost and Mfg Cost

When I help them lean manufacturing and operations, wastage is reduced

When I help them in process rejuvenation , it reduces wastes and quicken the business

When I help them in offering WOW !! Customer Experience, they get more sales ,
premium pricing & powerful branding

When I help them on Social Media Strategy, it reduces sales & marketing cost and increases referral sales

All these initiatives will add to PROFIT and therefore it impacts Direct Tax , add to enterprise's Tax burden. 

As a CA I started as a tax practitioner and focused on below the line tax consultancy & helped enterprises in reducing their tax burden,  now I am focused on above the line advisory and helping indirectly to the Govt in filling their tax kitty. Govt & Entrepreneurs both are happy along with me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inverted 30 : 70 Ratio - Customer Experience

Writing is like a pregnant lady. Till the time u deliver (write) u r restless. 

Today I met a ED of one of the industry chambers in Mumbai. 

Agenda: Customer Experience for their Members

One more management jargon was his initial reaction. 

Well a big NO. 

All earlier version of business performance improvements were internal & limited focus like - TQM, Six Sigma, BPR, Lean, TOC - all are fine but these projects are never worked keeping CUSTOMER @ d center.  

One can argue that six sigma and lean or for that matter TQM are obviously for the customers. However its not. Everything is to work on improving internal efficiency and productivity. Its necessary but not sufficient. 

Unless the organisation as a whole looks in one direction i.e. Customers, unless everyone is aware about impact of their action or inaction on the customer experience, unless internal massive projects are touching customer experience  at all the touch points, unless customer experience is designed keeping in mind end to end touch points in mind, unless one single person responsible for end to end customer experience, they are not customer focused projects. 

Why its not only important but critical because : 

Delightful and Memorable Customer Experience  =  Repeat and referred customers, sharing the experience on social media channels (bad experience travels faster on this channels), lowering sales and marketing cost , increase in margins and sales, brand loyalty and rise of brand advocates. 

Its the ONLY way , to create blue ocean in otherwise red ocean business land(water)scape. 

"If the optimal business decision in the old world was too  spend 30 percent of your time, energy, focus, and dollars on building great customer experience, and 70 percent of your time, energy, focus, and dollars on shouting about it, today that's inverted. Today, the optimal thing to do is to spend 70 percent of your time, energy, focus, and dollars on building great customer experience and 30 percent shouting about it."

Next question is - HOW? {  when and why are now obvious  
Watch out this place!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

5 Customer Experience Scenarios !!!! Take Your Pick

- We offer HORRIBLE Customer experience and careless even after that - Government Departments { No one likes to go to them but are compelled }

- We offer HORRIBLE Customer experience but have cosmetic customer service  department  - PSUs  { No one likes to go to them but are compelled }

- We offer HORRIBLE Customer experience but have adequate customer service department - Massively Expanded Private Sector Companies { Most of us become their customer but want to get rid of them asap }

- We offer good and reasonable/ as expected Customer Experience - Some alert Private Sector Companies { We are happy to be with them but no brand loyalty and are indifferent }

- We offer Scintillating ,  Out of the World , Memorable , Delightful , Pleasantly Unexpected and Customised Customer Experience - A very few companies who design their experience at touch points to make it memorable every-time. { Everyone wants to visit them time and again, proud to refer them and love to  recommend strongly

Self Test and Work-On to Climb the Hierarchy !!!

(Of the companies that think they are offering great customer experience, their customers mostly thinks otherwise, so have self test from customer feedback) 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

2 Reasons to transform your Saloon into Beauty Parlor

Recently my wife returned from beauty parlor having her hair cut. I just asked { out of curiosity } - what do they charge. I was !!!!!! on hearing the price. They charge 4 times than what our poor fellow barber charges. 

We go to Saloons and they go to BEAUTY Parlors. 

This is what is customer experience and positioning is all about.

