Tuesday, May 31, 2011

7 Ways to Promote BLOG ( Anything on the Internet )

Customers are readers too on Internet so 
Readers Experience Management 
is the KEY to get success. 

1) Write Gr8 Content. Make it gr8 with real life stories. (language, words and flow also matters) 

2) Write Interesting Content. Well some time controversial - mouth watering but thought provoking.

3) Write Content Regularly i.e. Once a week to 5 days a week but certainly not once a month.

4) Write with Insight on the Subject. Most people have GK, they want to know more. 

5) Write tirelessly. It will take some time to get people to know abt yr blog (If u have gr8 content). Therefore have passion and patience both.   

6) Write abt yr Niche Subject. How else U will stand out from millions of blogs ??. 

7) Only THEN submit to all Social Media Sites like  FB, Linked In, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, participate & contribute in group discussions and leave yr blog address at the bottom, have blog address with yr email signature, on yr visiting card, in yr office and everywhere u can think of. 

7th initiative will only work if first six are complied with.  ( It applies to every websites ). I cant resist but to relate this with my ( niche ) subject of customer experience. First have gr8 experience DESIGNED & READY and then go out in the market to promote.  Be it yr Blog or website , yr product or service.    

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What is yr Fixed Assets? Plant & Machinery or CUSTOMERS & Brands !!!!

In the Economy where every thing like,  business model, competitive land scape , new technology, is changing so fast I wonder what is the real asset of the company ???

Amazon.com (Flipkart.com in India) started with Books - Today they are selling almost every thing under the sun. (Cuz they have customers, product range can be any thing!!! )

Sony was once upon a time highest Camera selling company - Nokia has taken over the Sony by selling Camera through Mobile Phones. (technology & convergence of everything into Mobile Phones)

From no where Snapdeal.com is selling thousands of services as discount deals per day.Suddenly perishable services providers will have queue of customers. (Large customer base, product can be any thing & every thing what customer demands or buys)

Question : What is D real assets??? Yes its not Plant & Machinery or Website or anything else. Its yr CUSTOMER base thats it. What ever is spent on customer acquisition, customer service, customer experience and customer moments of truth r the ONLY assets of the company. Brand is the only Asset.  

Everything else is subject to TRANSFORMATION quickly b4 one imagines or realises. 

Business Balance Sheets must incorporate or provide for changes in business eco system we live in. Or else Balance Sheet will lose its relevance in evaluation of company performance.   With IFRS and much more coming up in accounting space, are accountants and auditors ready to awake to the reality of new world??

Pause for a moment & think !!!! Restructure yr Balance Sheet TODAY. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lasith Malinga - Brand in Action

Why Lasith Malinga is so POPULAR in India ?

- His unique hair style

- His accurate bowling

- His unprecedented bowling Style

- His smile when batsman hits his ball for a boundary or a six 

- His smile even when he or someone else drops the catch in his bowling

- His smile when umpire turns down his very close appeal

  ( I have never seen any of d above characteristics in any of the bowlers till date)

- All d above put together 

What are the similar UNIQUE characteristics of Your Personal Brand and Brand U represent?? (After all we all are building BRAND 16 (Removed 8 hrs of sleeping)  X 7 by what we do & experience we create for the recipient).

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 (!!!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5 Ways to Make CUSTOMERS your BRAND Ambassadors

People believes in customer reviews rather than brand ambassador's large cut outs and recommendations.Real brand ambassadors are customers as they recommend after using the offerings and so called brand ambassadors recommends for money they get!!!

When TRUST is the highest influencers  these new breed of brand ambassadors r preferred and searched on the net & social media. Today u search for any product or services , you will invariably get users reviews.I use reviews when I buy mobile phones, when I book hotels outstations,  when I want to experiment new things, when I do not want to subscribe to Speak Asia kind of schemes (I found whole lot of irregular things and cpl of articles by Sucheta Dalal in her magazine Money Life abt the Speak Asia drama which is going on with the help of Indian Print Media these days).Telling example of Branding vs Actual Customer Xperience. (now 19th May- govt has ordered inquiry into the affairs)

Bottom line is CUSTOMERS are net promoters or demoters of every BRANDs. Invest more in customer experience and less on BRAND Ambassadors which is paid , scripted & hence less authentic. 

