Friday, February 28, 2014

Are you addressing WHAT or WHY of WHAT?

If every entrepreneur and professional is asked to avail services from his own firm he will realize how poorly (or good) he is performing. 

Financial Statements will give you results at the end of the year but own journey mapping can quickly tell you what is wrong and what needs to be done. Problem is , mostly entrepreneurs try to analyse balance sheet and P &  L Account to know what is wrong and think about corrective measures. 

What best they need to do more often is to become their own customer. Use more and more touch points , use more and more services to learn more and more about their own business.

Focusing on financial statements for improvements is like focusing on results rather than on symptoms. WHY of WHAT needs to addressed. Financial Statements tells you WHAT, what is happening in the market with your customers tells you WHY of WHAT.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Do you remove your theatrical HAT daily ? (Off Topic)

" Every business a stage and work is a theater." Pine & Gilmore in their famous book 'The Experience Economy'.

Yes in a sense therefore every enterprise must know HOW to perform on stage to create scintillating experience for their customers. 

But other-side of the quote is equally relevant & powerful. Once you are off stage you must stop performing and start living. Usually that is a difficult proposition. 

A military men will behave like military men even in his house with his family and in his social circles. Same applies to Police men and for many other professions. An auditor will always tries to find faults with everything he encounters even when he is not actually auditing. A lawyer will always have legal angle in his personal and social life situations. A boss will mostly act bossy in his house and social circles.

Removing theatrical hat is very important as well as difficult. We become the role we play on stage. It is only the real on stage actors know how to remove such hat and live normal and natural life unlike the on stage roles they play. 

Amitabh Bachchan and the likes will not act police or goon at home , they will be natural human being different form their on stage characters. Position of power & preference is only during on stage professional and business performances. When we try to mix up our on stage roles with our personal and social roles, difficulty starts.

Family relations for all are common  - husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter etc and friends for everyone  be it lawyer or beggar. They expect us to behave normally without our theatrical hat. 

Are you removing your theatrical HAT while with them ? Next time be conscious about the on stage hat you are wearing and removing the same when you are off stage. Life will be a different experience.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How little creativity can enable better Customer Experience (CX) ?

My family doctor is familiar with many other families too. Therefore there is a problem every-time I visit him. 

- Long waiting time
- Nothing to engage me during this waiting time

Same was the scenario at one of the prominent hospitals in Mumbai. Many people standing in queues on many counters waiting for their turn to come.  

I think in most places in healthcare sector this is the scenario. 

Why I like to address issues of customer experience(CX) in healthcare the most is because this is the sector where customer i.e. patient and their relatives are in maximum pain while they are waiting to be served.

Many a times it does not require rocket science to improve customer experience. It just need a mind of the people at the top and eye on companies in other sectors to learn from.

Couple of leading private sector banks have solved these issues, even Balaji temple in Tirupati & Cream Center at Chowatty has addressed these issues.  

Long Queues / Waiting Time:

Issue token number on arrival and token number attended on display. Based on the experience of the enterprise , even enterprise can display tentative time of waiting based on numbers in queue. 

Small dispensaries atleast can have token system (issue and display) which make patients in waiting to know number of persons before them and uncertainties of waiting time will end. People don't mind waiting if they are informed time of waiting , even they can do their work and come back. It is the uncertainties that makes them restless & spoils the entire experience. 

Engaging during waiting:

If waiting cant be avoided then make it interesting. Cream Center at Chowpatty has a system to give a sheet of puzzle/games to everyone after occupying the chair. People get engaged after ordering in solving  puzzle and in the process forget waiting time even if its little longer. Our saloons also used to keep old filmy magazines. In many a places they have TV to get engaged while waiting. 

However they miss on which channel on TV they put on display. Better customer experience will come from the channel they put up on display. Cartoon Network (CN) kind of channels and not news channel or movies which further adds to the stress level. CN kind of channel will not only make them engrossed but also will make them feel happy. 

Both the above small issues and many such issues of poor CX can be easily tackled and can be converted in to better customer experience by little thinking and application of customer centric thinking.

List down all the customer issues your organisation faces and solve it with little creativity , results will be phenomenal increase in CX.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Brutal Focus on Customer Experience (CX)

Apple is known for their sharp focus on  CX. 

Perhaps they are the leaders. 

They take care of even 'box opening' experience of the customer. 

Recently I read their sharp customer focus as defined as Brutal Focus on CX. The word BRUTAL which otherwise used in negative connotation was used to define extreme positive connotation. 

There is a new book in the market titled Stuffocation. Author James Wallman explains us that in the new economy where everything is produced in plenty & costumes have variety of choices, how do marketeer / sellers differentiate in this crowded market?

In this new economy people are now fed up with stuff they have in their cupboards and homes.  New age customers want experiences. These customers are defined as eXperientialist customers. They need experiences. Experiences to immersed with, experiences to recollect, experiences to feel differently.  Even manufacturers , mall , retailers & service providers can create experiences - which are pleasantly memorable & worth sharing. Customers do not need to go on holiday or theme parks to get experiences.

There are examples of accounting firms, dentists , computer service businesses that are creating superior customer eXperiences.

Here lies a challenge and an opportunity for every enterprises. In the Stuffocation world
it is the experience economy that rules. 

Brutal Focus on CX - Apple  (Manufacturing & retailing)
Extreme Customer Orientation - Gjensidige Insurance Company (Service Provider)
There is a Book on The company's CX way of doing business - Starbucks (Retailing)
Customer Experience Co-Creation - Fidelity Mutual Funds (Service Provider)
Entertainment Business at 25000 feet above the sea level - Virgin Airlines (Travel)
__________________ - Your Company? 

Filling this blank will give direction to your enterprise and working on it will give competitive edge

Indian customers are eagerly waiting for a brand that can be matched with best in the world in CX creation.