Our Barber, Hazaam or what we call it are low profile, hardly professional, basic services, trained in their villages kind of person. They can maximum talk about Hindi movies and their village life. They do not position them as Handsome Parlor !!. They THINK that they just provide basic hair cut services. { They do provide all other ancillary services as provided in Beauty Parlors but sold only as one of the menu items }

Beauty parlors are run by better trained and professional people, they convince u that they play important role in HOW u look.  They have different ambiance, products and knowledge. They discuss abt beauty , yr look and advice u also.

Outcome U produce for the customer decides what u do.
Are u a tax practitioner or Compliance and Governance consultant? 

Are u a Gym Instructor or Fitness Guru?

Are u a Film Company or Entertainment Company?

Do u run a water park or Theme Leisure Park?

Are u an Internal Auditor or Risk Officer?

Are U an Insurance Agent or Risk Management Advisor?
Are u an employee or LINCHPIN  { Proactive, thinking and assertive hence indispensable } ?

Are u a Cook or Chef ?

Are U a Real Estate Company or Delivering Happiness Business?

Are u a Prime Minister or CEO of the country?

Outcome WE produce for the customer not only decides what WE do but hugely influences price ( reason 1 ) we charge. { it will change our thought process also ( reason 2) }

Friday, July 8, 2011

Business ( Scripts ) Processes that create Memory n Delight !!!!

Processes r SCRIPT of the Business. 

U can WOW !!!! or Un-wow CUSTOMERs through business processes. 

Some businesses r run without formal processes. Its people driven. Its keep changing from people to people. 

- Unorganised

Some businesses are only process driven without having customer in FOCUS. 

- Mechanical

Some Businesses are run by people and process. 

- Human

Like Film script, writing business script (Processes) is an ART.It requires understanding of businesshuman behavior, target market,  business objectives , culture & risk too. Its a team effort with whole organisation INVOLVED. 

To create Memorable & Delightful CUSTOMER Experience, approach to Business Processes plays KEY role.

Customer Experience Champion Starbucks Believes in:
( Converting ordinary experience into Extra ORDINARY )

- Make it your Own
- Everything Matters
- Surprise & Delight
- Embrace Resistance
- Leave your Mark

Happiness Champion believes (Core Values) in: 

- Deliver WOW through Services
- Embrace & Drive Change
- Create fun & little weirdness
- Be adventurous, creative and open minded
- Pursue Growth & Learning
- Built open & honest relationship with communication
- Built a positive team with family spirit
- Do more with less
- Be passionate and determined
- Be humble

Unless the core values or business motives are clear , business processes ( script ) will remain Mechanical and will/can never WOW!!!! 

Start with Core Value / Belief and Change Drivers and then write ( re-write / re-design/ re-vamp  ) script. Its a SCRIPT which decides success or failure of MOVIE ( Business too ) . 

Monday, June 27, 2011

20998 Dos & Donts for Customer Centric Innovation

Well,  please don't go by the numbers , grab the meaning. Any new ideas will face somewhat similar objections or hurdles. ( In any area )

1) I have never heard of this !!!!! ( Thats why it must be done )

2) We do things this way only. ( When will u innovate )

3) New ideas will not work in this environment ,,,,, ( Let it 
be experimented )

4) Do u have proven case study??????? ( Why cant u become 
means of this be a case study? )

5) I know this better since I am doing it for years now @@@@@ ( Will doing things in new ways harm or change is for better )

6) Customers don't care   , they are just interested in low price. ( Do u have data to justify so )

7) We cant afford to connect customers in an online media initiative. Their unity is not in our interest. ( Well most large brands are doing so and reaping benefits, call is yrs )

8) We work with consultants having experience in our industry. ( New ideas need new unconditioned brains )

9) Brand means nothing more than logo, stationery , uniform and sign boards. ( Its mere 8% of the same )

10) Last word in customer care is CRM. ( Its the basic survival tool, do we not go beyond mere survival efforts ??? ) 

20998)  We are market leader , we make huge profits, we are almost in monopoly condition. ( Check last 10 years business stories, business situation (position) , changes every 3 years - likes of Tatas, GEs , Toyotas, Googles , Facebooks and Microsofts are threatened by new incubates ) 

I might have missed many dos and donts  in between but I am sure readers will exceed my last number.

