Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Surprise & Suspense Element of Your BRAND?

We { Consumers } like something EXTRA than what we are expected to get. Value of that EXTRA is incomparable. It becomes talk of the town, cause for referral point and repeat experience. 

Mindset of offering EXTRA  { going out of the way } , entrepreneurs can make their offerings Extra Ordinary.

- Surprise - Offering Pleasant EXTRAS
- Suspense - Every-time something Different ( Different Surprises ) 

Restaurant is offering free meal every Monday but it will not be announced in advance. At the time of billing customer is informed that it was free.

Stock Broker is offering brokerage refund for one week and next time sending free gift holiday vouchers to their value clients.  

Home Builder is offering school scholar ship to children of all habitats. Next time full sponsorship of all festivals. ( We have in India many many festivals we celebrate )

Dentist offering free Coffee ( CCD or Barista or Starbucks ) to their patients , next free annual check up for the family.

Garment Store offering free  { Fashion tips and grooming seminar } , next family picnic pass.

Accounting Firm offering free accountants training to clients , next free seminars to clients from marketing experts. 
What are the SUSPENSE and SURPRISE elements of your BRAND ? { Most brand unfortunately do not surprise and offer suspense but sacrifice i.e. less than expected/promised  offerings !!! }

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) }

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

3 Umpires { Self Appointed } in our lives - Driving us Crazy

Yes we have been hugely driven by 3 umpires of our life            ( Personally and Businesses too ) .

These are ;

1) Society - What other ( peer pressure included ) will say is many a times influencing your decisions ??

2) Media - How media will react is making us hide the facts or do u have need to manage them to hide the facts ??

3) Stock Analysts - They are the major cause { though not direct } of Satyam and many such frauds ( detected /undetected ).  They can hammer and bring down price of yr listed entity but cant impact intrinsic value and future potential of the enterprise.

If one can ignore these 3 umpires  { Self Appointed } and focus on the facts and own independent free thinking , without being influenced by these 3 umpires, we can have hugely happy & stress free life.

" If you can sing your song , not worrying who Listens and what they think, you are going to be extremely successful" – Deepak Chopra

Ignore these 3 Umpires. Don't allow them to take charge of yr life. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

4 KRAs of Chief Customer { xperience } Officer

Companies those who Want to focus on Customer. 

Step - 1 - Appoint Chief xperience Officer      ( Reporting to CEO )

Step - 2 - Assign Powers to C Ex O             ( he is a part of every senior management committees ) 

He is the Bucks Stops Here kind as far as customer experience is concerned.

H(er)is KRAs:

1) Making Customers FAN of the company brands

2) Focus on Customer Referral is the way to get substantial additional business

3)Improve company Net Promoter Scorecard
4)Making company culture customer focused      ( Tweaking/Re engineering business processes and making people more sensitive to customer needs  { internal & External })

He will not only make company customer centric & talk of the town but also substantially add to top and bottom line. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Only way to handle - Return , Refund , Cancellation & Customer EXIT !!!

We remember LAST incidence. LAST incidence influences all future decisions. We observe how companies are behaving during unpleasant customer action i.e. discontinue, refund, return, exchange, exit, cancel, don't want etc etc. 

Unfortunately @ MOST companies , processes r written & culture is developed such that it can not face such incidences GRACEFULLY.  

For CUSTOMER its a brand experience, for companies and point of sale its a lost sales &  customer gone. They think customer experience happens only when the customer is consuming our product and services. 

However if BRAND wants to become known for their superior customer experience it is NOW at the occurance of unpleasant incidence HOW it behaves is what matters the most.  

Most retailers follow fix time for return which is mostly inconvenient, no cash refund, so many T & C. Once we become Ex Customer, we are treated differently. 

Zappos.com follows - 365-day return policy with free return shipping.

BRAND has longer life than people handling returns and whose incentives may be impacted with returns. Who will develop such Culture ?? It starts @ the TOP. 

GRACEFUL , Pleasant, WILLING to let go though expect to SERVE in FUTURE , Facilitating Smooth Exit, attitude ( MOST PROBABLY ) will win back the customers. Not only win back but will make repeat and most referring customer. 

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 Zappos.com 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, July 4, 2011

4 ways to Brand " U " - Have daily Brand Scorecard

Most of us are unBRANDED commodity !!!