Here are the ways U can make yr customers , yr brand ambassadors: (Experiment rigorously)

1) Go out of the way to solve customer problem.  Do it with SMILE. If U are a Dentist,don't just remove the teeth but give dental care booklet and free check up once a year bonus. 

2) Invite happy customers to periodic customer get to gather. Share their stories on blog, website and social media. Offer some branding mileage to those customers.(Introduce them and their business on social media)

3) Help and try to make your customers more successful in what they do. Have solution and not transaction approach.

4) To the extent possible customize the deal and make them feel special. As a tour organizer U have tie up with particular hotel, have an arrangement with the hotel to convey customer's preference, data and choice for surprise and delight. They must feel special for booking the hotel through yr company. 

5) Have Happy Hour.  On any one day a week ,lets say every Tuesday, allow any one randomly selected customer free shopping/buying/consuming every hour. Word of mouth publicity will much more cover the cost of free offerings.
Have as many surprise elements in yr offerings as possible.  

I am a FAN of Zappos.com , Starbucks & Virgin way of doing business. Why not every one else too? Looking for similar passion and enthusiasm from Indian Company !!!! Any 1 ? Kingfisher is closing in.

Not only do business , make it a fun for all involved.We ,after all , live only once and time to make FANs  are too short. Go full blast from TODAY. Share yr results here.

2 Questions on my ( our ) Birthday

We face many new years in one year in INDIA. 

1st Jan ( Calender Year )
1st April ( Financial Year )
New Year ( Next day of Diwali - Hindu New Year )
Gudi Padwa  ( Local State New Year , in my case Maharashtra) 
Today ( In my case , and in your case yr respective actual birthday )

Advantage: Ever few months we can make new year resolutions and every few months we also review the same.  

I learned abt new ways to celebrate birthdays by following interesting ppl on Twitter: Author Chetan Bhagat took 300  less privileged children to the multiplex theatre for a movie, another gentleman spent time with senior citizen at one of the old age homes. Gr8 ideas.

Lets brain storm what better can be done on THE day?

Technology has made it easier to remember birthdays so I am getting many automated mails and many SMSs too. Just NOW got call from LIC for wishing me personally. 

I am still looking for Wow !!! er from all my service providers and all companies for whom I am a customer or a client. 

Therefore we have two questions: 

1) How do we celebrate our birthday - fruitfully /innovative-ly /non routine way?
2) How companies can wow!!! customers on their birthdays?

Pl share yr thoughts. Cheers.

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!!!)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Who U R defines What U do!!!

Company Board is Responsible to the Share Holders. Rest all are responsible to the CUSTOMERS.However internal focus of the company and designations in vogue is making life complicated and working in silos a norm. If the tone at the top is CUSTOMER and it percolates down suitably at all levels , it can change the meaning for the PEOPLE in the company especially in big positions.  I have attempted to change the status quo just by changing the meaning of the designations by making it end result centric.

Here I go .........
1) Chief Executive Officer  -  Chief Customer Experience Officer

2) Chief Operation Officer - Chief Delivery Officer

3) Chief HR/People Officer- Chief Happiness Officer

4) Chief Marketing Officer - Chief Brand Officer

5) Chief Sales Officer -  Chief Fulfillment Officer

6) Chief Technology Officer - Chief Enabling Officer

7) Chief Public Relation Officer - Chief Image Officer

8) Chief Knowledge Officer - Chief Intelligence Officer

9) Chief Product Officer - Chief Customer Officer

10) Chief Procurement Officer - Chief Quality Officer

11) Chief Finance Officer - Chief Profit Officer

12) Chief Internal Auditor - Chief Sustenance Officer

13) Chief Compliance Officer  - Chief Governance Officer

14) Chief Belief Officer (Future Group does have one) - Chief Culture Officer

15) Chief Strategy Officer - Chief Competitive Officer

16) Chief Innovation Officer - Chief Future Officer

Even if they start looking at their designations, mind set will start transform-ing. 