Someone has quoted "Success Immortalises the way things are done." Its not difficult to learn new things but challenge is to de-learn what is already learned. Daily most of us confront with many new ideas but our mental conditionng blocks many and most of them to touch the reality.  

If u r in a deciding position whether to implement new idea or not, let experiment with new ideas, allow the person coming with an idea to make it happen,  be willing to make him successful, have open and broad mind, have innovation and ideas brain storm a regular feature of the company. 

I always wonder why best companies to work for or customer experience surveys are not even read by rest of the companies. No copy , no inspiration, no innovation and no change.  (  caution before u change :  certain companies don't need to change at all and yet they survive successfully for generations !!!!  )

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Is your company equally Enthusiastic abt Sale & Return !!!

Why Companies cant handle Customer Exit Gracefully??? Isn't it a kind of customer experience also???

I was sold by call center executive of TATA AIG one medical insurance Policy. I was explained certain features and some of my queries were answered to my satisfaction. Hence I decided to go for it and issued cheque. Cheque was collected within 24 hrs by them.

As a part of their business process,  to know whether policy was mis sold ,one more call came to explain me the features of policy. At this stage on seeking clarification , I found that one of the features were  mis sold to me. Since that feature was critical , I decided not to go for the policy. I told the executive to stop the process and return me my cheque. 

Next day again call center executive who first sold me the policy called me , I explained him the issue, he was not sure about the same therefore his senior spoke to me.  Tried to explain me but cud not satisfy me. I told him to return my cheque. 

There after in next 3 days cpl of executives tried to convince me but failed , to all of them I told to return my cheque. They promised to do so. However fact of the matter is today even after 2 weeks , I am still awaiting my cheque.

They collected in 24 hours and couldn't return for 14 days when I want to withdraw, that too at their fault of mis selling.

I wonder why companies do not handle this situation gracefully? Companies have their refund policy and fixed time for refunds. When they want to sale they are open 24 X 7 but for customer who wants refund and return they have policy , rules & absolute apathy !!!  

Here I wud like to mention about return policy of NO questions asked. When companies learn and understand that this is also a kind of experience and most powerful way to get back the out going customer. 

There r very few companies who are graceful to attend to customer refund and return issues. Out there in the market everyone wants to sale but those who can accept return gracefully is the company awaken to customers' 360* need & Thats the winner!!!.Very very few will pass this test. Everyone want to sale but very very few wants to solve customer problem.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Brand Building in Action

Customer Xperience = (Internal Change and Innovation) = Negligible Interest among Entrepreneurs  (Unless ofcourse Richard Branson or Tony Hsieh is the CEO) 

Brand Building = { External Cosmetic Show (rarely connects with internal state of affairs) } = Highest Interest among all Entrepreneurs

In fact  Customer Xperience = Brand Building in Action

Therefore to remain relevant and facinated among class of entrepreneurs I declare I am no longer Customer Xperience Champion but reposition as Champaigner - Brand in Action

Life and Brand is all abt Positioning , after-all (!!!)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Customer Xperience Today @ ICICI Bank

Today @  ICICI Bank.

I sent my daughter to get pay order which she required for her college admission. She was carrying duly signed cheque. Today was the only day for her admission and timing was limited. Amount was Rs.385/- only.

Now at bank I am classified as Preferred Customer. Therefore they have a special section and they attend to preferred clients with more attention and care. (They should that is what I expected)

They gave requisition slip to fill to her which required signature of account holder. Since I was not there my daughter called me and told me that pls come as yr signature is a MUST. I was bit upset so I talked to the concerned officer and requested that this is the first time I am hearing this that its a MUST on requisition slip. However since I can not come & I will come during the day & sign the slip , you pls process the request. I also confirmed & informed that she is my daughter & she requires pay order for her college admission. However she refused to process the request unless its signed by me. My daughter met the branch manager , she was busy and confirmed that its a MUST & we cant help it.