My last post on 12 ways to WOW!!!!  http://aanekant.blogspot.com/2011/07/12-ways-to-wow-for-individuals.html ) was well received by readers. 

That made me think about our WOW !!! scorecard. 

In-fact if we decide to WOW !!!! daily someone and keep increasing that scorecard day after day imagine what can happen to :

1) Our own personal image  - U become a BRAND that wows!!

2) Our work outcome - Excellent (mostly)

3) People dependent on us - Feel Confidence abt dealing with us

4) People around us - Happy 

5) Our Self confidence - Steep Boost

WOWing !!!! through my act, conduct & work not only change I as an individual but everything around me i.e society as a whole. 

This also reminds me of great Tom Peter's WOW !!!! mission. 

1 - Astonish me
2 - Build Something Great
3 - Make it Immortal
4 - Reward Excellent Failure , Punish mediocre successes
I am first responsible to brand  I } and then every other brand I represent.

Evaluate everything  U do on the following parameters:

1 - WOW!!
2 - Beauty
3 - Impact 
4 - (will make) Rave Fans

When most of us is going to spend sustained periods of our career in some form of self employment - imagine how this WOW !!! thing is going to impact yr career. 

Make it a point to WOW !!!! someone daily. Improve yr score from one to two to three and then everything u do. Result will be instant. Its all about value I put to BRAND I }. ( Most of us are unbranded commodity, your self brand building starts NOW. )

Friday, July 1, 2011

12 Ways to WOW !!!!! - ( For ) Individuals & Enterprises

Unexpected Speed ( Execution, Thought, Response ) WOWs !!

Complete Precision ( Product, Work ) WOWs !!!

Unprecedented Design  ( Product, Service, Anything { beautifully } Planned ) WOWs !!!!

Deep Insight ( Report, Research, Study, Letter { mails too } )   WOWs !!!!!

Change in Paradigm  ( New Idea, New Way of looking/doing things , Unimaginable ) WOWs !!!!!!

Total Dedication ( Employees,  Followers ) WOWs !!!!!!!

Human Kindness ( Going Out of the way, Forgive, Humanitarian Conduct )  WOWs !!!!!!!!

Power Packed Presentation ( Oral, Pictorial or Movie ) WOWs !!!!!!!!!!

Sudden Surprise & Suspense (  Prize, Gift, Free , Deep Discount )  WOWs !!!!!!!!!!!

Great Courage & Confidence ( Leaders, Entrepreneurs, People ) WOWs !!!!!!!!!!!!

Ease & Simplicity ( Boss, Product Design, Problem Solving )   WOWs !!!!!!!!!!!!

12) Are we as an Individual & as an enterprise WOWing !!!  someone DAILY??  ( keep yr daily WOW  !!! scorecard ). That's THE true competitive advantage. 

Rest all differentiators r commoditised.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Smartness not @ the cost of Goodness

Smartness is in Vogue. We appreciate smart people. End justify Means. We find many smart people around but there aren't as many good people as well. 

  1. We break queue and get things done before others. Smart but not good !!
  2. We tell lie and get things done. Neither Smart nor Good !!!
  3. We bribe others with word of mouth (wrong promise) and succeed. Not good may be smart !!
  4. We make promise and go all out to fulfill the same. Smart and good.
  5. We genuinely convince others and change their way of thinking/action. Smart & Good Act.
  6. We manage short-term at the cost of long-term results. Smart but not good
  7. We sack people and add to profit. Smart but not good.
  8. We sale somehow without understanding consumer need/wrong promise and achieve sales target. Smart but not good.
  9. We appreciate smart wrong doers & dislike right good doers.
  10. We delay supplier payment, fool bankers with wrong data,fool customers with quality promise, ignore shareholders by anti governance policies, break environment laws to squeeze profit. Some people may classify us as SMART company but more smart one plays more stupid one becomes in future.       
  11. We achieve great financial results at the cost of customer apathy. Smart or Good???
When managing immediate, today and short-term is the norm , smart people will always score over good people.

Dr Peter's quote " Super-competence (Smartness) is more objectionable than incompetence. "

All scam-sters are smart ( those not caught yet ) , all innovators are smart, all path breakers are smart, all leaders are smart, successful people are smart. However goodness will decide their fate.   

Who r in demand Smart People or Good People??

Doing things like a Linchpin i.e. good as well as smart r the SKILL in demand.  

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 !!!!  )