Readers may add many more CXOs and suggest even appropriate names to the one given above. Let the winds of change take over our enterprises.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New Start Up & Six Qualities of Start Up Entrepreneurs - Reallife Xperience

Recently I become a part of team www.kredence.com . Though was always a part of Team Ketan Raiyani formally or informally. 

About Ketan, and his entrepreneurial dream, I must say (1) passion, (2) dream & (3) risk taking ability coupled with (4) fund raising capacity are the few of the  foremost qualities one (Start up entrepreneurs)  must have.  Dream of achieving something unthinkable, unbelieveable. Many people get (final) kick when someone challenges  them, Ketan is one of them. ("U cant do" so i will do). I have also seen that as an entrepreneurs one must be able to (5) take timely judgement when to withdraw when someting is not working.

With him , I was a co founder of taxsmile.com & other ventures thereafter . Many a times we had contarion views on some matters & also had unpleasant arguments. However test of the true entrepreneur is his (6) ability to  keep people around him who can challenge his thinking (Not only YES men).  All these arguments always lead us to objectivity in the situation and refinement of thoughts.  Many may not be aware that start up goes back to drawing board N number of times before their endeavour touches the market.

One suggestion: Go for something outstanding and unprecedented in the world. Be known for SOMETHING or ANYTHING even if that means lower profit.Make FANS not only customers.

Its a game of high passion and  patience !!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Its not FACTs but E-FACT that matters

In Mumbai Suburban Railway some times people having ticket of 2nd class travels by 1st class. In similar one such instance a commuter appears to be of  2nd class commuter was boarding the train. While he was boarding 1st class compartment cpl of commuters informed that this is first class compartment so don't board.  He didn't pay heed and entered the compartment.  Then one of the commuters told him that if the ticket checker comes and he is found with 2nd class ticket he will be fined Rs.500/-. Immediately without thinking for a second he got down of the compartment. 

Fact : 1st Class Compartment E-Fact (effect): Rs.500/- penalty

Yes stating fact is just a statistics. 

Toothpaste with Salt or Clove or LED TV or 200 CC Bike or Al Queda is a Terrorist organisation - but so what? How does it matters to me??

Mere statistics may not move people to take action. If you wants action,  talk abt the impact of the facts or non action on the person. Communication be it advertising or marketing or any such personal persuasion should have this in it to be E-Fact-ive !!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

6 Ways Individuals Can leverage Social Media (professionally)

1) Have Blog  - Share yr thoughts on the subject of yr expertise or work place experience/stories.(Half of the net users read some or the other blogs atleast monthly) (This blog got readers from more than 25 countries in less than 6 months)

2) Have Blog - Writing for Blog will make U a good observer and thinker. This way U will be a better person over all.(Extra Advantages - language & writing skills improvements)

3) Have Face Book Page -  This will help U connect with yr friends and family members.  Share yr online knowledge or gain from their knowledge. Its knowledge distribution everywhere. Either gain or share. Its win win.  (1 out of every 8 Minutes online is spent on FB)

a) Have Linked In Profile - This is a must. Most (Well many and many more to catch up) employers are now hiring after viewing profile here. One can do own branding here. Write & Get Recommendations. Its abt BRAND U.

b) Have Twitter Profile -   Here follow some of yr role models and someone u want to get in touch with. Reply their interesting twits and get noticed. This was not possible at all otherwise.( 90 mn  twits per day )

c) Post Reviews & Comments - Post product and services reviews you have experienced.  Its a gre8 utility in the world bombarded by push advertising. (78% net users do their product research online, 24% of adults have posted comments and reviews online)

Next time why businesses MUST use social media to get more business and enhance customer experience. See u Soon.