Leaving all my work aside I had to rush to the bank and complied with the requirement. 

Couldn't this have been handled in a better way in any other bank?? Relationship banking I enjoy with other banks , they even clear the cheque unsigned or with some correction on the promise that I will come and sign as required , later.

Look at the amount, purpose and my authorisation and promise to comply over phone, however nothing worked. 

This is not process centric banking but total customer apathy and we care less approach. Is it no employee empowerment or no sense of banking judgment??. & I am classified as Preferred Customer!!! (Oh ,my god, what must be the plight of no so preferred customer!!!))

The same bank on TV commercials wishes the customer who has come to open account on his birthday with a CAKE. Total disconnect between branding and customer experience in reality!!!! 

Branding sans Customer Experience !!! Ad agencies and Brand Consultants are not the BRAND builders its customer experience that builds brands !!!Still they spend millions on BRAND and nothing on CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE(Even basic,  forget wowing!!!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

5 ways to Rejuvenate Your Brand ( U and Brand U represent )

Past Experience sometimes is the biggest hurdle. It CONDITIONS our mind. Previous patterns determine our future actions. Life is an explorations and conditioned mind cant explore but just follow the trend. This applies to individuals and enterprises equally.

Therefore to unCONDITION our mind we need to be alert of our thoughts & actions.  Out of the Box or Lateral Thinking is all about this. Everyone be it individual or company becomes prisoner of this "following the pattern" habit. This is how we become stale after sometime.

Challenge is to get out of this and rejuvenate our thoughts on an ongoing basis:

5) Do something non routine daily.(take new route to office or home, buy  non regular magazine, go to movie with not so good review, watch channel not viewed regularly, offer peak season discount on products and services, pay yr supplier early and thank them for the support, celebrate achievement of family members of employees,  ask back office team to front end the customers,  respond to call center queries in 48 minutes instead of 48 hours, offer no question asked goods return for a day, call customer after a day of his purchase to know whether he is happy with product or service

4) Challenge Obvious Idea / Action / Interpretation. (Get feedback from suppliers, service providers, go to different restaurant, take no reason leave from the job and be with the family, have without appointments day for all patients,  go and play cricket with children on Sunday,   )

3) Think , apply your mind and look at the things in different perspective.(Talk to grieving customers or employees by calling him and giving full attention to know his perspectives)

2) For the sake of change do something differently. (Offer Lassi or lemon juice in place of routine Tea/Coffee to your customers /employees)

1) Check Business Processes more often for better customer experiences. Its a dynamic world, processes must be reviewed to achieve speed & convenience to customers.(Remove or merge processes, add delight factor in the process)

Many more such actions can be taken up routinely to un( Condition + Routine ) our mind. Daily Targets ,Quarterly Results and Annual Bonus will make it difficult to think anything other than routine but believe me thinking unroutine will improve all the three targets.

This is BRANDing in ACTION. Atrophy (Regular CONDITIONed) or Rejuvenate (Regular UNCONDITIONing). Choice of actions r clear. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Soul is left to someone else , CEOs r focusing on BODY of Business.

Customer Experience = Marketing Job ?? Biggest Myth of enterprises of TODAY. 

Its d Job of the highest decision maker or decision making forum in d company. 

Why?? Customer Experience can be altered and made delightful by;

1) Making Offerings stand out among the competing crowd

2) Making HR more customer friendly and happier

3) Making business processes customer friendly and quicker

4) Making after sales , powerful tool to get new sales

5) Going out of the way to help customers. Its abt empowering yr people

6) Its about DESIGN. The way products /services will be manufactured and delivered to the customers. 

7) Its abt sales collateral, ad campaign, social responsibility, governance and everything.

Its a SOUL (Script) of any enterprise. How CEOs and Core Team can remain out of the DESIGNING process of Customer Xperience and leave it to CMO or CSO??

CEOs other priorities without the center focus of customer experience design are misplaced priorities. Its red ocean mind set and running away from the real issue.